Editor’s note: Pure Reminiscing is a brand new feature from our very own Kyle Durant. It’s… different. Think of it like a mini-novel full of Kyle’s most weird and wonderful musings about games of yesteryear. If nothing else, at least it’s long enough to give you something to do on your journey to work in the morning….
A tall, but what some would say is a gentle soul sits in a leather armchair sipping some bourbon on the rocks. He appears to be quite the fancy fella and the way he wears his black top hat and monocle in his right eye indicates this is Kyle Durant, the one with highest of class at Pure PlayStation. There’s a fireplace to his right crackling, bringing bouncing light and shadow to the trophy room he currently resides. A bookcase completely covers the wall around the dancing heat source while the rest of the room is adorned with trophies, certificates, ribbons, and screenshots of the many, many, many, many, many gaming accomplishments and memories of the team, past and present, here. This was the Pure PlayStation lounge room that was finally revealed by GOODKyle (Kyle Durant’s gaming handle) not too long ago in our Observation review.
“Why hello there!” Kyle exclaimed as he saw the transparent, mechanical orb fly into the room.
He had won this marvel in an arm-wrestling competition with an African Warlord in the dense jungles of Africa. The Pure PlayStation team sent an excursion down there to free the local civilians and were only successful due to the habits and knowledge they learned from video games. Winning the orb was just icing on the cake since it was originally stolen from some hi-tech research facility they didn’t bother returning it to. Regardless, this piece of technology was able to tell when readers were viewing a website and break the fourth wall by relaying that information with Pure PlayStation’s Kyle. It would then act as a transmitter putting words to digital paper based on what he said and thought.
“I suppose it was only a matter of time before more people questioned if this place actually exists,” he bemused to himself. “Of course, who wouldn’t want to hear about my opinions though.”
Kyle stood up with the grace of a master ballerina and in such a way that said he didn’t wait for time, rather time waited for him. His bourbon remained motionless in the glass and his monocle remained in place throughout the entire motion. He strolled over to the left of the fireplace and quickly admired the shelves before looking for a specific book, his fingers sliding across the spines of printed words. You see Kyle has played a lot of video games and not in a bragging fashion. He has just played a lot and much more than his fellow Pure PlayStationians. So the entire left side of the bookcase belongs to his accomplishments, feats, thoughts, and experiences on the PlayStation platform.
“There we are Starhawk,” Kyle muttered just above a whisper and pulled down a tome. “No better place to start in these reminiscent ramblings down nostalgia lane.”
He turned about-face so perfectly that no drill instructor would ever critique him and made his way back to his lounge chair. Once resting he placed his alcoholic drink on the small, wooden table to his left and opened his retrieved item. The orb had followed him and his movements so precisely that it was like it wasn’t even there broadcasting. Kyle opened the book titled ‘Starhawk’ and flipped through a few of the pages. Written there in the passing pages were a handful of pictures and factoids like GOODKyle acquiring Starhawk’s platinum trophy, a series of link directions for something called Starhawk Mythbusters on a site known as Youtube, an assortment of insanely impressive online stats, and much more.
“I know many will be surprised the spiritual predecessor Warhawk isn’t being included,” Kyle began first looking at the orb, “but Starhawk just resonated with me in a way and wasn’t bogged down by the PS3’s beginning dilemmas. Plus, I’ve learned to like what I like with no shame ever since Horizon Zero Dawn hater, Chris Harding, who has the nerve to call himself the owner of this fine establishment, spoke negatively about Aloy’s adventure.”
The hint of unbelievable disgust was well on Kyle’s face before disappearing in waves of Starhawk memories. Good thing too because his brow was furrowed to the point that his monocle almost fell out.
So Starhawk is one of those games that should have been way more popular than it was. Granted it did get moderate to positive reviews, but sales capped at around 100,000 copies as of latest estimates. Naturally the game’s player population dwindled as time went on and meant Starhawk’s first few weeks were where the real fun was at. Public empty lobbies did eventually become a problem. That first month of release though was in the top ten multiplayer joyrides in my life. The third person shooter engraved itself with such uniqueness that it reveled in its gameplay and was unashamed in doing so. Granted the singleplayer was basically a tutorial and seemingly something out of a user-generated content creator, but no one was buying Starhawk for the campaign. Unless there were some real deep state Warhawk fans that is and even than not enough showed up comparing the two titles’ sales numbers.
