Twisting and turning in the deadly skies.
Preview by James Cunningham (Email)
May 13th 2006
The second Warhawk in a decade is being shown at E3 this year, and it's looking pretty sharp. Showing off what the PS3 can do, it features a large environment with lots of enemies flying through it, rendered in high detail and running at a solid framerate. It's hard to go wrong with flying and shooting, and the Warhawk demo looks like it's got the bases covered.
What sets this game apart from any other of its kind, of course, is in the way it uses the wobble feature in Sony's controller. Twisting and turning the the controller is reflected onscreen, and the analog sticks are completely ignored in its favor. I actually had a good time with this method, finding it responsive and accurate. Flying through tunnels bored in the mountainside was easy, and the open-sky aerial dogfighting ran smoothly as well.
The only problem is that it doesn't feel necessary. It's a nice alternative to the standard analog control, but it just comes across as being different for the sake of being different. Twisting the controller didn't feel any more responsive or instinctual than using the analog sticks, although that might be years of experience with the standard setup talking there. On the plus side, knowing that the Warhawk plane would precisely mimic the movements of the controller meant there was no messing around with reversing the Y axis.
All told, Warhawk is off to a nice start. While its use of the wobble feature feels somewhat gratuitous, it's an interesting method of control yielding an accurate response. Most importantly, the game itself is looking fun, although probably not enough to justify a $600 system. Still, for those planning on getting a PS3, Warhawk is a title to watch.