Warhawk: Operation Fallen Star (PS3)


Around a year ago a wonderful multiplayer game called Warhawk was released on the Playstation 3, this global warfare experience allowed players from around the globe to blow each other to pieces in a variety of different ways. It was a huge success and today we are taking a look at the third booster pack called Operation: Fallen Star.

Fallen Star is set in a new location and has new technology for players to master. With the addition of the new rocket pack soldiers now have the ability to become airborne bringing a new definition to the term "head shot".

This Icarus Mk. 1 Rocket Pack provides the men with massive new levels of manoeuvrability. To gain altitude you can press the R2 button or if you want to remain at a specific height you simply pull the L2 button. Double tapping the R2 trigger engages the afterburners on the Icarus pack and performs a boost in a certain direction. You can combine this boost with the left analog stick to perform an effective dodge or even a charge towards an enemy soldier. This kind of motion can be particularly damaging if you equip your unit with a knife and attack quickly from an aerial position. It is true, this kind of attack sounds as if it would be game ruining in its simplicity, however cleverly the game developers have added a heat signature to the rocket pack which means if anyone nearby is armed with a missile launcher then it quickly becomes a risky and quite often messy move.

This balances out the use of the rocket pack a little, and although the joys of using it are never destroyed, sometimes you need to be careful when you take to the air as you can easily end up cannon fodder. The pack means you can hover at any height and use the added altitude to strafe or snipe at targets below, the speed with which you can move is also high and you can actually keep up with many of the vehicles for short periods of time.

The sensation of moving around the battlefield with the rocket pack and the glorious high definition graphics on full display can be quite breathtaking at times. Additionally the options to scale cliffs and towers with ease means that other soldiers cannot merely hide behind a rock and expect to be ignored from height.

The developers deserve special credit because not only does the Rocket Pack work as a standalone utility to move around the map quickly but you can also eject from an exploding vehicle at the last minute to stay alive. The dimension this adds to the Capture the Flag or Hero modes is hard to nail in words, you simply need to try it to see what I am talking about.

As always there is a downside to the new technology in battle, many of the game servers have dropped the old content such as APCs or the dropships. It makes sense however as you can’t play with multiple vehicles or gear type because the game play mechanic becomes massively unbalanced. You can’t obviously have a dropship equipped with soldiers and a plethora of rocket packs because the game could end up a mass of flying units and chaotic in nature. For the last week I have been playing this online and I have yet to stumble upon a server hosting the older content however I noticed a few of them which were altered to take advantage of the new rocket pack feature.

Fallen star offers 30 maps which support rocket packs at specific locations and as well as this the newest Tau Crater island landscape is constructed around the ruined form of a capital ship. This appears to be a massively popular map online and thankfully so … it is varied in nature and fun by design. Platforms and many bridges immerse from the wreckage of this vessel and they make wonderful areas for some exciting combat tactics. You can run through the nearby forest to engage in one on one combat and it is quite striking to see various deformities around the landscape which were caused as the vessel crashlanded on the planet, trees for example are burned and bowed to the sides. To further enhance this level there are 10 possible configurations of Tau Crater which will keep even the most demanding of gamers sated for considerable time.

Overall Fallen Star is a successful addition to the ever popular PS3 online experience, the rocket pack adds a fourth dimension to the game play and it is extremely satisfying to land a sneak attack from behind on an unsuspecting unit. The options to escape from parts of the map or vehicles (which are exploding) are also a welcome feature. If you already like Warhawk then this is certainly a good way to spend your money. If you are new to online gaming and have a Playstation 3, then I would recommend you give this a go. It is a lot of fun.

Gameplay

84/100

The Rocket Pack adds a plethora of combat options to each situation.

Graphics
82/100

They are nice but they could do with a slight overhaul, hopefully this happens in the next release.

Sound
78/100

Nothing to write home about, but effective enough not to notice it.

Value
85/100
A lot of long term playability online if this is your thing.
Overall
(not an average)
83/100

Addictive and a good way to unwind after a stressful day.

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