Warhawk Updated Hands-On

We blast through the skies of two new Warhawk maps and learn details on the game's upcoming open beta.

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When it comes to the race between hard information and idle speculation about the upcoming PlayStation 3 game Warhawk, lately it's been nearly a neck-and-neck contest. That said, at Sony's recent press event in San Diego, the company opened the curtains a bit wider on this multiplayer-only ground and aerial combat game so we could see how it's coming along ahead of its release later this year. Based on our time with the game, all of the news seems to be good; and the best news of all is that a select number of players will soon be able to get a chance to play it for themselves when the public beta begins later this month.

The two new playable environments included a desert map complete with rocky canyons that look straight out of the American Southwest (think of MotorStorm's dusty ravines, only with futuristic jet fighters instead of dune buggies and motorcycles), and an island map that featured a green and gray color palette, with sharper cliff faces and more vegetation to check out. Both maps had the same high level of visual fidelity featured in the map we've already seen in the game and long draw distances that really give a sense of the scale of the environments you're battling in.

Warhawk producers refer to each of the five overall maps in the game as "styles," and when setting up a game you'll have five areas on each map style to choose from. These areas are all segments of the larger environment, and because the geography of each area is different, you'll have a different game experience depending on the type of mode you wish to play (choosing from different modes like capture the flag, zone, and so on). Producers said they are looking to make the player-created servers in Warhawk as flexible as possible--so if you want to create a 32-player battle on a small, intimate map, you can set it up and toss everyone into the meat grinder. Conversely, you can take a small group of players and put them in some of the larger maps for a more tactical, and less hectic, game. The sole exception is when playing in dogfight mode--here, you'll battle your opponents on the entire map.

Of the various game modes we played during our sessions going up against some of the Warhawk QA team, one of the most compelling was zone mode. Here, your HUD will indicate specific zones of control for your team. As you progress through the maps, your controlled zones will be upgraded and grow in size. As a result, you have a good idea not only of how much area your team controls on the map, but where your forces should head next to continue the assault against your rivals.

From a gameplay standpoint, we preferred the flying aspects of combat to the ground-based combat. When out of a vehicle, you have access to a basic pistol and knife, as well as various rifles and machine guns you pick up along the way. You can also hop in a jeep or tank to quickly move from one area to the next (and blast a few fools along the way). Still, the game feels best when you're in the air, zooming around from place to place and tangling with ground forces or desperately trying to evade a bogie on your six. Control seems to be as tight as ever, and some of the jet designs are just plain cool.

The development team has made some improvements to the game's presentation--including a number of new pop-up tips that teach you how to play the game but also keep you informed on when status on the battlefield changes. For example, when your flag is captured in a CTF match, a pop-up will appear onscreen to let you know. In addition, it's now easier to see where the flag is on a map, thanks to the addition of vertical columns of colored light emitting into the sky from the flag's location.

If all of this sounds good to you, you're in luck: The open beta for Warhawk is scheduled for release on May 24. Participants for the beta will be chosen from sign-ups from the official Warhawk Web site, and producers told us it will be an approximately 780MB download. Even better news: This will be the full game for the beta, complete with all maps, vehicles, and rewards. We'll be bringing you more on the Warhawk beta in the near future, as well as a full review of the game once it's released.

Discussion

69 comments
MasterChief725
MasterChief725

LOL AND halo 3 was the biggest launch in entertainment HISTORY!! YOU GUYS GOT PWND! this couldnt have gone BETTER!

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Scythegpd
Scythegpd

AdmiralDan: Unfortunately you sir are the idiot with your obviously poor grasp of the English language. Deduction (dictionary.com): A process of reasoning in which a conclusion follows necessarily from the premises presented, so that the conclusion cannot be false if the premises are true. Premise: MasterChief is the "icon" of the xbox (and 360 console). Premise: Usually only the most die-hard Microsoft fans use the handle of Masterchief without any negative additions (e.g. "sucks" at the end of the name) Premise: Masterchief725 has the term Masterchief in his handle without any negative additions. Conclusion: Masterchief725 is a fan of the Microsoft platform In detail: As one can conclude that anybody with the term Masterchief in their user name (without negative additions) is a fan of the Microsoft platform one can therefore draw the conclusion that he is a fan of said platform by looking at his user name. Or put otherwise: By looking at his user name on can DEDUCE that he is a fan of the Microsoft platform. The conclusion followed necessarily from the premise as in: He had the term Masterchief in his user name (premise) therefore he is a Microsoft platform fan (conclusion following from the premise) = a deduction based on user name. If he didn't have the term Masterchief in his user name I couldn't have come to the conclusion that he is a fan of the Microsoft platform therefore it was a deduction as the conclusion follows directly from the premise, without the premise I could not have come to the conclusion. I've tried to make the explanation as clear as possible in order to assist with your apparent less than adequate grasp of the English language, hopefully I've put it in terms you can actually understand (although I won't be surprised it if goes straight over your head). So perhaps somebody should stop trying to be an arrogant tosser, go back to school, and actually make sure you know what you are talking about before you try and act all clever (and succeed in doing no more than making a fool of yourself). Thank you, goodbye.

