Starhawk is the Spiritual Successor to the Warhawk series, both of which are PlayStation Exclusives. While still heavily focused on multiplayer, Starhawk features a single player campaign which is structured such that it introduces the player to the core mechanics of the multiplayer.
It's sometime in The Future. You are Emmett Graves, a hired gun and "Rift Salvager". Out here on the Final Frontier, there has been a new gold rush for "Rift Energy", a valuable but dangerous power source. Graves was partially mutated by this energy, but a Power Limiter on his back keeps him human. The Outcasts, who worship Rift energy, and viciously attack those that try to mine it across the galaxy, weren't so lucky. Together with his good friend Cutter, Graves protects independent Rift Energy harvesting operations from the Outcasts, also called "Scabs." They have a ship called Annabelle, which can drop prefabricated structures from orbit on command, as do players online.
The multiplayer includes up to 32-person matches of Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, as well as four player cooperative wave defense. Players are given an entirely unsettled landscape to riddle with bunkers, turrets, barriers, and vehicle depots. The developers specifically wanted to capture the fast pacing of pulling a trigger on a gun when building an encampment.
The Official Trailer can be found here.
Not to Be Confused With the Vectrex Game Starhawk. Or the Game boy Game Starhawk.
Starhawk provides examples of:
- Animal Theme Naming: Every single vehicle is named after an animal.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Graves doesn't seem to wear a full suit in space, just goggles and a breather mask plus some thick, winter-weight clothing.
- Beam Spam: Beam turrets, though fairly high in rift expense, are still largely seen in clusters to the chagrin of any unwitting hawks.
- Big "NO!": Emmett gives one when a Rift Vortex absorbs his brother Logan, who had just been turned back to normal.
- Bittersweet Ending: The Outlaw is defeated, but Emmett's brother Logan is permanently lost, and White Sands is in ruins, with most of the populace dead. Emmett takes solace from the fact that Logan is at peace now, and White Sands is shown to be rebuilding in the closing cutscene.
- Bookends:Emmett: "It all started with a spark. A flash of blue gold."
- The Corruption: What rift energy does to humans. It makes them look stereotypical voodoo witchdoctors, but replaces the paint emulating skull and bone with actual exo-skeletons and eerie blue glow between chitinous plating. There's a reason rift-mutants are called Scabs.
- Expy: The Hawks look and transform like Decepticons.
- Death from Above: All combat equipment is dropped from the sky, even if a person or giant robot is standing on the landing zone. You receive a Trophy the first time you do this.
- Drop Ship: Annabelle drops everything from soldiers to vehicles to buildings.
- Eldritch Abomination: Rift energy. It's used as a highly efficient power source, but it's actually an amorphous Energy Being that compels those exposed to it to worship it, protect it, and keep others from harnessing it. The exposed become Scabs, exoskeletal mutants whose flesh is gradually replaced by Rift energy. Then there's the final boss battle, where energy takes on a physical form seemingly all its own and can reanimate dead Scabs by smashing them together into new ones.
- The Hawk uses a powerful stomp in its mecha form.
- Homing Projectile: There are two kinds usable by the Hawks: Swarm Lasers, which can lock onto multiple targets or all eight onto one target, and the much more powerful but single-shot Homing Missiles. Rocket launchers are also able to lock on to airborne targets, allowing the rocket fired afterward to home in on them.
- Hope Spot: Emmett is able to absorb the Outlaw's Rift Energy to turn him back to normal, then he gets sucked into a rift vortex.
- Jet Pack: Vulture Packs allow the wearer to take off and reach higher places; however, this leaves them open to being locked on by enemies.
- King Mook: The Outlaw. He doesn't do anything the regular Scabs don't do, excepting the strange stun effect he places on Graves whenever he needs to do some Boss Banter.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: Scabs gain durability and strength at the cost of gradually becoming gigantic, flaming, mutant skeletons.
- Made of Explodium: Including buildings and walls. Reclaiming a structure even displays the option with a little bomb in the recycling symbol.
- Magnetic Weapons: The sniper rifle is actually a scoped rail gun and the Grizzly comes equipped with a gauss rifle.
- Multi-Track Drifting: Powersliding with the Razorback or Sidewinder is one thing, but you can also do so with a Hawk in the air, or in space. In much the same way as in Freelancer, Starhawk uses inertia when it feels like.
- Old Save Bonus: If your PS3 has a save file of Twisted Metal (the 2012 Reboot) and it's not pre-owned, then you get an extra Outlaw skin for multiplayer that makes them look like Sweet Tooth.
- One-Winged Angel: The Outlaw turns into a giant flying serpent made of Rift Energy during the final battle.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: It's a game made to appease Warhawk fans, set in space stations and other planets.
- The Reveal: The Outlaw is actually Logan, Emmett's older brother, who was mutated fully by Rift Energy. This reveal comes early on and the focus is therefore purely on stopping him and putting the past in its place.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Graves' signature Galloway Revolver, which is closer in appearance to a Hand Cannon and indeed, does very high damage per shot as compared to your other primary weapon, the Kinetic Rifle.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: The Union Shotgun. Even the Transforming Mecha has one in the Flak Cannon, which, like all of its weapons, can be used in flight or ground mode.
- Sentry Gun: Two kinds: Small anti-personnel machine gun turrets which slot onto certain structures, like walls and bunkers, and large beam turrets for anti-vehicle work, that have connectors for wall sections.
- Spiritual Successor: To Warhawk, but the base and vehicle building is reminiscent of Battlezone.
- Tank Goodness: The OX tank, which can fire regular explosive shells and switch to an artillery mode, with a handy dotted line indicator showing your firing arc.
- Transforming Mecha: The Hawk is able to transform into a jet to battle airborne opponents.
- Volcanic Veins: The Outcasts, who have been exposed to rift energy, known for its persistent, flashy blue glow. Emphasis on Emmett's right arm, which still lacks bulk in the chitinous armor.
- Weekend Inventor: Cutter, who invented insta-buildings dropped from orbit and the technology to keep Emmett's mutation from taking over.
- Was Once a Man: Scabs were once ordinary men until exposure to rift energy corrupted them.
- Zerg Rush: Scrapper Scabs come in the largest hordes of any wave of enemy, but only use melee attacks.