SCE Santa Monica Studio
|Publisher||Sony Computer Entertainment|
|Release Dates||NA May 8, 2012|
JP May 10, 2012
PAL May 11, 2012
Starhawk is a third-person shooter game developed by LightBox Interactive and SCE Santa Monica Studio. It is the spiritual successor to Warhawk.
The gameplay and pacing in Starhawk is similar to Warhawk. Players engage in large-scale battle using an array of weapons and vehicles. The most notable change made is the addition of the Build & Battle system, which empowers players with the ability to call down bunkers, walls, and other structures in real-time, adding a strategic element to the game.
For an overview of multiplayer, read Intro To Multiplayer
Starhawk takes place on the fictional Frontier of space, where groups of humans called Rifters partake in a futuristic "gold rush", searching for and mining a highly lucrative and dangerous resource known as Rift Energy. However, Rift energy has the power to mutate exposed humans into the Outcast. The Outcast worship the Rift and fight to protect it from the Rifters' expansion, providing the central conflict in the Starhawk universe.
The Campaign follows Emmett Graves, a hired gun who was partially exposed to Rift energy, making him half Outcast. His brother, Logan Graves, was fully exposed to it, tearing the two brothers apart. Emmett works with "gear-man" Sidney Cutter to save mining sites from attack and help struggling towns mine enough Rift to fill their quotas.
- ***Spoilers Follow***
Emmett is invited by Mayor Jonas Clayton to White Sands, the hometown he abandoned years ago, to help complete their Rift quota. Upon his return, he is plagued by the past and cannot let go of the happy memories he had with Logan and Tilley Anderson, Logan's wife. Regardless, he sets off to begin his work with the assistance of the distrustful Sheriff, Tracey Howell.
Emmett discovers that the Outcast have become more coordinated under the the leadership of Emmett's brother, Logan. Emmett continues undeterred, and he manages to complete the quota. However, the Outcast stage a raid on the tug carrying the quota, and in the the resulting battle, the tug is lost.
Jonas attempts to avenge the loss of the tug at an Outcast base on Scourge, but he fails. Logan confronts him and reveals his plans to destroy White Sands. Emmett rescues Jonas and the two head back to White Sands in an attempt to stop the attack. They arrive too late, and Tracey and Jonas die in the battle. Tilley comforts Emmett, and he vows to defeat Logan once and for all.
Emmett makes a final confrontation with Logan on Sever. Upon Logan's defeat, Emmett finally lets go of his past and realizes that the Rift connects everyone.
In March 2009, Kotaku received a rumour stating that a Warhawk sequel was in development by the newly-created LightBox Interactive. Dylan Jobe, Warhawk game director and president of LightBox Interactive, would not confirm the rumor, but told Kotaku, "It's way too early to comment on anything but I can say that we have some really exciting stuff in development that our Warhawk fans *and* new players will love." In April 2009, Sony trademarked the name "Starhawk", giving further credence to the rumor.
In February 2011, Dylan Jobe hinted that the studio was nearly ready to reveal its secret project. In May 2011, he tweeted: "The wait is over next Friday," the same day US TV show G4TV planned to reveal a "Sony surprise".
On May 13, 2011, Sony officially announced the game as Starhawk. It was revealed that the title was being developed by LightBox Interactive in partnership with SCE Santa Monica studio and would feature the same third-person shooter experience from Warhawk in a variety of new space settings.
Private and Public Beta
- More Information: Intro To Private Beta
The Public Beta began January 17, which steadily invited more players outside of Warhawk. PlayStation Plus subscribers were given early access, and Beta keys were distributed through copies of Uncharted 3, Facebook, and IGN. On February 21, everyone was given access to the Public Beta. The Public Beta went offline March 27.
Reception to the game has been generally positive, with a score of 77 on Metacritic. Starhawk was praised for its multiplayer component, which is being considered by some publications the best on the PS3 system. However, it has been criticized for its shallow single player campaign and bland characters.
Starhawk was named "Best Multiplayer of E3 2011" by G4 in Pre-Release and it also received an Editor's Choice Award from IGN.
DLC (Downloadable Content)
Starhawk has had several pieces of promotional DLC released. Paid DLC is planned, but has not been revealed yet. LightBox also plans to release free map packs to keep the community together. Cypress, the first of these free map packs, will be released with Patch 1.03.
The following table is a list of Starhawk DLC that has been released so far.
|Sweet Tooth Outcast Skin||Customization parts. Acquired w/ Twisted Metal Limited Edition voucher|
|Rift Hunter Skin||Customization parts. Acquired w/ Facebook voucher|
|Echo Scrapyard Rifter Pack||Extra Homeworld and customization parts. Found in Exclusive Collector's Edition.|
|Maw of Despair Outcast Pack||Extra Prospector map and customization parts. Found in Exclusive Collector's Edition.|
|Hand of the Founder||Customization part. Given to participants in Starhawk Beta.|
|Warhawk Vehicle Skins||Vehicle paint schemes. Given to Warhawk players.|
|Grizzly Armor||Giant armor with a laser cannon, downloadable at playstation store (at extra costs).|
|Pod launcher||New structure which lets you shoot a new drop pod at any location on the map, downloadable at playstation store (at extra costs).|