Dear Sony, We need to talk about Warhawk.
You don’t know me, but why should you? I’ve just been a PlayStation gamer since the PSOne and have loved everything you have bought out since. (except maybe the Move). Way back when the PS3 came out, you may remember a launch game called Warhawk. In case you’ve forgotten it was that remake of the PSOne aerial combat game called, erm, Warhawk, but this version it was a third person online only shooter. And it was great. I mean it was the absolute best.
At the time of its release I wasn’t really in to the whole online gaming thing, It just wasn’t for me. When I bought my PS3 Warhawk was the only game I had, and I needed something to play. So, I signed up to your online service, and started flying around and crashing a lot and not seeing what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t impressed at all. I could see this one being relegated to the ‘bought it but won’t play it again’ collection. but then, a few weeks later, two of my closest friends got Warhawk and decided for the first time, we would meet up online. We chatted and laughed down the headset and died a lot while doing our ‘kamikaze flag capture runs’ It was at that time the greatest multiplayer game and a perfect introduction. We had such a laugh and the sense of team spirit was just amazing.
Now these friends of mine, I’ve pretty much known them since we were all just mere fetuses. It’s been a long time but living far apart and life getting in the way, Warhawk allowed us to join together again just like we did when we were kids. And so, once a week we would met up online and we done everything we could to capture the flag or defend our base. no matter the cost. We would play online until the small hours or on the rare occasions we had the chance to meet up, we would play four player split screen. It was a love letter and more than a nod do our childhood Friday nights all sat around the SNES with a multi tap.
What made Warhawk so special? Well it was the simplicity. It was like playing army in the playground. There were no load outs, customisations or anything to worry about. Just good old fashioned good vs evil on the battlefield. The maps were great with a draw distance I had never seen before. The transition from ground vehicles to air was incredible. You simply land, (or crash in my case) jump out run to a jeep or tank, hop in and carry on. It was seamless and smooth and so much fun. The weapons, were basic for sure, but again kept things simple, the movement of the characters, not too slow, not too fast. It was perfect enough that you didn’t mind going a jaunt on foot to the other side of the map. Jumping to communicate. Before we had headsets, my pals and I met up online, and jumped to communicate. 32 player battles. Not too many people that you feel claustrophobic, not too little so you feel like a loner. Everything about was pitched just right. It is still to this day one of the best examples of a balanced online game.
Even though there was no single player campaign and therefore no story, the world Incognito created was one that you wished you knew more about. It was set in an alternate Earth with the Eucadians fighting against the Chenovans. The levels showed destroyed cities which made you wonder what had happened, and the aesthetics had a strange WWII twist about them It was a world I wanted to explore.
Then of course you had regular updates and DLC, new maps, new weapons and jet packs. The drop ship was a god send and made meeting new people online so simple as there were six of you in this one ship all on the same team with the same goal. It was the best of times.
But something terrible happened, a sequel was announced, Starhawk, which promised a single player game and epic space battles. I was lucky enough to get a review copy (thank you for that Sony) and was shocked, horrified even that the simplistic run and gun gameplay of Warhawk had been replaced with a real time tower defense game! I tried my best to love it, but I couldn’t, the formula was different, the magic had gone, and soon found myself longing for the the greatness of Warhawk. But something even worse was about to happen..
I turned-on Warhawk and there were hardly any people online. The severs and hosts had reduced dramatically to just the bare bones, the once manic battlefields were silent. The vehicles that once flew and raced around the maps stood still forlorn on their respawn points. Hell even the god awful beeping of the proximity mines had fallen silent. Warhawk was dead.
I won’t pretend to understand the politics, but why was Warhawk left out to dry? This game had served you well on the PlayStation and on the PS3 it was the first introduction for many people into the world of online gaming. It was a well received game as you can see on Metacritic I mean a game of that score at least deserves a proper sequel doesn’t (not including Starhawk which didn’t far too well). This got to me so much that I felt compelled to tweet Dylon Jobe, the legend who created Warhawk and had to ask him about a sequel, and suggested having it crowd funded. Although he didn’t give any details, he did say this.
@ThePaulCollett Warhawk community is awesome! But the budget required for my Warhawk 2 concept would be too expensive for KickStarter :-/
— Dylan Jobe (@DylanJobe) September 16, 2013
Did you hear that? Dylan Jobe has a concept! It needs big bucks by all accounts. This can only be one hell of an amazing concept but he needs a little bit of cash. Now I know you can’t go dishing out money left right and center but look at what’s happening in the gaming world right now. You have pretty much re-ignited the indie scene, remakes are happening everywhere, Ratchet and Clank, Shadow of the Colossus, Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy VII to name but a few. And judging from some of the replies to my tweet, there are a lot of people out there that feel the same as me.
Come on Sony, Warhawk is amazing, it sold well, was well received and the fans want it bad. It deserves a proper sequel. There is a whole bunch of new tech now that could make Warhawk 2 simply incredible, hell maybe even make it VR compatible. So why not give Dylan a call, sit down, have a drink and hear what he has to say. What’s the worst that can happen? You get another exclusive game for the PS4 and you’ll have an army of loyal fans. If you don’t like what he has to say, then at least give us a HD remake. Something, anything because next month will be the 10th anniversary and it would be a shame to see this legendary game be forgotten completely. Give the fans what they want.
All the best,