Warhawk: Omega Dawn Impressions

It’s no secret that I love Warhawk , despite the fact that it’s gone through quite a few growing pains. Yesterday the first batch of downloadable content was released, Omega Dawn. I quickly swooped in and picked it up.

Coming in at essentially eight dollars ($7.99), the new pack will give you:

  • A new map called “Omega Factory”, and its 6 different layouts.
  • A new aircraft called the KT-424 Combat Dropship.
  • 5 new layouts for maps from the original game, taking advantage of the new aircraft.

Getting into a game that took advantage of this content was initially rough. It’s no secret that exclusive content splinters the user base, so finding a full game with 31 others willing to shell out 8 bucks took me longer than I would have liked. Hopefully this is only a temporary problem, and with time more will pick it up, but one worth mentioning nonetheless.

If you’ve played Warhawk then you know it takes time to learn every nuance of a map, as they’re quite large. This new Omega Factory is no different. It’s a very dark (night time), industrial area, who’s rocky surfaces are lined with giant pipelines. Two giant towers, only accessible by air, overlook the battlefield, giving the map a very vertical feel. I’m not going to pretend to know the map perfectly, but it seems to be equally balanced between air and ground combat zones. The new airship fits right at home here.

Speaking of, the new KT-424 ship is a very welcome addition to Warhawk. Similar to the Elephant in Halo 3, if it could fly, the KT is a huge beast to be feared. The pilot takes the helm while up to 6 others hop on board, each manning a different missile turret or gun. The KT can either navigate the map, offering support and carrying tanks/jeeps to soldiers in need, or can position itself in hover mode, allowing the pilot to man the rapid fire guns. While heavily armored and extremely deadly, the dropship is slower and less maneuverable than the warhawks, becoming an instant target.

The simple addition of this new vehicle, and it’s inclusion in all 6 maps, adds quite a bit of strategic play to this online game. A team that communicates well, and coordinates strikes will easily dominate. So get a headset. The fact that not everyone has one, and isn’t willing to talk, can be incredibly frustrating. There is nothing more pathetic than someone taking off in the new KT, alone, and being mercilessly shot down.

At $7.99, and offering 1/5 of the content in the original game, the Omega Dawn expansion is perfect for those that love Warhawk, but probably not enough to bring back those that have moved on. Since its release the PS3 has since received COD4, TF2, and UT3, other excellent online shooters, so this content might be too little too late. If you still play Warhawk, you’ll spend hours on the new map, learning the different layouts, and flying the new ship, making this a great deal.

I hope more people purchase and play this expansion. Hopefully we’ll get more.

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