When I got my very first PS console, the original PlayStation, on Christmas in 1995, one of the first games I got for the console was Warhawk. Warhawk was developed at the time by Single Trac. You might have heard of the other series that they helped kickstart…Twisted Metal.
Warhawk was a polygonal, fully-3D action-orientat flight combat game. Levels took place in deserts with pyramids, canyons, around an airship over the ocean, and towering castles, among other locales. In each level, the goal was to retreive a designated number of “Red Mercury” canisters hidden throughout; these were an essential component of the storyline of the game. The big bad bald old guy, Kreel, was using the Red Mercury to increase his power so he could take over the world. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Anywho, corny story aside, the game was an absolute joy to play. You had access to really cool weapons such as bombs and “swarmer” missiles, and many environments were fully open – this was no simple on-rails shooter. At the time, the game’s visual presentation was nothing short of mind-blowing to my 10-year old eyes.
The game’s controls were also excellent. Even without an analog stick, the controls felt like an extension on your hand. A big development with the PS1 controller compared to the SNES was the addition of two extra shoulder buttons, and Warhawk made you use every button on the controller for sure! The gameplay was amazing in its complexity, yet very easy to pick up. Performing loop-de-loops and evasive maneuvers was so much fun!
Sony tried to resurrect the Warhawk name on PS3 as an online-only shooter, but it failed to impress me the same way the original game did. Same goes for Starhawk, considered by many to be a spiritual successor.
Neither PS3 game really felt “right” to me, and the original Warhawk on PS1 will always stand the test of time as one of my favorite PlayStation games. It’s also worth mentioning that the game’s story was told through the use of some utterly hilarious FMV cutscences, which I would highly recommend that everyone watch for a good laugh. They’re so 90’s!
What’s one of your favorite throwback PlayStation games? Let us know in the comments!