Starhawk touching down early 2012

LightBox Interactive sequel will arrive exclusively on the PlayStation 3 in the first part of next year.

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Two years ago, Sony trademarked "Starhawk," spawning talk of a sequel to the 2007 PlayStation 3 exclusive Warhawk. Today, the company made it official. The sequel, also exclusive to the PS3, will arrive early next year and provide a variety of vehicular and on-foot combat.

Starhawk is going to have a bit of Red Faction in it.
Starhawk is going to have a bit of Red Faction in it.

According to GameSpot's brand-new preview, the LightBox Interactive-developed game will be a Firefly-style space Western that will see hero Emmett Graves at the center of a conflict between those mining far-off planets for a valuable resource called "rift energy" and those who've been mutated by it. The game's single-player campaign will have a sandbox setting combined with tower-defense elements that allow players to call in air drops that pop up structures on command. These structures, in turn, allow players to defend from waves of the mutants that will attack positions.

The third-person shooter will also offer vehicle combat, including jeeps and aircraft that can apparently transform into mechs. Foes will have similar tower-defense capabilities, leaving players to construct their own fortifications to stave off assaults from the enemy. Competitive multiplayer modes will include Capture the Flag, which will let players on the same team share vehicles to mount attacks.

How direct a sequel Starhawk is to the PS3 revamp of Warhawk is unclear at this point. The older game, released in 2007, was a critical hit despite being multiplayer only. It was based on the 1995 game of the same name released on the original PlayStation.

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