Six years after PlayStation 3-exclusive Starhawk came out, its online functionality has gone dark.
Multiplayer features for Starhawk ended on 30th June, while the single-player campaign remains playable.
Starhawk is a third-person shooter developed by LightBox Interactive as a spiritual successor to 2007's Warhawk. "What impressed in 2007 is no longer enough," we wrote in our review, "and while Starhawk is a perfectly fine entry in the third-person multiplayer shooter genre, it's unlikely to inspire much long-term passion in its current state."
LightBox's mutliplayer shooter under the microscope.
With its massive scale online battles, sprawling environments and combination of vehicular combat and third-person shooting, Warhawk became one of the early highlights of PlayStation 3 gaming - released in late 2007 when there was nothing quite like it on either of the current generation consoles.
In a genre where momentum is built in an avalanche of annual iterations and regular DLC updates, the five-year gap between Warhawk and Starhawk, its spiritual sci-fi successor, might as well be measured in decades. Consider this: when Warhawk was released, Modern Warfare was still an unknown quantity.
How to adapt to a landscape so irrevocably changed? Developer LightBox Interactive has opted for the softly-softly approach. Starhawk is still a large-scale third-person combat game with a heavy emphasis on vehicles, more Battlefront than Battlefield. What has changed is the context. As the name suggests, this game takes the science-fiction brush strokes of its predecessor and expands them to fill the canvas.
The setting is now the cosmic frontier, where a gold rush of sorts has kicked off over a new power source known as Rift Energy. There's a downside, however. Exposure to Rift Energy corrupts and mutates, and early prospectors have turned into Outcasts, mangled monstrosities that crave more energy and will fight to keep it for themselves.
Uses that "hitting its stride" phrase for PS3 again.
It's sounding increasingly unlikely that Sony will announce PlayStation 4 this year.
Wise-cracking Sony US leader Jack Tretton told IGN that "I don't want to be thinking about trying to launch new technology any time soon", and said he'd be "very distracted" talking about next-gen hardware this year.
"In terms of when you talk about [the next generation] and when you announce it, it really depends on the health of the existing platform and the other things you have going on," tremoloed Tretton.
Invitations going out soon, public beta next year.
An invite-only beta for forthcoming PS3 shooter Starhawk goes live next Tuesday, Sony has announced.
As detailed on the PlayStation Blog, emails will be going out to select Warhawk players who opted in earlier this year. Access will be limited to start off with, but more invitations will be sent out in due course.
If you haven't already registered your interest you can do so now on the game's official site.
Uncharted 3 - which has gone gold - comes with a Starhawk multiplayer beta download code, Sony has announced.
All retail copies of the Naughty Dog game include a voucher code for early access to the Starhawk beta, due out early 2012.
Like Uncharted 3, Starhawk is a PlayStation 3 exclusive. It's a fast-paced third-person shooter follow-up to Warhawk, developed by LightBox Interactive, the studio set up by Dylan Jobe and other former members of Incognito Entertainment.
Sony has announced fast-paced third-person shooter Starhawk, the PlayStation 3 exclusive follow-up to Warhawk.
Starhawk, due out in 2012, is being developed by LightBox Interactive, the studio set up by Dylan Jobe and other ex-members of Incognito Entertainment, and Sony Santa Monica.
Warhawk launched as a Blu-ray and digitial download. Starhawk, however, will be released as a Blu-ray retail only. Unlike Warhawk, Starhawk features a fully-fledged single-player campaign as well as the multiplayer portion the series is known for.
The guns have fallen silent in 2007's Warhawk. Not long ago it was a continual cycle of Battlefield-style multiplayer tangles between troops, tanks and futuro-planes. Now, due to our cruel PSN-enforced absence, the Eucadian and Chernovian armies have little to do but share the occasional cigarette, take a football into the no man's land that lies between CTF points and begin to wonder whether they're not so different after all.