GDC 07: Warhawk Updated Hands-On

Sony and Incog's action flight game heads off in a new direction.

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We had the chance to get an in-depth update on Sony and Incog's upcoming Warhawk for the PlayStation 3 a few weeks ago up at the developer's Utah studio. With rumors swirling about the game, Sony and Incog wanted to give the press the full rundown on what's going on with the game. The big change is that Warhawk's single-player has been cut and the game is being refocused as a multiplayer-only online game. The new direction makes the game a sandbox for players to set up multiplayer matches. Is this a good idea? We clocked in some time to find out how it's shaping up.

The basics of the game are as follows: You'll get access to all the content in the game right out of the gate to set up a match. This includes 25 multiplayer maps set on five worlds, more than 20 weapons that run the gamut from pistols and rifles to laser-guided bombs, two aircraft, the warhawk and nemesis, two sets of ground troops, four ground vehicles, heavy ground turrets, and a variety of materials you can use to customize your soldier. The multiplayer mode will support up to 32 players with voice chat, and it'll feature a robust awards and ranking system that will reward you with a variety of medals, badges, and ribbons. Beyond that, the game features an on-demand split-screen mode that will let a friend hop in and out of the game. The game modes will serve up familiar experiences such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag, as well as something a little different--zone gameplay. The gameplay mode will require players to control areas on the map. The more areas you control, the more options are open to you in terms of resources, such as aircraft and vehicles, as well as point bonuses. Finally, the game features a unique server model that lets PS3 owners set up their PS3s to be servers that offer detailed stat tracking.

So that's the theory. How's the execution? Right now, it's OK. The action is fun and hectic, and the weapons are plentiful and deadly. The various guns, mines, and projectiles are all good stuff. The ground vehicles work nicely and support having buddies along for the ride. Stationary turrets are handy and make for some explosive mayhem that's all good. The warhawk handles much the way it has in the previous demos, and the tweaked controls help quite a bit. The various game types, especially the zone gameplay, are fun and challenging, especially when the battlefield is packed.

The change to multiplayer-only is risky, but after spending some time with the game, we'd say there's some potential there. Incog seems to have drawn inspiration from the Battlefield series and created a sexy playground for players to get their kill on, be it on foot, by ground-based vehicle, or in the air. There's a healthy amount of customization open to players, not only in how their character looks, but also in how it controls in different situations. Thankfully, the Sixaxis support is something that can be toggled on or off, so anyone who has issues with it can simply opt to not use it. We'd point out that although it's not perfect for when you're controlling vehicles, it does free you up to do more shooting, which is kind of nice. Though we're still not sold on it at the moment, due mainly to the fact that Incog is still doing some tweaking to the handling, we can appreciate the benefit and hope it gets buffed up well enough to work out.

Based on what we've played so far, Warhawk is shaping up to be a solid multiplayer experience on the PS3. We're not 100 percent sold on the multiplayer-only aspect of it, as online and LAN matches are cool but sometimes a chore to get going. That said, the action is pretty fun, and when you get a full game going, it makes for a good time. It's hard to get a better sense of the game right now, as the version we played was limited to one area, but what we played has potential. We're still stung by the lack of a single-player offline game, but if Incog didn't think they could make a compelling single-player experience, it's probably for the best, since no one wants to get stuck with a half-baked single-player experience. That said, we hope the multiplayer gets polished up some and can stand on its own. The pieces needed to make that happen seem to be coming together, so hopefully it all clicks. Look for more on Warhawk in the coming months. The game is slated to be available for the PlayStation 3 this year. Sony wasn't able to comment on whether it would be on disc or a download, as it said that how the game would be distributed was still being considered.

Discussion

64 comments
Newave
Newave

I don't play multiplayer games and I'm a huge WarHawk (original) fan.. f*ck you too SONY, f*ck you too!

