Starhawk Builds & Battles in 2012

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We’ve known Starhawk, a futuristic space combat sequel to PS3 multiplayer shooter Warhawk, has been unofficially in development for at least two years now when a trademark for the title was uncovered back in 2009. Warhawk came out all the way back in 2007, so it’s about damn time we hear something official regarding the sequel, wouldn’t you say? Well, today that time has come!

Sony and developer LightBox Interactive have finally pulled the curtain back on Starhawk, announcing plans to release the PS3 exclusive next year. As expected, Starhawk takes the familiar on-foot and vehicular third-person shooter action of Warhawk and rockets into space, expanding the experience further with an innovative ‘Build & Battle’ system that “lets players alter the moment to moment action by giving them the ability to change the dynamic of the battlefield instantly with a selection of base structures at their disposal, all while in the midst of the fight.”

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The press release explains further: “By the touch of a button players can violently deploy a number of buildings, vehicles, or artillery to strategically complete mission objectives and defeat enemies. Through the sophisticated architecture of the PS3 system, the instantaneous customization that Build & Battle provides, as well as the breadth of gameplay that spans multiple modes, is made possible.”

Players disappointed by Sony’s decision to bin Warhawk‘s single-player campaign in favor of a multiplayer-only experience should be pleased as punch to learn that Starhawk will ship with a complete story mode for solo gamers, in addition to 32-player online competition, four-player online and offline co-op, and split-screen multiplayer modes.

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Here’s an early story synopsis:

The Starhawk universe is set in the distant future, out in the far reaches of space where factions battle over a rare and dangerous resource known as Rift Energy. In this galaxy, colonies of humans, called Rifters, explore a scattering of planets, known as the Frontier, in attempt to mine this energy to make an honest living, but find their way of life threatened by the Outcast, a ruthless species of humans who have mutated into psychotic monsters due to exposure to this very same Rift Energy. Caught in the middle is Emmett Graves, a hired gunslinger ostracized from society because of his own exposure to Rift Energy, leaving him partially mutated, but still able to retain his humanity. Starhawk allows you to take on the powerful role of Graves who is drawn back to his home settlement of White Sands on the Planet Dust to face a mysterious outlaw and his war band of Outcast warriors only to discover that this job may mean more to him than he could have ever imagined. He will soon find out that his family is involved in the clash between the Outcast and the Rifters and therefore must decide between those close to him and those he swore to protect.

Also check out this developer overview video for over five minutes of early Starhawk gameplay and commentary.

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