follow us:

Latest News

Tusk returns to Killer Instinct
The barbarian from Killer Instinct 2, Tusk will make his return to the franchise in Killer Instinct Season 3. ... [read more]
New Nintendo Direct shows Star Fox Zero in action
The latest Nintendo Direct had info about some up Nintendo's upcoming games, but let's face it, the start of the show was Star Fox Zero. ... [read more]
Capcom punishes rage quitters and will look for more
On Feb. 26, Capcom's Neidel "Haunts" Crisan revealed that rage quitter's were going to get punished, but he didn't give specifics. In his latest blog, he revealed the fate of those who can't take the loss. ... [read more]

Latest Articles

PAX South 2016: Umbrella Corps Preview
Compared to last year, PAX South 2016 was lacking major developers. This would explain why I was excited to see Capcom in attendance. I don’t play Resident Evil games, but something about the previews I had seen compelled me to stand in line to play Umbrella Corps.... [read more]
Your safe space doesn't belong in my competitive game
Whether it’s trash talking or teabagging, some people are looking for a nicer online experience. Guess what? We’re not in elementary school anymore. This is digital dodgeball and players like me are aiming for your head. ... [read more]
Smite Preview: Hey look at me, I'm playing a MOBA on my console
There's no doubt that the top two MOBA games are DotA 2 and League of Legends, and with the control layout for those games, it's unlikely we'll see those games make the jump to the consoles. However, Smite, the third-person perspective MOBA game and arguably the third most p... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Firewatch Review: Prepare for an interesting sensation
Firewatch is the first game developed by San Francisco-based company, Campo Santo. Needless to say, for this to be their first game it was certainly on fire. ... [read more]
Pony Island Review: Not that innocent of a game
I saw the trailer for Pony Island and thought to myself “Well, this looks like a fun puzzle game at least and it’s a pretty funny title”. I gave it a shot and I wasn’t disappointed.... [read more]
Undertale Review: An 8-bit RPG with a twist
Toby Fox first made himself known to the public with his ROM hack, “Press the B Button, Stupid!” for an Earthbound Halloween Pack back in 2008. With the help of artist Temmie Chang, he created a game that will take you back in time with its 8-bit look, music and turn-bas... [read more]

Latest Videos

PAX South 2016: Lords of New York Interview
If you never thought you wanted a poker RPG, then you haven't played Lords of New York from Lunchtime Studios. ... [read more]
PAX South 2016: Moving Hazard Interview
Moving Hazard is a new take on the zombie action game. The multiplayer shooter makes the zombies the weapon to take out the other team. ... [read more]
PAX South 2016: Eternal Interview
Dire Wolf Digital is jumping into the card game genre with Eternal. Unlike other card games, Eternal lets players make decisions both on offense and defense. ... [read more]
Hawken Beta Impressions
Posted on November 02, 2012 by Nickolai Niver

At first glance, Hawken looks freaking amazing, as if it were the heralded online mech game everyone has been waiting for. "True giant robot combat has finally been mastered" is what we would think. Players can now tactically fight each other as long-range 'bots protect close ranged mechs with artillery rounds. That sounds pretty cool, but it's not Hawken.

From what we've observed in the beta, Hawken is a bit different from what most expect from a first person mech title. It's taken the traditional slow, tactical gameplay found in most mech games and replaced it with fast paced shooting. Instead of trying to be the better strategist on the battlefield, players are now duking it out as if it were another Halo title. Except, instead of Spartans or elites, players are playing as giant robots who bring only suffering. Stranger still, it actually works.

Adhesive Games has not only taken a whole new spin on giant death machines, they've done quite well at translating their idea to a playable product. Hawken, in its beta stage, shows promise for a title that's trying to break away from the norm. The mechs are much faster, and much more capable of performing functions without the assistance of others. It's a much faster, and more 'arcadey' feeling title than MechWarrior Online.

The customization is also a bit different than what most players would be comfortable with. Rather than having players saving up for the “best” weapons or body parts, they level up their respective mechs and then put points into skill trees in a way not dissimilar from a title like World Of Warcraft. It's a new approach on Mech games, but it may have strayed a little too far from the norm. Customization has gone from building a completely unique machine that represents you, to fulfilling one of the archetypes that are presented to the player.

The fullest realization of archetypes being pushed onto players is the class system offered in the game. While these classes are a bit different from the RPG types of “Healer, dps, tank” and all of them focus on doing damage to one extent or another, players will notice a lack of customization after they pick one of them. While no one is necessarily expecting the customization that was offered in Chromehounds or Armored Core, being forced to pick the bot you feel best suits you, rather than building your own custom machine, feels a bit restrictive. Sure, there'd be the guys who'd abuse dual flak-cannons (shotguns), but that's part of the fun in the title.

As far as presentation goes, the game is gorgeous. Going into the tutorial with little knowledge of what the game was trying to portray (other than robots kicking the crap out of each other), I was quickly able to piece it together. Before the player is a dystopia. The world has been destroyed, and players fight in what were once-fruitful cities. While the story is paper thin, it looks good. The graphics do a fine job of portraying just how horrible a place Illal is.

The controls also manage to handle properly. While they take a while to get used to, I can't see too many players fumbling over the controls as they try to figure out what's going on. Again, I cannot stress enough that these machines do not control like a 'traditional' mech does. Making them boost around and turn on a dime is something they are completely capable of. There are no secret tactics to be learned. Just be the fastest moving and hardest hitting player and you will succeed. That may sound simple to some, but trying to lock a target from 40 meters away while jet-strafing sideways in between two buildings takes quite a bit of practice.

Hawken will certainly be a different title when it's released, and that's not a bad thing. The kind of arcade gameplay offered to players could very well open the door for more gamers to enjoy the mech genre. I may not be a huge fan of how simple the title is, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's a very well designed game that is as player friendly as it is fun and will be definitely something to consider when it launches.

Nickolai Niver - Staff Writer nic (@) | all author's articles

What's your most anticipated game for March?

Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation
Tom Clancy's The Division
EA Sports UFC 2
Senran Kagura: Estival Versus
Samurai Warriors 4 Empires
MLB The Show 16
Pokken Tournament
Killer Instinct Season 3
View Results - View Comments


Catching up with Koretzky

Time For Some Anime

E3 2012: Hawken is the game mech fans have been waiting for

Armored Core V Review

Other Gaming News From The Web