Hello1231234
Hello1231234

to takeshiwarrior: Dude the game motorstorm does not look like crap compared to the E3 trailer. Its only slightly off. and the game looks awsome to tell you the truth, so yeah, its awsome

holyultima
holyultima

It's only mutiplayer for now. Check ng4.com behind the scenes. 30 bucks initially for the download on PSN possibly, then singe player later as another download. Eventually there might be a hard copy in stores combining both.

battleblade04
battleblade04

if they took out the single player then they prolly put alot more into the muliplayer so now it should be like perfect

jammakane10
jammakane10

sony have really dissapointed me here... the online play better be more than revelutionary. makes you think, may this be the future? online only games? i hope not, i was really looking forward to warhawk, both online and off :-(

komradandre
komradandre

online only? sounds like a cover up.

bobbyD213
bobbyD213

They should bundle this with systems. Great way to show off the power of the PS3

Dvorack
Dvorack

multiplayer only?? this game suxx big time

orgasmdonor81
orgasmdonor81

Horrible?? uhmm no. And trust me as an owner of motorstorm the target rendition is only slightly off, especially when you put it in 1st person pov and are getting dust kicked in your face. please dont bash the ps3 its young but from what i've seen im optimistic. Anyone that own 360 and ps3 will tell u the manchester level on R:FOM blows Gears out of the water although i love my 360 i know my ps3 will have the last laugh.

takeshiwarrior
takeshiwarrior

The graphic is horrible!!! Compare to the trailer we saw at E3!! What's wrong!! Cant the PS3 handle graphic like the E3 trailer clip??? This is kinda like Motorstorm where the clip shown at E3 blown all of us becuase it looked so freaking real and beautiful, but the final game look like crap!!! Geezz, come on Sony,

komradandre
komradandre

I wasn't to sure from the stills but after watching the trailer... the part of the new trailer that sold me: the warhawk hovering over the troops and firing at the soldiers below. now that looks fun.

owskie
owskie

i love battlefeild games i bet im going to love this cant wait!

heyheydoh
heyheydoh

Well.....since there's no offline I hope I can get into match that's only air-combat....cause I want this game for tilty!!

GT406
GT406

Cool game, bf2 meets motioncontroll and ps3

zer0ne
zer0ne

Wat The??? Since when I wanna wait for 32 people to play an air combat game. Offline will always a must, if the buyer dun have internet connections.

Uteron
Uteron

I dont meen to be a nag but the president of Sony U.S.A. downplayed xbox live by saying online only reaches 40% o the people. Now Sony wants to release what is soppose to be one of their biggest titles strictly for online multilplayer. Sony please make up your mind.

LastSamurai14
LastSamurai14

I hope they add a single player mode, with thousands of enemies everywhere. As long as I don't have to pay for than $20 for it, I'd buy it as long as it was long.

Ad-2cool4u
Ad-2cool4u

Okay, making this a total Online-Multiplayer game just made me look at another game on the shelf. People always stop playing a game online, and what if you really liked the game. If its totally online then you never get to play it again after a while. It might take a week to maybe 4 months. I would like an online "Warhawk", but I also want to play it by my self sometimes. If "Warhawk" is compleatly online, this game will be just a disk in (at the most) 4 months time.

olberto
olberto

Battlefield meets timesplitters, no single player? Yawn Oh yeah, I'll just "pop in" the original Warhawk if I want single player, oh everything is all right then, I love cutting edge technology.

RoboticZombie
RoboticZombie

wtf!!!! i think im gonna get sick after watching those screens...wait...*vomits*

eViL_kA
eViL_kA

well you can always pop in the original Warhawk if you want single player. For me it usually comes down to whether a game has online MP when deciding on what games to purchase anyway. Single player is fun but the re-play value of a game exists, IMO, when i can play it with my friends online. Unless it is an RPG or a type of game where single player makes the game, then i usually do not count single player as part of the reason i buy a game, especially a shooting game. That said, MP better kick @ss on this game but with 25 maps and 32 plyr online looks like its on it's way.