afrantz
afrantz

Deduction - A form of logical reasoning by which, from a given set of facts (premises), certain consequences (conclusions) can be inferred. For example, if I know that on every occasion on which it rains the streets get wet, and that it is raining now, then I can deduce that the streets are now wet. Let's apply this to the situation at hand shall we? If I know that on every occasion that someone's username contains "MasterChief" they are very likely an MS Fanboy, and that MasterChief725 does indeed contain "MasterChief", then I can deduce that MasterChief725 is very likely an MS Fanboy. I am not arguing that the premise is sound, simply that Scythegpd used the word "deduction" appropriately. AdmiralDan, next time let's make sure we know what we are talking about before we call someone an idiot.

AdmiralDan
AdmiralDan

Scythegpd, you cannot make a deduction from simply looking at someone's user name. That would be an induction. You are an idiot.

robot_mad1
robot_mad1

wow you are all really excited about this one aren't you?

Floms
Floms

what about the single player there isnt one

fuzzydoor
fuzzydoor

what du u guys mean there is no single player, as in theres only online playing? wtf

Scythegpd
Scythegpd

DrewBlood08 - You may have misunderstood my comment. I was being sarcastic towards MasterChief725 about the ignorance of his "Sony is running out of inspiration" comment (in fact my whole comment was in a sarcastic "look how clever it is to be a fanboy" tone). Companies use their intellectual properties, that why they buy/create intellectual properties. Yet he seems to think because Sony are using a property that was last used on the PS1 (Warhawk) they are "running out of inspiration"? That comment was ignorant to the extreme and I was sarcastically pointing out how idiotic it really was (e.g. One of the biggest selling franchises is Final Fantasy and we're on how many? What about the endless Mario and Zelda games? MS fans celebrated getting GTA and DMC, both on their fourth iterations). The reason I used PGR and Forza was because he's clearly a 360 fanatic (a deduction I made from his user name) so cleary to point out the ignorance of his anti-Sony comment I used 360 games, it would surely be pointless using Sony games in context of his comment considering it was Sony he made his ignorant comment about?

DrewBlood08
DrewBlood08

@Scythegpd and MasterChief725 I own both PS3 and 360. You both bring up irrelevant points. MasterChief, shadowrun is online only and a great game. Unless you count playing bots by yourself. Then Scythe is talking about how PGR's and Forza's there are, when you should ask how many gran turismos there are? You have a sucessful intellectual property, you milk it for all its worth. I myself am looking forward to Warhawk...

Scythegpd
Scythegpd

Wow MasterChief725, great conclusion, ESPECIALLY considering your user name. Using your logic- Halo3 won't be any good because: 1 - It's single player is not worth playing (at least if H2 is anything to go by) 2 - It's just a remake of an old XB game (already likened to no more that H2 with slightly prettier graphics in many reviews) 3 - MS is running out of inspiration (H3 is already the 3rd game in 6 years with a 4th coming. How many PGR's and Forza's are we on already? And how many big games are non-shooters? Halo? Gears? Bioshock? Oops) Not to mention online only games often do very well *cough*counterstrike*cough*socom*cough*unreal*cough*WoW*cough* Sorry MS fanboys Hey, I LIKE using your logic, it's great not having to think, I never realised it was so much fun not having to use my brain, in keeping with my current epiphany I think I'm going ot rush out and buy a 360 now ... I just hope it lasts until H3 is released :(

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

warhawk will not be any good. It has no single player, and it is just a remake of an old PS1 game. Sony is running out of inspiration. Sorry Sony fanboys.

hitman1988
hitman1988

Im getting this even if it turns out to be not that good...im just so excited

gamenux
gamenux

Yup, having drones to protect your zones would be cool. Also they should add some anti-aerial guns, anti-aerial cannons, anti-aircraft missle and some radar installations all just to protect your zone when you are not there. You can even use it to lure your rivals into your air defense system.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

WOW. I really want this game and I'm gonna get it. this game is going to be so cool.

bombfanatic
bombfanatic

the first console only MMO game I'll get it eventualy

fartys
fartys

I WANT IT! This games looks amazing especially since i havent really played more than 1 flying game in my life, when is it released though havent heard anything! didnt know this was a download thought it was a full game! lol

kevy619
kevy619

could this be the first non-crappy sony made shooter?

