First official details have been released for Starhawk, spiritual successor to the online-only PS3 title Warhawk, and while we knew the game would be different, no one could have anticipated how different.

Offering the standard multiplayer variant that Warhawk was known for, as well as a new single player campaign, Starhawk promises to take all that was great from its predecessor and push it to the next level.

Probably the most unique element of Starhawk, as compared to Warhawk, is its storyline. While Warhawk was an experiment in both digital downloads and online-only experiences, Starhawk leans more towards your traditional fare by employing a new single player campaign.

In the world of Starhawk there is a rare resource known as Rift Energy that drives the entire plot of the game forward. As the character of Emmett Graves, a hired mercenary who has been affected by prolonged exposure to Rift Energy, players will experience a bounty hunter-esque storyline that takes them across the Planet Dust.

Though the prospect of single player is new and exciting, what most gamers will be flocking to Starhawk for is the multiplayer combat. The game features a 32-player variant that features both the third person shooter and aerial dogfights of Warhawk only with two new elements added in: mechs and construction.

In Warhawk, players could control different styles of “fighter jets” that posed a strategic advantage versus the machine gun equipped players on the ground. Those elements still remain but for Starhawk, new developer Lightbox Interactive has given those “fighter jets” the ability to transform into mechanized robots a la something out of Transformers. So now, instead of two levels of combat, Starhawk features a third that will allow battles to take place between mechs.

The other new element being added to the gameplay is a creation mechanic dubbed Build and Battle that is employed in a similar fashion to traditional RTS titles. Players, while on the ground, will be able to highlight a designated area in order to place a strategically advantageous building there. Areas like sniper nests and depots will fall from the sky to add support to you and your team, but they will also crush any enemies that occupy that given space. With an improved graphics engine at work, those particular instances are the most visually exciting.

While we anticipate more reveals are in store for Starhawk, the basic outline of the combat and story are in place. With those details in mind, take an extended look at the game in action:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJmmkDtrWGo

Starhawk offers a unique riff on Warhawk’s experimental features while making conscious efforts to appeal to a larger variety of gamers. With new combat mechanics, a new developer, and a single player storyline, Starhawk could be the sleeper 2012 PS3 exclusive Sony fans have been waiting for.

What do you think of Starhawk? Which of the new features added to the game holds the most appeal for you?

Starhawk is scheduled for a 2012 release exclusively on the PS3.

Source: YouTube, PlayStation Lifestyle

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