WarHawk: Operation Fallen Star Review - 24/09/2008

A year on, and does one expansion pack still drive the game forward in popularity?


WarHawk is now considered one of the PS3’s sole exclusives. It started in 2005 when Incognito gained the rights to a remake of a PSone launch title and wanted to develop its idea further. It was then released in August of 2007 and received critical acclaim as a multiplayer-only giant in the PS3’s Summer Drought Season. We are now in 2008, and since have seen 3 additional content packs to enhance the game play of this MMO. Each released within about 3 months of each other. The third expansion of these is the brand new Operation Fallen Star, which adds an Icarus MK. 1 Rocket Pack (Kick-Ass Jetpack), 30 layouts for older maps to allow jet packs to fly in and a new map to lay death to your foes in (called Tau Crater).

First of all, the new map. Tau Crater is set in a Eucadian Forest and a Chernovan Air-Tanker that was shipping weapons and equipment to military forces has crashed right in the middle. Each side is to claim the goods, which creates the perfect scene for fodder and mayhem! The new map is relatively small when compared to previous arenas, but makes up for it in height! The actual wreckage in the centre of burned down woodland stands well above anything else seen in the game, and best of all is that you can take a WarHawk, Nemesis or a new jetpack and zoom straight up there for a great sniping/binocular - air strike vantage point. The whole map has a general warm, musty feeling and an orange vibe from it, which is fitting as the sunset in the background lights the area superbly. It really shows off the potential of the game, and it experiments with different lighting techniques, such as the visible reflections of the sky in the cool waters. It all sounds like a nice place to take a walk, but believe me, you won’t be seeing much of it as you drive, fly, run, fall or jump around at high speeds whilst at least one enemy uses your face as a target for a heat-seeking rocket launcher!

Jetpacks are the main addition in this expansion.


Now we come to the actual jetpack itself. There is a very balanced mix of things in WarHawk. For instance, the knife is instant kill, but you have to be really close to slice someone. The flamethrower works in almost the same way, but can be used at a longer range, with less effect. The jetpack uses this balancing system rather well, but many others believe otherwise. To obtain a jetpack, you simply move to a placed steam-powered tanker, which creates jetpacks constantly throughout the game and press square. If one isn’t available, it takes around 10 seconds to make another one, which is handy when wanting to get away in a hurry. Holding R2 + any direction with the L stick will propel you in that direction, without applying any direction, you’ll just fly upwards. If you double tap R2 and any direction you will blast in that direction at the same speed as a fully accelerated jeep and release chaff, thus breaking any lock-on’s from nearby rockets. Pressing L2 will allow you to hover, and adding a direction to that will make you move, but at the same height that you were when you pressed L2. This is perfect for following and attacking foes that are helpless below you. Be wary, though, as when you fall you’ll need to put a little propulsion on the jetpack to slowly edge away the speed of your movement as you sail towards the ground, or you’ll splatter against the ground like a suicidal base-jumper!

Overall, the jetpack is well balanced, with rocket launchers being the only missile types to be able to lock onto it, and there being plenty so you aren’t the only person swooping above the hard grounds. They also offer no protection from weapons, so don’t expect to be invincible up there. Unfortunately, the only problem is that in levels where jetpacks are enabled, everybody uses them, this makes jeeps and tanks relatively useless, even in capture the flag and collection game modes. Good news if you hated being attacked by a convoy of beserking tanks, bad news if you liked to sit back at the tank’s main cannon, unleash hell and watch the fireworks. The better news, though, is that there is the option of going to a level with jetpacks or not, so if you’re not a fan of the new expansion, you can always opt out for a slightly more ‘classic’ match with the Dropship or the Ground Supporter. Which leads me to my last point; you can’t use multiple packs in the same game. What I mean is that you can’t create a match with the Dropship and another vehicle, such as the jetpack, it has to be or the other. Although it may unbalance the game play, it would still be great for those games that need that little extra ‘oomph’.

The new level adds some variety to the selection of maps available.


So, whilst the jetpack is the first personal vehicle, it makes a welcomed addition to the front lines of the WarHawk troopers. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but at only 3.99 (and 7.99 with the other 2 packs!) it’s definitely worth a shot, even it’s just for those 4 trophies that can only be obtained in the Tau Crater and jetpack enabled maps!

- Sam Foster

   

Jetpacks Make A Great Addition To The Current Roster.

 
   

Still Contains The Superb Balanced Game Play.

 
   
New Map Showcases The Jetpack Well.
 
   

Twophees!!!!11!!2!1

 
   

Less Fun For Tank Players.

 

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8.1

Another great addition to the PlayStation 3's premier online experience.

   
     

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