Djmaster214
Djmaster214

lol burge999 your such a damn lyer ther is no single player therefore how can you be playing it?

haesuse
haesuse

very glad that beta is the full game and i can tell you its very nice. Game looks good, plays smooth, its pretty much pick up and go as the learning curve is more than leanient. Can't wait to get the live version!

heyheydoh
heyheydoh

Yeaaaa, there is no Single-player.....

burge999
burge999

Im playing the beta atm and this game is amazing!!!!!!!! the single player is great and i haven't tryed online multiplayer but i expect that to be great too. Xbox gamertag: burge999 Ps3 gamertag: burge999 Wii friend code: too long to remember message me if you want it

bihboy69
bihboy69

ahaha i got the beta YEAH!!!!!!!!

surppo
surppo

they should have friendly ai bots in zone mode that protect your zones and keeps the action hectic and makes the zones more dangerous

justincoool
justincoool

The blu ray version comes with a bluetooth headset....nice!

trigun0006
trigun0006

cant wait, as a huge online game fan, (battlefield, counter-strike,ect...) and warhawk looks to be fun. I signed up for the beta, but havnt gotten a reply.

Pablo620
Pablo620

Cant wait for this game...missed the beta sign up though. Oh well back to oblivion

seamusb
seamusb

coolasj19 - "no one will rework a game just cause one person doesnt like it. now if half the people dont like it it WILL be reworked" I never meant to imply that they would hold things up on account of just ONE person, I don't know where you got this idea from. Unless I've given you the impression that I'm not happy with it, because I am looking forward to this, see :) smiles all round. I just don't want anything to hold this game up any longer then it should so we can all have some good fun. :)

rocky2k32000
rocky2k32000

LOL! this is what a BETA should look like bungie! anyone still claiming HALO 3 is gonna own all others now? hehehe. all the same this game is gonna make a huge difference for the ps3!

rahstar
rahstar

I thought Beta's are set up before a games completion to get feed back to fix things up before they move along and finish it all. By using a near finished game they might meet unexpected problems, like what happens if players totally hate a central piece of the game, ground combat for example. They might delay the final release a long time in order to rework it. (But perhaps I'm only being paranoid.) True i dont know about you but i will take that delay if it will make it a better experience for me. I truely wish all develpers did this cause i hate to see a promissing game turn out to be crap. If motorstorm did it im sure there would have been a two player mode!

wdave92
wdave92

im signing 4 the beta now

coolasj19
coolasj19

Seamusb I thought Beta's are set up before a games completion to get feed back to fix things up before they move along and finish it all. By using a near finished game they might meet unexpected problems, like what happens if players totally hate a central piece of the game, ground combat for example. They might delay the final release a long time in order to rework it. (But perhaps I'm only being paranoid.) no one will rework a game just cause one person doesnt like it. now if half the people dont like it it WILL be reworked

seamusb
seamusb

I thought Beta's are set up before a games completion to get feed back to fix things up before they move along and finish it all. By using a near finished game they might meet unexpected problems, like what happens if players totally hate a central piece of the game, ground combat for example. They might delay the final release a long time in order to rework it. (But perhaps I'm only being paranoid.)

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

Warhawk looks jaw-droppingly beautiful.

wildsnipe
wildsnipe

Don't know if they mentioned it but the graphics got a lot sharper as well as detailed. Nades and snipers were also tweaked as well as lock on missiles

TOTAL_DEFENSE_0
TOTAL_DEFENSE_0

OMG! cant wait for this game. i went and signed up for the beta immediately. i seriously hope i get in

taki_
taki_

Loooks awesome can't wait till 7 days from now thats when the beta is going to be released says ign they are so much faster and organized than gamespot but yes the game is going to be fast and action packd

AfHb21
AfHb21

first off this game looks fantastic. I think the decision to go multiplayer was a really good idea and ever since i heard about this game and sixaxis i've been really excited. I signed up for the beta this morning and i'll be ready to play it on the 24th........YES!!!!!!

dream431ca
dream431ca

I really hope this game delivers

jacky531
jacky531

It sounds better then what halo 3 has in it's beta anf atleast you'll get everything in this game

Ronin_87
Ronin_87

Another one I'm looking forward to. Hopefully they bring the beta to Europe.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

The game is looking great. What impresses me more is that they are releasing a beta for the game. Very few games do that.

plavo
plavo

Wow. Seems like a very, very cool game. I hope the developers have some kind of incentive for ground-based combat, so people aren't clamoring for the jets. I'm definately going to buy this game.

steven141
steven141

This is definately one of the games i will buy, sounds awesome.