Starhawk Review: Build It Your Way
Starhawk is a third person shooter available exclusively on the PlayStation 3. It features a campaign mode that can be played both single player and cooperatively, though the real battle begins in the online arena. Online features multiple gameplay modes and can be played with up to 32 players in a massive online multiplayer experience.
Starhawk certainly brings a unique feature to its gameplay. That’s the ability to build and battle on the playing field. Whether you are playing online or in a single player campaign, building structures is not only important to the game, but it is the game. There are many different types of structures you can build. For example, there are walls, turrets, launch pads and sniper towers which are just half of what you are able to create. Let me tell you, it is both fun and interesting when it comes to this ability. You can’t just call in structures at will; you need to collect an energy source first called rift energy. When you are playing campaign, the storyline dictates when and how you should call in most of the structures. Though, it doesn’t mean you can’t lay down a few gun turrets here and there to help you out, it does mean you are playing into the story and how the situation goes. When it comes to online multiplayer, this is when it becomes a unique strategy to build your battlefield just the way you like it.
Online multiplayer is what this game is all about, it’s that massive online battlefield that you can run, drive and fly your way through the different vehicles that are available. Playing modes such as capture the flag and zones are wonderful strategic game modes where you will want to build the perfect plan with your teammates in regard to defenses and how to best set up your base or multiple bases. If you are playing with friends it can be a very enjoyable experience to play this game online with them. Teamwork is always an important factor when playing online shooters, but this game takes it to another level. It brings up discussions on who is going to build what and where you are going to build it. Now, even if you set up a good defense, it can still be fairly easy for an enemy to make his way into the base and take out a few key components. I wish that the turrets where a little more effective though I do understand that they can’t be too powerful, otherwise no progression would ever be made. It’s just to often that I see my gun turrets taken out by a single guy who walks up to them and destroys them.
Other than a few complaints the build and battle is a great feature that a lot of people will enjoy. This factors in even more when it comes to building your ground vehicles and hawks. Get enough rift energy and you can set up multiple platforms to launch these vehicles from. I really enjoyed this aspect of the game and found it to be a fun and entertaining feature. Plus, when it comes time for a structure to be built, it’s fun to try and get it to land on the enemy.
Unfortunately for me I was not the biggest fan of the gameplay. The overall character movements are too loose, which means that you can dance your way to an enemy and knife him. There are just too many of those moments which are really disappointing. I got mad when it happened to me, but soon after I found myself in the same situation, so I just danced and moved my character every which-way and kept tapping the knife button until I got him. (Pathetic) The character movements can be very annoying in this game and it’s probably my biggest complaint. You have similar situations where gun battles just aren’t as fun because of these movements. What it comes down to is that you basically want to hit your enemy with one or two bullets and then hope it is enough to then depend on the grenade to do the rest of the job. That’s not always the situation, but you will find yourself in odd situations. This is definitely not the best shooter out there when it comes to straight up using your guns nor does it look or feel like a good shooter.
To get away from multiplayer, the campaign mode does a much better job when it comes to the shooting and overall performance. It features a average story, but it does not have the best presentation at all and unfortunately it lacks intrigue and interest. You play the role of a hired gunslinger known as Emmett Graves who does come across fairly well as a decent character for the game. The art that it uses to tell the story wasn’t my favorite for this type of game. It’s not bad by any means; I was just expecting a little bit more. The levels are fairly good length, though sometimes I just wanted them to end. They also became repetitive at times and started to weigh on me a bit at which time I needed to take a break from it before I could go on. I must say that I did enjoy the mission in space flying the hawk. Overall, it’s not the best campaign ever but it does have its moments. Plus, if you and a friend need a break from online multiplayer you have the co-op campaign mode that you can go through together.
My initial reaction as I dove into Starhawk was not the greatest and it didn’t get much better. It was a campaign that was lacking in many ways, but like the rest of the game, it has it’s moments. The main focus of this game is its online multiplayer and there were moments that I enjoyed it, but sadly they were few and far between. Now, this is definitely a game that can get people hooked. It has plenty of features including the lovely build feature, plus for those who like to fly, the hawks are a ton of fun. Plus, it’s also fun to land them which gives you the opportunity to walk around and attack enemies that way and even kick them. Starhawk delivers many unique moments that people will enjoy, but my final impression is that it doesn’t have the best gameplay in the end. I want a more pure and natural control that feels better than what I experienced from this game.