Starhawk has been in development for what seems like ages. It’s predecessor, Warhawk, was released on the PlayStation 3 in late 2007, and while it was punished by reviewers for not having a single player component, it quickly accumulated a lot of hardcore fans. So it’s not hard to figure out why the developers felt they needed to have a single player campaign in this game, because most gamers who are on the fence, will usually make a decision on buying a game from a review. With that said, Starhawk is much more than simply Warhawk with a single player campaign, and the developers have really tried to differentiate the multiplayer experience from every other game out there.
When you start the game, there is an install and a hefty patch to download. Once the game has loaded though, you’ll see a simple screen with two option, single player and multiplayer. If you choose single player, you are taken directly into the campaign of the game, without any load screens, similar to what you see in inFAMOUS and God of War. Any settings you want to change must be changed within the game’s menu, but the way the game begins definitely helps keep you immersed in the action at all times. The single player campaign is essentially a big tutorial, which slowly introduces you to different elements of Starhawk. For example, the first stage will teach you how to drive, and how to fire your weapon as well as other basic gameplay features. Then the next stage will teach you all about Hawks and so on.
The story in this campaign is quite basic, and not very memorable, but it’s all about rift energy - a blue-green substance that became mankind’s answer to an energy crisis - leading many people to try and cash in on the opportunity. You play as Emmet Graves, a rift miner, who was in business with his brother, Logan Graves until both characters were infected by the rift energy. Once that happened, Logan turned into an Outcast, people that have mutated due to the effects of the rift energy. On the other hand, Emmet was saved by his friend Sydney Cutter, who created an implant that can regulate the rift energy, meaning that for the most part, he is still human. Emmet and Cutter decide to become guns for hire, protecting rift mining sites from the Outcasts, also affectionately known as Scabs, which is where Emmet starts to encounter a different class of enemy.
Most of the story is told through comic book-style animations, but there are a few areas where you’ll see in-game cutscenes as well. The animated segments work quite well to get the story across, and they look very good, although voice acting can be a little weird in them at times. The good thing about these story segments is that they cover up an load screens, meaning you are never really taken away from the action. So you never really want to stop playing the game, because you are immersed at all times.