Starhawk PSN Review
Thought this Starhawk PSN review was going to be all jets, space and lasers? Think again – Starhawk’s diamond-strong multiplayer skeleton holds together some seriously varied shooter muscle. Take Rift energy for example; in the sci-fi universe of Starhawk, steaming gouts of it course through planetary crust, it forces its way inside human veins like a luminescent disease, plus laser a man and it spills out like gobs of neon blood.
It’s also pulsing through the anatomy of Starhawk’s leading man, Emmett Graves, who – thanks to some clever scientific tweakery – doesn’t suffer a fatal reaction; instead he just looks bastard hard. ‘Back up a minute,’ comes the bemused cry from fans of predecessor Warhawk; ‘a leading man?’
Yep, although its roots are still firmly entrenched in fertile multiplayer soil, Starhawk comes packing a hefty single-player campaign that provides a tactile, varied training ground for the online main event.
That aforementioned Rift energy is the lifeblood of both plot and gameplay. Bands of Rift-infested scavengers called Scabs (your main source of cannon fodder) are desperate to get their hands on the stuff, but it also forms one prong of Starhawk’s finely-honed gameplay trident – Build ’n’ Battle.
Harvest enough Rift and you can summon various structures from a simple radial menu. These vary in size and degrees of coolness from simple walls – ideal for shoring up your defense or protecting key areas – to supply bunkers loaded with rockets or – my favourite – ruddy great force-field generators that melt incoming fire into an impotent fizzle.
It feels RTS-like – just with the boring bits ripped out and electrifying gun battles stuffed in their place. Knocking up structures takes seconds, allowing you to react organically to strategic shifts in battle, plus if you change your mind, you can tear down anything you’ve built for an instant Rift energy refund.