One has to wonder about the timing of Sony‘s announcement of Starhawk, the sequel to its multiplayer-focused 2007 PlayStation 3-exclusive release, Warhawk. The PlayStation Network remains offline after a security breach in late April resulted in it, Qriocity and various Sony Online Entertainment services being taken offline until security could be updated. So Sony’s announcement of the online multiplayer-focused Starhawk is either poorly timed/horribly ironic or a canny move to get people excited about taking their PS3s back online… eventually.
Whichever viewpoint you take, Starhawk is officially a thing. The original Warhawk developer Incognito is no more, but a number of that team’s members are now installed at the Austin-based studio LightBox Interactive, which is developing the follow-up. The new studio’s website is pretty barebones right now, but it gives some background and name-drops key Incognito releases as a nod to the team’s range of experience; in addition to Warhawk, Incognito also put out the PlayStation 2 titles Twisted Metal: Black and War of the Monsters.
Starhawk will introduce a single player campaign, something that was absent in the previous game, as well as a new feature called the “Build & Battle system.” It basically allows players to call down structures from orbit, anything from vehicle spawn points to turrets to walls. These items are air-dropped in — players also spawn in orbit and drop down onto the battlefield — with the added bonus of crushing any enemies that happen to be caught beneath the descending item. Multiplayer is the star feature of course, and the game will support online play for up to 32 players.
Sony recently hosted a preview event in Austin where the game was demoed for the first time, complete with hands-on sessions. Joystiq has the rundown, if you’re curious to know more about how the coming follow-up plays.