Version tested: PSOne
- Developer: Singletrac
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
When Sony decided to reveal the first batch of titles for the PlayStation 3, few gamers even noticed how deep into the firm's history it had delved to find Warhawk - with early reports generally assuming that the shiny PS3 title was an entirely new franchise. Not so; the original Warhawk, in fact, was developed alongside Twisted Metal by Singletrac (who later became Incognito), and came out in 1995. What's more, it was really, really good.
Unlike most combat flight games of the era, Warhawk gave the player full freedom to roam around a large play area - and a great deal of thought had clearly gone into the controls, which felt very natural and intuitive. The action, meanwhile, was incredibly fast (especially compared to the more sedate Ace Combat, which had launched some months earlier), with tons of enemies to blast out of the skies, and the weaponry just as satisfying as you might hope.
Although the graphics of Warhawk were lauded at the time, it almost goes without saying that they're not terribly impressive by modern standards. However, returning to Warhawk for a spin around its uniquely themed levels is still worthwhile; partially because it's interesting to revisit the oft-forgotten original (and it is the original - occasional claims that it was a remake of a 1980s C64 game of the same name are entirely baseless, as far as we can gather) ahead of the eagerly awaited sequel, but partially just because, as with Twisted Metal, the guys at Singletrac simply managed to squeeze some perfectly tuned and balanced combat out of the humble PSone with this title.