Platform: PlayStation 3 - Release Date: May 8, 2012
As the human race has been exploring the vast reaches of the Galaxy for the past century, colonies have discovered natural resources to keep their civilization intact. These natural deposits are called Rift Energy, in which town grids, vehicles, and other equipment colonists use on a daily basis. The energy, however, has led to serious side effects on miners when exposed to its radiation- the energy not only mutilates their bodies, it transforms their minds into a collective will with other fellow victims. The madness brings the mutants, now deemed the Outcast, to violence against those who seek to use Rift Energy, which eventually brings these bands of Outcasts to raze towns and mines on various star systems..
As the mining communities are under attack, mercenary groups form to reduce the threat; these Rifters are hired by mining corporations to meet the Outcasts head-on in battle.
Emmett Graves, the protagonist in this tale, received a fair dose of mutation from exposure to Rift Energy years before as he and his brother had been assaulted; his brother was killed, while he was found barely alive by his now dropship operator, Cutter. He and Cutter decide to take on a job on his homeworld of Dust to ensure the colony gets out a shipment of Rift Energy.
The most notable component in this game is the feature which allows you to create the battlefield as you see fit. The Build and Battle ability is available in both singleplayer and multiplayer, and can be performed whether on the ground or in vehicles. Players can hold down the Triangle button to bring up the circular menu, highlight the object that they want to have built, then move the 'blueprints' for their object before confirming the placement with the X button.
Each object that can be created from the Build and Battle menu has a different value of Rift Energy required to build it. Players can gain Rift Energy by defending faction territory, killing an enemy player (kills against players in vehicles nets you more energy,) and completing mission objectives.
There are various objects that can be built from the menu. Walls and other structures are low in energy cost and can be helpful in building a home base or outpost. Weapons in Supply Bunkers or Watchtowers are available to provide additional opportunities to win a gun fight. Jetpack dispensers can be provided to players to gain an aerial advantage over enemy ground troops, or as a means of escape from a Hawk should the plane receive heavy damage. Garages can also be used for a larger variety of vehicles (compared to the predecessor, Warhawk:) Jetbikes, Razorbacks, Ox Tanks, and Hawks. Finally, both automated and manned turrets can be built to fend off enemy ground troops or aerial aircraft.
Multiplayer - Promoting Creativity to Win
As Warhawk has been reknown for its gameplay, Starhawk retained the rock-paper-scissors approach while building on top of the formula with the Build and Battle system. Players are now fully responsible for building defensive and offensive positions, and will decide which vehicles the team will use on their campaign for enemy territory. There are exceptions in some game modes, like Dogfight (Air Deathmatch) and Arena (Ground Deathmatch,) where Build and Battle is disabled or works in a manner of procedural generation.
Clan support has been implemented directly into the game. Players will be able to create their own groups, find and schedule matches against other clans. Another implementation is a calendar that allows groups to coordinate matches in-game.
Prospector - Fending off Outcast with Friends
Players will be able to face off against waves of Outcast bands to hone their abilities outside of the competitive field. While this mode is planned as a cooperative mode for up to four players (two players can be in splitscreen) to fend off the enemies, players can also go solo. The Rifters must defeat six waves of Outcast bands - each wave will come out with a randomly determined set of fighters. Coupled with the Rifters needing to defend their equipment, players will be in for a fight.