I picked up my second PS3 game a while ago, Warhawk, and have been playing it a lot. I was a fan of the original single player only game on the Playstation 1, and I like the new game even more. It’s basically Battlefield 2 for the PS3, featuring versatile Warhawks (a sort of plane/helicopter hybrid) as kings of the battlefield. It’s a multiplayer only game that supports up to 32 players per match. There are 5 huge maps which restrict access to different areas depending on the number of players, and a number of game modes, including Capture the Flag, various kinds of Deathmatch, Warhawk only deathmatch, and Zones of Control, which is basically capture the flag with stationary flags and a different scoring mechanism. I’ve mostly been playing Capture the Flag, and despite how easy it is to fly the Warhawks I find myself sticking to ground vehicles and infantry combat for the most part because life expectancy in a Warhawk is a lot shorter than if you stay out of them – they’re everyones’ target. I’m occasionally winning matches at this point, using my tried and true flag defense tactic that goes all the way back to Threewave CTF on quake – stick back, defend, and rack up the defender kills on folks trying to snarffle the flag.
The game offers a glimpse of things to come in console land in that you can either buy it at retail for $60 with a bundled bluetooth headset, or digitally directly onto the PS3 for only $40. This is something Microsoft is not yet doing on the 360 (they’re only doing it for smaller games), and I like this element of Sony’s online strategy. There are several other games coming this year that will be offered in the same way, and much like Steam on the PC I expect I’ll increasingly be buying games this way.
Unfortunately the game also has a crippling flaw at present. The server browser is an absolute piece of crap. There is no relationship between how many players the server browser says are in a given game, and how many are actually in the game, meaning you try to join servers only to be told the server is full. It can take 30 minutes to get into a ranked server match because of this. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the interface claims you can refresh the server, but as far as I can tell that function does absolutely nothing. Still, like a Pavlovian idiot, I find myself sitting there jamming on the server refresh button endlessly as I try and get into a match.
The game shipped with other flaws and they’ve patched them already, so I have some hope that this will ultimately get straightened out, and to be fair to the game once you get in it’s a blast, but getting into a match is an exercise in frustration and patience. Buyer beware so far as that goes.
Anyway my PS3 handle is Tempus67, look me up. I generally try and play on the official Incognito studio ranked CTF 32 player servers in the evening, and you can usually find me back on defense or chasing after whatever rat bastid ran off with our flag 😉