Head in the Clouds: 10 Questions about Starhawk [Preview]

By Rich Shivener in Previews/Impressions
Monday, December 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Starhawk is a lawless frontier, or something like that.
The expansive third-person shooter Starhawk lands on the PS3 scene in mid-2012, but its multiplayer mode is heating up in a private beta.  As of today, the beta has team-based Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch, centering on conflicts between Rifters and Outcasts, or spacemen and aliens, respectively. Developed by LightBox Interactive, it has a motif similar to its predecessor, Warhawk, and to this gamer, it takes cues from SOCOM 4. The gameplay, however, is out of this world - in more than one way.

Because I'm talking beta here, I'm going to limit the rest of my comments to questions for any players and developers.

Multiplayer mode centers on a "Build and Battle" system, in that your team builds and deploys such items as vehicles, walls and turrets. How important is it to have strict builders and battlers? I got the impression that all teammates do a mix of both.

As of today, the beta has two maps: Acid Sea and Space. both of which are very large.  Which map is more conducive to team-based battles?

How would you describe the ground troops' armor? When I played, my troops could take a lot of fire, even surviving a beam turret blast and several rounds of bullets. They could not, however, survive a sniper's bullet.

Also as of today, multiplayer is limited to 16 players, or 8 a side. How much more chaotic will battles be when multiplayer allows 16 a side?

Whenever you respawn, you arrive in a pod deployed from the sky. Can you kill an enemy by landing on them with your pod? Secondly, can you blow up a pod before it hits the ground?

Players have access to jetpacks, Razorbacks (armored jeeps, really) and a Hawk, or a flying mech. Why is the Hawk so badass?

 Speaking of the Hawk, does it have brakes? I couldn't find it. I found the boost, though.

What's the most effective way to take down a Hawk? I used a rocket launcher and a beam turret, which might be the most powerful weapon of the game.

Would you say Capture the Flag is more about defense or offense? The 16-player mode, in my experience, often resulted in draws, perhaps because neither team could penetrate enemy lines. Everyone was just too awesome.

What sort of badassery in the game have I missed?

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