Recently Santa Monica Studios and LightBox Interactive launched the StarHawk Private Beta and after getting a code from GameSpot, I decided to try it out.
My initial reaction can be summed up in one word, AMAZING. Over the last couple of weeks we have put up an UrgentFury.com Server/Lobby, yes I said lobby, in which some epic battles have been witnessed on several occasions. I have no clue how many hours I have logged so far, but three to four hours at a time, you will find me in an endless battle on StarHawk.
In the beginning I was a total noob trying out the different buildings, driving the Razorback like a beast and flying the hawk like a two year old crashing dad’s car. Little by little I got the feel for the rifle that requires you to shoot in bursts if you want accuracy. Who would have ever thought that Spray and Pray would not work in a shooter, hehe.
Next up, I mastered the sniper rifle with a laser from Weird Science. That thing is true to any laser, no matter how far away, you are going to get that red dot and “Boom HeadShot!” Now once you put a supply bunker down, you are now truly prepared to battle with a Rocket Launcher and a Shotty. These are essential if you want to make it more than a couple of minutes against the Hawk attacks and Razorback assaults. Get a couple of rockets into the Razorback and boom. And if the driver is crazy enough to jump ship then bust a few buckshots in them and down they will go.
So let’s talk about the modes, Team Death Match and Capture the Flag… Initially the beta only launched with CTF which forced players to traverse the maps to capture the flag to win. In Acid Sea the flags are located on top of a structure and this became a wall building extravaganza. It did not take long to learn if placed correctly you only had to build three walls on each side encasing the ladders. But even that is not full proof, all you have to do is wisely park a Razorback next to a corner and jump over.
The true trick to CTF is to do a quick grab as soon as the match launches, unless the team is well prepared you can run in and snag a flag with the Razorback within thirty seconds gaining the lead.
Now in Space, the flag is sitting on the deck and if you build three or four walls you can trap the flag, just make sure you build the walls with the ladders facing out. If you do it this way, once the play gets the flag they are stuck unless they are in a hawk. The hawk is able to jump over the wall. Of course it does not take much to blow up a hawk when it is on the ground, so you better have a backup plan ready.
Team Death Match is a well-known mode to all gamers alike and StarHawk is no different until you factor in that you have Hawks rivaled by Beam Turrets, Snipers in Towers behind a Force Field and players owning their area from a Supply Bunker.
TDM can become chaotic very quickly with a little team work. I have seen a team immediately take hold of the center of both maps with a Spawn Beacon, Supply Bunker and Force Field. And unless you are downright crazy, you are lucky to ever recapture the center. But the true key is to take the left or right areas on both maps. This gives you access to rift barrels for easy fortification.
Adding the Build and Battle element makes StarHawk an ever evolving game. You never know what you may be up against when you get to the enemy base.
We can only commend the community support we are seeing from the gang over at Santa Monica Studios and LightBox Interactive. They are truely responsive to bugs, suggestions and complaints. Updates roll out quickly, even within hours as was the case just this week. Keep up the Great work fellas!!!
Overall we give StarHawk’s private beta 5 Fists of Fury out of 5!!! The private beta has been extended through January 3rd so forget the family. Lock your doors and man up. Get that rift and build your foothold. StarHawk is going to be an Epic win for PlayStation in 2012, and you can bet that a Tournament or two will be announced by Urgent Fury.
Watch for the UrgentFury.com server and jump in, we always set it to All Mic and Randomized Teams making for some great times, see you on the battle field.