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The PS3 Afterthought: Hands on with Warhawk
game: Warhawk
posted by: Jeremy Kauffman
publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
developer: Incog Inc. Entertainment
date posted: 09:56 AM Sat May 20th, 2006
last revision: 11:43 AM Sat May 20th, 2006

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Click to read.If the PS3 booth was disappointing overall, there was one game that made me stop and play: Incog Inc\'s Warhawk. The game itself was limited to one level, an island filled with canyons, tunnels, and dozens of enemy aircraft. It was not stunning in terms of visuals or content. It did, however, provide the one and only playable demo of the PS3\'s new motion-sensitive controller.

By utilizing the motion-sensitive technology in the PS3\'s controller, the controller itself represents the body of the warplane. By tilting the controller to the left and right, you cause the warplane to bank to the left and right. By pressing one of the shoulder buttons in conjunction you enable the plane to roll. To climb or dive you tip the controller forward or back.

This is not at all intuitive at first, but can be mastered with practice. One thing about the new control setups cropping up this year is that it is actually fun learning to play these games. We have become so used to the way our game interfaces function, that it doesn\'t even excite that learning center of our brains anymore. But playing Warhawk had me grinning rather than groaning, and that is what counts.

When combined with the Vertical Take Off and Landing functions, enabling you to hover in one place and take potshots at your enemies, the game controls smoothly in battle. You can dive, roll, and bank through canyons and train tunnels. Once in a choice position you can flip to VTOL on the fly and get the drop on a group of enemy craft, taking them down like it was simple target practice.

Is this the next level of gameplay? A new revolution? No. We\'ll leave that to the Nintendo Wii. Essentially, the motion sensitivity controls in Warhawk function in exactly the same way as analog sticks have in previous games. This is probably why the analog sticks are not used with motion sensitivity. The game can even be used with a traditional analog control scheme for people who prefer it. But it is fun, it is exciting, and it is a whole new excuse for getting carpal tunnel syndrome from our entertainment.

As for the game, we\'ll just have to wait and see. There was nothing here to suggest that Warhawk will be a good or bad game. The graphics were terrible, the sound mediocre, and the demo only contained one island with one objective: shoot down your foes. The level design was great, however, providing depth and variety all contained in one island. There was enough here to make me want more, and this is definitely a title to keep your eyes on.

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