Dylan Jobe, president of LightBox Interactive, has said the shooter landscape has changed since the firm released Warhawk in 2007, and because of this, it forced the team to be more original when creating the multiplayer components for Starhawk.
Speaking in an interview with the EU PS Blog, Jobe said the influx of multiplayer shooters out there was both a "concern and a motivator," for the team.
"I wouldn’t say the genre is bloated because I love shooters, but it’s competitive and that was both a concern and a motivator for Starhawk," he said. "It certainly forced us to be original and come up with genre innovations. Ask any gamer out there and they’ll say that they want to see something new. Too often, the only difference between one shooter and the next is the visual style of the gun and the scene that it is pointing at.
"[With Starhawk] two core elements spring to mind: multi-dimensional, fast-paced action, where you’re running and then driving and then you’re flying and it’s all seamless. A lot of other shooters relegate vehicle use to compartmental sections where you come down a tunnel, drive a tank from point A to point B, get out of the tank… that’s not what our game is. You can summon a Hawk on a launchpad wherever and whenever you want.
"My second favourite element [of the game] is the huge landscapes and a vehicle, in the Hawk, with which to get around very quickly. At one moment you could be creeping around a base on foot and seeing great detail close up, and at the next you can fly miles down the road at mach 2. We’re glad to have carried that scale over to Starhawk."
Just like with Warhawk, Jobe said players can spend either 20 minutes or months with Starhawk's multiplayer, and he said that this time out, LightBox has made it "easier for anyone playing the game to create a tournament."
"It’s completely integrated and allows players to choose from a variety of options," he explained. "To give an example: you want to have a tournament this weekend with your buddies to see who is best at flying a Hawk. You go in and create a private tournament and set it so that sign-up is on Wednesday but it’s going to begin on Friday, and it’s going to be based on Hawk kills in one particular environment. That sets up the server for the players you’ve selected as eligible and that server will automatically track results during the time window that you have set and then post the results afterwards.
"We also have the ability to create central tournaments that pay out little rewards, so you can go to your trophy room and see all the stamps that you got for participating or finishing in the top ten, and so forth."
Starhawk will be released exclusively for PS3 in 2012.