Starhawk dev: 'Shooter genre is at a fork in the road'

Most modern single-player shooters follow a similar formula: they send players down a linear path where carefully scripted events give players an exciting, if homogenized, experience. It's a tried-and-true approach that has garnered commercial success, but Austin-based Lightbox Interactive will try to break away from that standard with its sci-fi third-person shooter, Starhawk.

This upcoming PlayStation 3-exclusive is the spiritual successor to the online-focused PS3 game Warhawk (itself a re-imagining of the 1995 PS1 game Warhawk) from the now-defunct Incognito Entertainment. While Starhawk's staying power will hinge on the quality of the online multiplayer mode, it will also introduce a new single-player campaign.

Speaking to Gamasutra in a recent interview, Lightbox president and Incognito veteran Dylan Jobe said the single-player experience in shooters is at a crucial creative turning point.

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portal_22432d ago

A coop zombie mode would be cool too :)

sinncross2431d ago

Dylan Jobe is seriously one of the most sensible people in the games industry to listen to, and sort of humble at that.

Starhawk looks great. Loved the beta, and I am sure I will love the finished product too.

banjadude2431d ago

He speaks with a lot of passion and wisdom; did you see his appearance on The Tester Season 3? The man knows what is up!

mayberry2431d ago

Absolutely love "STARHAWK"! And I just posted in another story about how generic shooters have become,... and if they were more like starhawk and killzone 2/3, who needs another box! Plenty these boxes could do if people demanded them and dev's listen.

jdktech20102431d ago

I don't see the originality with Killzone to be honest but I do agree Starhawk is something different. I played the beta and it just wasn't fun to me but I definitely appreciate trying something new and a lot of people are gonna be real happy with that game

mayberry2431d ago

the killzone series are original for a multitude of reasons, i.e. bullet hit response, a.i., amount of graphical tech, and the immersive weight of the weapons alone make them stand out, when you take the games "overall", there is nothing to compare them to. imho.

rezzah2431d ago

Don't forget spawn system (KZ2), which allowed tacticians to throw a spawn grenade and allow teammates to appear anywhere on the map.

Though this might not be original, usages of gravitational pull on distance shots and no instantaneous bullet traveling. A small minority of the shooter genre use this.

Again this part is not entirely original, but consists of new parts not found in other games: AI intelligence rivals that of the AI in the Fear series. Enemies adapt to destructible environment: Hiding behind cement wall, as wall breaks down enemy lowers position to the point of laying on lower back.

Originality of invisible snipers, unless stated otherwise.

bobtheimpaler2431d ago (Edited 2431d ago )

Killzone 2 to and to a lesser extent part 3 is proof that you don't need to have a fancy gimmick or a ridiculous amount of scripting to keep shooters interesting.

It's the attention given to the finer details. Everything is just so incredibly polished and comes together so well be they visuals, physics, animations, Artificial Intelligence and gunplay. It's the way all these elements come together that create the awesome experience that is Killzone. Honestly, shooting things in Killzone 2 can be disturbingly realistic...KZ3 not so much because NPCs can pop up in the air if shot while crouched or proned. Not many games really accomplishes nailing the simple act of firing a weapon. BF3 does it, but again the AI in BFBC2 and BF3 is scripted.

I didn't like KZ3 though because it's just so dumbed down in terms of gameplay (gunplay, physics, increased linearity, Kid friendly MP and scripting).

More shooters should be less linear, not necessarily open world, but more choices should be given to the player, and AI and other gameplay should not be scripted so that single player remains interesting and different everytime.

OhMyGandhi2431d ago

Killzone 2 and 3? Starhawk?

Let me ask you this, what aspects of those games make you feel that those are the role models of the genre?

I'm not trying to antagonize, just genuinely curious.

mayberry2431d ago

I could be more detailed, but, as it was stated earlier, cod is what most gamers and non-gamers considers the pinnacle of the "shooter" this gen! I say go play some killzone! and now starhawk is doing things no 3ps has done with rts aspects. jus sayin.

soundslike2431d ago (Edited 2431d ago )

"These unruly playtesters caused the team some real frustration, but Jobe said they helped Lightbox create a campaign that didn't rely on pre-fabricated encounters and static action sequences. Even if a player's strategy goes against the developer's initial intentions, "those players should be allowed to have that experience,"

As someone who has played games on and off for at least 15 years:

Isn't that like game design 101?

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that Starhawk is embracing this...but they shouldn't have needed a playtester to point that out.

BitbyDeath2431d ago (Edited 2431d ago )

It might seem logical but at the same time could divide your market as it then makes your game harder to play and therefore harder for others to get into.

Most games are heavily scripted in what you can and cannot do. Not just in following a direct path but also in what you can achieve.

But like they said they just wanted to try something new, more devs should take this approach but too many are worried about money.

Drainage2431d ago

welcome back to 1998 Lightbox Interactive, where real games once existed. Hopefully others follow. No one wants to go left and realize its blocked by invisible walls.

likedamaster2431d ago

You mean, Warhawk/Starhawk is at a fork in the road.

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