Warhawk was one of the first games on the Playstation, coming out just a few months after the system. I remember hearing all about it, in the pages of Gameplayers Magazine, and thinking it was a really good game. And then, I forgot all about it until I got the game with the Playstation I bought not long ago for free, so I played through it and had a blast. I could really see how dated it was compared to newer games, it suffers from a lot of the same problems many first generation PSX titles do, clipping, ugly polygons, some figures just dissapearing for no reason. Despite this, though, it can be an alright game.
The graphics are pretty basic. A lot of unshaded polygons, but I think the makers of Warhawk did a great job with the technology they had at the time. I'm sure if I'd have played this game when it was released, I wouldn't mind the graphics, but playing today you can tell all too easily how dated these graphics are. Sometimes in the canyon level, where you must pilot the warhawk through a narrow passage, you'll wind up getting lost and going backwards, in part due to the monotone graphics. Between levels, the player is met with a nice cut scene, with real actors portraying the storyline. These videos are good quality and add to the game tremendously. Other than that, the graphics do their job, but can get in the way on occasion.
Graphics Rating: 54
Warhawk plays smooth for an air combat game, and supposedly redefined the genre way back when, when it was released. The way I would describe it is Star Fox without rails. This can be good, and this can also be bad, especially when you can't tell where you're going and start going backwards, without the computer to turn you around in the right direction. However, after some practice, that shouldn't be a problem for you. Warhawk has just 5 levels, but each of those levels are diverse and no 2 levels are alike. The first level has you blowing up pyramids in the desert, the second level has you weeding through a narrow canyon, the third, my favorite, has you going in and out of an aircraft carrier at sea, the fourth level is a dark, gloomy battle with many small islands around, and the last level you get face to face with the enemy in Kreels fortress and then his tower. It's done very well, with real visual cut-scenes in between to keep you in tune with the story. There are many powerups, which add to the play value, and the power-ups get bigger and better as you progress through the game.
Gameplay Rating: 74
The sound is done pretty well in Warhawk. The music is done good, but nothing spectacular. Each track fits well into the level of the game it is played in. The various sound effects seem dead on, something imperitive to a good air combat game. I don't really know what to say about the games sound, other than it does it's job and seems pretty average. There is one track, though, right at the last boss, that is a treat to listen to.
Sound Rating: 68
I will give a kudos to whoever came up with the storyline for Warhawk, as they laid it on much thicker than is necessary for a game of this genre. Movie-style cut scenes are shown at the beginning of the game, and in between levels, giving it a heavy action movie feel to it. The story goes as follows; A high profile criminal named Kreel comes out of hiding for the first time in years, and is for some reason stealing samples of a rare substance known as red mercury from around the world. With the military unable to help, a special task team is called upon from the air force, Hatch and Walker, who must pilot the Warhawk aircraft through Kreels outposts and retreive the canisters of red mercury. As the game moves along the guys at base dig up a lot of dirt about Kreel, and find out why he's stealing the red mercury, he's pumping it through his veins in an attempt to make himself immortal, and is the only one who knows the red mercurys potential, so of course they send the relunctant Hatch and Walker back in for a few more missions, with orders to destroy Kreel. The storyline is kept pretty tight until the end of the game, the ending just plain sucks. I felt cheated after playing the game to get this piece of shit ending.
Storyline Rating: 85
With only 5 levels and no extras, Warhawk isn't really worth replaying. Not even once. It's a pretty tough game, and after I first beat the game I thought "well, that was nice, maybe I'll do this again in about a year". The only thing that may make this game warrant a replay is that there are various cheat codes, but even they don't get me to play this game again.
Replay Value: 40
(Not an average)
Warhawk may have been good when it first graced the Playstation, but you can see how dated it is by todays ever-rising standards. Perhaps had I played it back then, I would have given it a higher score, but I didn't, and I know if this game were released right now it would be mercilessly bashed by the game magazines and players alike.