Warhawk Operation: Fallen Star

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So I’ve been dropping hints for a few months now on the blog and finally, at Leipzig Games Conference this week, we unveiled our third expansion for the Warhawk Universe — Operation: Fallen Star.

The sweet, sweet hotness that is the Icarus Mk.1 Rocket pack and once you’ve played it, you wonder how you ever played Warhawk without it!


Normally we announce stuff here in the States but we thought since Warhawk has a global player base, lets show it at Leipzig first this time.

Before I answer some of the questions that I’ve seen from the past couple of days, let me give you all a rundown of what’s included in Operation: Fallen Star.

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There is an entirely new level – Tau Crater! It’s a smoky, forested island that features lots of vertical elements to give players tons of cools places to use the jetpack; huge trees that you can fly up into and land on their branches, an enormous recovery crane with lots of trusses and platforms to fly around, and of course, the name sake, a truly gargantuan capital ship wreckage smashed into the ground forming, you guessed it, Tau Crater.

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The capital ship is fully traversable meaning you can use the jetpack or other aircraft to fly up to its various surfaces, pipes, and destroyed sections. Hop out, use them to recon the other bases, snipe, call-in a binoc strike, whatever.

Around the crater are salvage platforms that have been constructed and serve as some of the bases in the Tau Crater. There’s also a huge fiery hole in the middle of the wreckage that you can climb though as a troop to quickly cross from one side of the level to the other.

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There are massive chunks of wreckage scattered around the level and the recovery efforts at these locations are bases as well.

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In total there are 10 new layouts for Tau Crater and since the jetpack is a massive, game-changing addition to Warhawk, we included a crap-ton of bonus layouts for the original game too — there are 30 bonus layouts that add jetpacks into the Warhawk’s original content.

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And yes, of course the jet pack can be used with both of the new free game modes that we released with the v1.4 Update. Jetpack Collector mode is awesome!

Now the jetpack itself is big departure from the way we normally do vehicles and this was very, very intentional. With each of our Booster-Packs, we specifically look for mechanic changing ways to freshen-up the game — and Operation: Fallen Star is no exception.

So here’s the run-down on the jetpack…

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First off, the jetpacks are equipment that the salvage crews are using to work on the wreckage so the style of it is very much like the equipment you might see at a construction site. This is true for the Daedalus Rapid Assembly Device (D-RAD) as well. Think of it as a vending machine for jetpacks. One of our players on the Warhawk forums asked if it was like a “hot-dog-stand”…well, yes it kinda is :-)

You run up to the Daedalus and then press SQUARE to grab a jetpack off the rack, like you would to mount a vehicle or turret. The Daedalus then begins its automated construction process and makes a new jetpack for another player to grab. This construction period helps control the balance of the game so that not every single troop always has a jet pack.

Daedalus

Now to help protect against brutal base camping, we opted to not have the vending machine, err….the Daedalus be destructible. In some of our early play sessions, it just was too easy to ravage the other team if you could destroy the Daedalus.

The Warhawk forums also wondered if a jeep could drive the vending machine around, sorry, the answer is no. We spent a lot of time tuning the placement of each of the vending machines and towing them around the level would have introduced some pretty brutal exploits.

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You can also mount other vehicles if you have a jetpack. So you and your team can coordinate fast strikes with the 4x4s and then all jump-jet out to make a flag run or scoop-up a team’s cores. If you have jetpack equipped, you are also allowed use it like an ejector seat and bail out of our Warhawk or Nemesis if you get into a dicey situation. Another great tactic is to use the Warhawk and run fly-by at the enemy base then have your buddy in the passenger slot bail out with the jetpack.

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The controls for the jetpack are really easy too and operate the same as any other vehicle in the game so it should feel really natural to start using one.

R2 is the thrust button. Press it to engage the jets and your character will be carried higher and higher into the air. While you’re flying, use the analog sticks to move around. You can let off the thruster button to disengage the thrusters and your character will begin to drop towards the ground.

If you are flying around and you need to focus on combat and not thrust control, all you have to do is hold L2 and the jetpack will automatically emit enough thrust to maintain your current altitude. This way you can focus on raining death from above :-)

The jetpack also has a boost-dodge feature, similar to the afterburner for the aircraft. Simply double-tap R2 to engage the boost-dodge. The direction of the boost-dodge can be performed in any direction, backwards, forwards, side to side, even straight up depending on which direction you are pressing when you dodge.

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Now this feature not only is a great way to get around the battlefield, but the “dodge” part of the boost-dodge is key for scrubbing missiles. There is only one missile in the game that can acquire a jetpack lock-on and that’s the troop missile launcher. So if you are up in the air and you see the missile warning pop-up on your screen, you better do a dodge, otherwise that missile is going to nail you! Now if you have a jetpack equipped but you are just running around on the ground, the missile launcher can’t get a lock on you…and this is another good way to help avoid getting hit.

Another question that our players wanted to know is if you can fly with the flag using a jetpack and the answer is yes. We took a lot of time to make sure all the traversal speeds were tuned just right and CTF and Collector mode are crazy fun with the Jetpack — hell, even just straight up deathmatch is way more fun!

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So here are some of the details: Operation: Fallen Star is being released on August 28th worldwide and is $7.99 in the Playstation Store. We also worked with SONY to get a new bundle pack ready too. The new Booster Combo Pack includes all 3 of the expansions for only $15.99. That’s like getting all 3 Booster-Packs for the price of only 2!!! Quick — deploy the wacky waiving inflatable arm-flailing tube men!!!

As a reminder, keep you eyes out for our FREE v1.5 Update that goes LIVE on August 27th!

So that’s it for now — I’ll do my best today to answer comments cause I didn’t get to at all with my last post cause I was crazy busy traveling for meetings. So let ‘em rip!

Oh, and one last thing, Kudos to 3 people (topodisc, mattnz, cubehouse) who were able to breakdown my crazy color-swatch-HEX-string-mythology-reference!

Rock on,

dylan

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