roydabomb
roydabomb

Yes, this game looks so cool, its just that on EB games they changet the release date to 8/1/07, not 6/1/07 :( i dont want anymore delays on this game, it was supposed to be launch title

bihboy69
bihboy69

and omfg this game looks so awesome!!! its like battlefield but 3rd person. plus 6axis control :D:D:D

bihboy69
bihboy69

if single player was gonna be bad, may aswell take it out. split screen online will be awesome! and sixaxis flight control :D i get my ps3 march23, pm me your usernames and ill add you.

spartan_104
spartan_104

Bummer, I liked the original Warhawk single player campaign. Not a big fan of mp only games.

karan7
karan7

yes finally i can play multiplayer online with my bro......................

rugripper40
rugripper40

multiplayey only....lol...what else can happen for the ps3??....bummer.crimson skys rocked cause of the single player campain

dragonrul55
dragonrul55

uh...just talk... if you've ever played solo elimination online on a 360 you'd know it's not that hard to chat with 16 people at the same time.

VangrantJ
VangrantJ

i wonder how you will communicate to 16 other players on your team via voicechat??

p99007
p99007

YES!!!! Split Screen online multiplayer indeed. I like playing games with my friends online and this will be cool as now we can work as a squad!!!

jimjim350
jimjim350

cool i hate singleplayer games this will pwn online

IsmirZone
IsmirZone

That be nice.....An I love Bosnia.....My homeland. bihboy69 Add me to you PS3 friends list if you own one. Username is PooPuck.

bihboy69
bihboy69

if only it were first person

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

The original Warhawk was the game that made me put down my SNES controller and give the PS a try. Taking out single player changes the entire game. This is what happens when you have too many ideas going on at the same time combined with a large budget. I'm sure the end result will make many people happy. Why is it that everytime Sony looks like it's about to make some forward progress, they do something like Nintendo releasing Luigi's Mansion for the GC launch instead of a real Mario game? Rumors of a Warhawk revival have been on the net for years. I think I'll go bid on that Carnage Heart/Warhawk deal I saw on Ebay a few days back. I know people are going to claim that my post was Anti-Sony, or that I haven't embraced online gameplay yet. But since I doubt half of the people saying that actually remember how kick @$$ the original was when it came out...... grain of salt.

smith447
smith447

split screen online multiplayer? Yeah, i'm getting it.

dan_brouwer
dan_brouwer

I liked the graphical updates we saw at GDC. Hopefully this game looks and plays great.

VaryagPT
VaryagPT

LOL, my, my... so, go ask the people that played the game at GDC, and tell them that the game is OK and they will laugh at you.... Hell go to gametrailers, download some interviews and gameplay videos and you will not complain about the Single-player anymore. This is probably the best 2007 batlefield-type MP game for consoles. don't thake my word for it, go see the videos at gametrailers.

bihboy69
bihboy69

why did they take out the single player???/ hopefully this game wil cost less...

WarhawK-harris
WarhawK-harris

Gutting out the single player portion kind of defeats the purpose of it all. Why would they think that this is a good idea, especially when the game is so far along?

predator1015
predator1015

it suks that they took out the single player but the onlin does sound like a lot of fun. i wouldn't however sell it for a full 60 buks. sell it for half that.

s3KtOr
s3KtOr

This kinda suckz man. Couldn't they add a single-player story mode and a co-ops mode too. Also a offline-multiplayer mode similar to halo??? I know once this game comez out it won't get a excelent rating since they will talk about how this game lacks offline capability.

yurik
yurik

Oh boy. This article is full of "preview speak." "Shaping up to be a solid multiplayer experience" = "looks like it's going to suck unless they change it ASAP." Damn it.

RaNaBiR
RaNaBiR

Sounds like a great idea taking out the Single player. If it wasn't good enough then it's probably for the best.

Mowshnan
Mowshnan

Awsome way to screw up Warhawk, this was one of my favorite PS1 games, doubt that I play this one now.

legofreak99
legofreak99

they should release it as a retail title, but probably for a budget price like 29.99