I remember the simple joy of my pod rocketing down to the map at the beginning of a match, calling in a vehicle structure from up above, riding one of those vehicles to the enemy’s side, getting a handful of road kill eliminations, and then building a base structure to hold off the coming tide as long as I could. It was hilarious watching opponents enter the sole way they could, only to be wrecked by my energy infused humanoid. Then they’d finally catch on and bring out some rocket launchers to bring down my base and leave me more exposed than Chris realizing his English slang is nonsense. There were such amazing battles that included jetpacks and squads of players calling in all sorts of defenses, weapons, and buildings to try to outsmart each other alongside out gunning each other. And that’s not to even mention the Hawks, transformable jets also capable of rapid flight. Battles could be held on two fronts, both in the air and on the ground with each side able to assist one another in some capacity.
It was just so cool seeing these jets transform into upright robots that could fire an assortment of projectiles and stomp on anything that came close. However, a skilled enough player could easily take these giants out with just a rocket launcher. There was even a trophy for that nonetheless. Not only was this game full of moments no other title could replicate, but it was balanced incredibly well. I remember erecting a tower far off the beaten path of a large map and trying to snipe the enemy flag’s spawn point. The map design prevented me from effectively doing this, yet you best believe I took a few heads over 2,500 feet. Which was also a trophy. My favorite moment though that involves balancing mechanics and the build and battle feature was in another capture the flag match.
I had sneaked around the far right side of the map and avoided the entire enemy team. Unfortunately, they had built a ton of barriers around their flag’s location. I was able to scale the walls and jump over only to find out that this structure extended quite a ways. Then I realized that there were turrets all over the interior of this place. Thankfully I had the ability equipped that made turrets all but ignore me. Realizing I needed to move fast I grabbed the flag and started going in circles trying to find a way out. That’s when I remembered that the building mechanic only allowed other objects to get so close and the opponents built this place as tight as they could. So using my head I jumped on a turret and lunged for the top of the barriers I had just passed seconds ago. I was successful in my attempt and quickly got on my vehicle to only be hit by sniper fire. I did eventually get that enemy flag back to mine, but that was another crazy story on its own.
I really don’t know how else to praise this title. It had verticality that the jetpacks allowed even more strategy, tanks, mechs that transform and fly, a variety of futuristic weapons, great map design, great map variety and size, the calling down of structures on the fly, destroying so many things with your spawning pod flying back down to earth (or outer orbit), and Starhawk just deserved so much more. Lightbox Interactive did an amazing job crafting a head-to-head online world I can only hope of seeing again.
“I shame each and every person who did not purchase this wonderful game,” Kyle stated as he put the book back in its place. “Especially Chris since we know he doesn’t like wonderful things.”
A small tinge of sadness traveled throughout Kyle’s mind. He rested a wrist against the mantel of the fireplace, a glass of bourbon almost empty hanging from the drooping hand. Kyle eventually grew melancholic over the fact that he was able to play such an intriguing and unique game and with a swig finished off the hard liquor. Suddenly the tall, mahogany, lounge double door swung open. There looking panicked was the Pure PlayStation butler with a PlayStation themed outfit instead of the typical black and white one. He too, also wore a monocle.
“Sir! Surveillance shows two huge transport jets para-dropping 256 soldiers less than a mile from here! We need to get out there!”
With that Kyle’s somber expression turned into a smirk. Shooters were one of his best genres and couldn’t wait to get out there to see the recent development himself. He rushed over to the opposite wall, barely placing the drinking glass on the chair side table, and pulled off an AG-94 from the wall. It had a rusted overall look with some SVER decals plastered on the sides, but this assault rifle had logged over hundreds of hours. With another nostalgic glee, Kyle ran out the lounge, gun over his shoulder, with the butler to presumably own some Valor and Raven noobs.