Hardware: Online Arena is an online multiplayer game that focuses on vehicular destruction using varying means such as missiles, lasers and machine guns. The game was released for PlayStation 2 with the launch of online play for the console and was possibly the first online game for PS2. The game was not a huge commercial success, selling very little. Later the game was added onto the network access disk that comes when you buy the network adaptor and during 2005 was one of the three most popular games played online having over 200 users on at any one time. GamesMaster Magazine said the game was, "A great indicator of the shape of things to come for PS2 online."
That said, the sole objective of Hardware: Online Arena or 'HOA' is to destroy everything that moves with your weapons. Or at least that's what you do most of the time, using tanks and jeeps to combust rivals or enemy clan members. Some strategy is involved and in modes such as capture the flag it is needed but mostly the player just blows up anything that isn't on their side.
This provides a lot of explosions and although the premise may be simple it provides a lot of entertainment and there are many different situations that can occur in the same environment. A game can turn either which way between two warring game clans and the result is not always the same. The main things to do are these:
Rockets: Fast spreading short distance weapon. You fire 5 rockets at once. Perfect tank killer. Harms enormous when you shoot them in a "dog fight". 10 rockets are usually enough to destroy any enemies vehicle. It is possible to fire rockets continuously (without any reload). This can be achieved by obtaining 5 rockets, shooting them, and then retrieving the desired number of rockets that the player would like to fire ceaselessly. By tapping the "fire" button (usually R2), the rockets will erupt out of the players turret until ammunition runs out, causing devastating effects in close-quarter battles. Rockets are almost completly ineffective at long range due to the fact that five rockets are fired at once, spreading out in all directions. This weapon can destroy vehicals through thin surfaces if the enimie is in direct contact with the other side of that surface.
Light Missile: Not very effective unless used in bulk. A number of "lights" is needed to destroy a vehicle unlike the heavy missile. These use a heat-seeking target mechanism to lock onto targets to track them, this can be achieved from the other side of the level in safety if need be and can be done with the heavy missile and railgun too if you are a proficient sniper. Lights fly high into the air when shot and hit the enemy falling down on him. Escape is hard when there is no possibility of cover. By holding down the fire button it is possible to get a "behind the missile" view of where the projectile is going. Because you can not control the missile this feature would only be advantageous if the player wishes to get a different view of the map as the missile flys through it (to look where players might be situated etc.) Of course the player is completley defenceless while using this feature. This weapon is a perfect jeep killer, however a tank (especially an armoured one) can take a substancial amount of light missiles before it is destroyed. This weapon can destroy vehicals through thin surfaces if the enimie is in direct contact with the other side of that surface.
Heavy Missile: "Heavies" are lock-on missiles similar to the lighter version except for the fact that they pack a much bigger punch. Two can usually be picked up at a time and when locked on they track with the target through the air to reach their destination. Two shots will usually explode a tank. Heavies don't fly up in the air when shot. They are deepfliers so you can escape them easily when you reach a wall or other. Lights are faster than heavies. As with lights, the heavies can be viewed from behind the projectile by holding the fire button. This weapon can destroy vehicals through thin surfaces if the enimie is in direct contact with the other side of that surface.
Railgun: Primarily the weapon of a sniper, the Railgun is used for making long-distance kills and destroys nearly anything with one shot. This is the most accurate weapon in the game if used properly. Instead of being fired by chemical means it uses electrical potential energy to send a projectile out at an extremely high velocity. It carries so much force with it that it is possible to frag a vehical if the railgun is shot right next to a player (i.e. the actual projectile doesnt appear to hit the vehical but instead makes contact near the player and results in a frag). The railgun is made for long range but, although difficuilt to use at short distamces, still has the same devestating effect if it hits a vehical. This weapon can be used in a variety of ways depending on the players style e.g. from a elevated stationary position (sniping), in a "dogfight" -up close and personal (killing multiple enimies at once), or in the air whilst jumping off or over objects, hills or other. This weapon can destroy vehicals through thin surfaces if the enimie is in direct contact with or extremely near the other side of that surface.
Plasma: A multi-firing weapon that shoots a barrage of blue plasma at an enemy. Damage is medium but can be fatal if used in combination with say a tank's turret. Plasma has a very fast lock on. Plasma is a multi-purpous weapon. It can be very effective at long ranges and can also be used in close-quarter battles with ease. The main disadvantage of this weapon is that it does not have a "lock on" as such. If the enimie moves out of the target proximity the target will "unlock", essencially meaning the player has to track moving vehicals while firing to ensure all of the plasma barrages hit the player. This weapon can destroy vehicals through thin surfaces if the enimie is in direct contact with the other side of that surface.
Machine Gun: On Jeeps only. A rapid-firing piece of equipment that can prove more effective than larger weapons in close-combat situations. It is made for short to medium ranges.
Bombs: 5 small bombs flying around and bouncing like balls when they hit something and explode when they don't bounce anymore or hit the enemies jeep/tank. You can shoot them continuously. Great for clearing out rooms or hangers etc. as the player does not need to be in view of his enimie to frag him/her. Bombs are fired one at a time but come in sets of 5. More than 5 bombs are needed to frag any armoured vehical if that vahical also has full health. This weapon can destroy vehicals through thin surfaces if the enimie is in direct contact with the other side of that surface.
Cannon: On tanks only. A powerful endless firing gun which harms more than the machine gun but needs some time to reload. It can be turned 360 with the tank's turret. It is made for short to medium ranges. This weapon can destroy vehicals through thin surfaces if the enimie is in direct contact with the other side of that surface.
Emps: Missiles which do not harm the opponent but cause a freeze movement or firing lock on the enemy. Drive emps cause the player to be stationary for a short period of time (sitting duck). They can still shoot and harm enimies under this emp's effect. Weapon emps cause the player's weapon system to be disabled for a short period of time. They are completly defenceless under this emps effect, but can still drive and hide.
The following is a table that shows the approximate amount of units of each weapon that is needed to take out particular vehicals:
|Laser||Rockets||Light missiles||Heavy missiles||Railgun||Plasma||Bombs||Machine gun||Cannon|
|Fully Armoured Jeep||1||10-15||6||2||1||10||10||100||10|
|Fully Armoured Tank||1||10-15||6-9||4||2||15||15||100||10-15|
Note: In weapons such as Plasma and rockets 5 units means one fire round with five barrets of the rocket or plasma etc.
Note: If you collect a powerup different from the current, it replaces the current, and if you collect the same type of powerup it increases the amount of that weapon held. The maximum is 100 pieces.