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Karby P

Starhawk: death from above

Posted by: Karby P // Guest blogger

Category: Games > PS3

Region: SG , MY , TH , ID , VN , PH



One of the coolest things you can do in Starhawk, LightBox Interactive and SCE Santa Monica Studio's third-person shooter, is to crush an enemy tank by calling for a heavy structure - mobile barracks, giant steel wall, etc - to be dropped right on top of it.


As you might expect, this flattens the tank like a pancake, destroying it in one fell swoop.


Or - as I like to say - the tank's been turned into "roti prata", which is a delicious Indian pancake that's served with a hot plate of curry at many coffee shops across Singapore (where I live) and Malaysia.


Why go with a roti prata metaphor when the simple pancake one would suffice?


So that when I inevitably pull off the variant to this maneuver - crushing an enemy tank not by dropping a heavy structure, but by landing on it in a drop-pod - it'd make sense to say that "revenge is a dish best served with hot curry."


Every time you die and respawn in Starhawk, you're inserted back into the battlefield via a drop-pod from outer space.


As you enter the planet's stratosphere, you can steer the drop-pod and, with good aim, crush the enemies who killed you with it.


Those are just two of the many ways you and your clan buddies can dispatch enemies with when the game comes out on May 8. There's plenty of reason to be excited about Starhawk, if you're a fan of team-based shooters.


(Even if you're not, LightBox Interactive is promising a solid single-player campaign that won't simply serve as a series of tutorials for the multiplayer component).


Please watch the overview trailer of STARHAWK,



In the futuristic universe of Starhawk, mankind has entered the space-faring age, colonising numerous planets across the galaxy and discovering on them the existence of a valuable vapour-like resource they call "rift energy".


Though valuable, rift energy is extremely dangerous. Too much unprotected exposure to it turns human beings into Outcasts - a breed of mutants who do not want to see rift energy harvested.


These two factions - Rift harvesters ("Rifters") and Outcasts - now fight over the alien source of energy, going after each other's throats with an assortment of weapons and advanced machinery.


Think "Wild West in space". Except instead of riding on horseback, these cowboys mount Sidewinder jet bikes.


Other vehicular options include the two-man Razorback combat jeep, Vulture jet pack, and the Ox heavy tank.


Then there are Hawks, which rightfully belong to a class all of their own: these high-speed fighter jets can transform into a bi-pedal mech when they need to engage in ground-based combat, similar to the Valkyrie Fighters in Macross (Japanese anime).


And unlike in most other shooters, you won't need to share vehicles with your team mates, or make a scramble for the nearest one the moment you start the game. If you want to fly a Hawk, all you have to do is call for one through a Build & Battle menu, accessible by hitting the Triangle button.


Build & Battle lets you call in vehicles and an assortment of battle structures - barracks that provide you with weapons and ammo, walls to keep vehicles out - at the cost of rift energy. You build up rift energy as long as you stay within your team's headquarters.


This gives Starhawk a unique gameplay element that hasn't really been seen very much in other team-based shooters. At the beginning of a match, you'd ideally want to coordinate your plan of attack with the rest of your team, and build the right structures accordingly.


You could just storm off on your own, sure, and many snipers do in fact go at it like lone wolves, calling in a Vulture jet pack or a Hawk so that they may fly off to a cordoned area of the map with a good view on the action.


But if you choose to coordinate with your team, you could pull off stunts like storming into the opposing team's base with an entire armament of Razorback jeeps, or constructing a trap for your enemies to walk into.


The great thing about Build & Battle is that you can use it even while you're in a vehicle. So, if your team wanted to, you could send a squadron of Hawks into the enemy base, drop off a bunch of Beam Turrets - sentries that automatically target enemy vehicles - to stall them while you build up even more rift for your next phase of attack.


A number of proven tactics has already emerged from the multiplayer beta tests for Starhawk held late last year and earlier this year. That said, the game has since been tweaked for better balance, so we'll see yet as to what works in the final version.


Regardless, on Starhawk's launch day my multiplayer shooter buddies and I will be competing to see who among us can make the most roti pratas in a match - even if it isn't really much of a viable tactic.


So if you'll be picking up Starhawk on day one - and trust me, this is one multiplayer experience you won't want to miss out on - make sure to check the skies every now and then.


Who knows? You might just spot me swooping around in a Hawk, dropping off walls and other structures at random, trying to turn other players - and you, if you happen to be in the opposing team - into a delicious Indian pancake.


And really now, how could you say no to (being turned into) such a tasty treat?


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