When you say mech games nowadays, there's so little that pops in my head. It's a style that we rarely see in this generation. Well, Hawken is here to hopefully fill that void. Hawken is now on it's open-beta stages since December, so I took the opportunity and played a few rounds of mech warfare.
Developer: Adhesive Games Publisher: Meteor Entertainment Release Date: Currently on Open-beta
This multiplayer Free-To-Play title caught my eye when I first saw a couple of screenshots of the game's HUD. It gave the impression that they want to make players feel as if they are really inside a mech with a first person perspective. When I finally got a chance to play a match, it certainly felt that way. The movement in the cockpit plus the sounds it makes while move really sold it.
Hawken is surprisingly fast-paced. You will die if you are not paying attention and just like most online games nowadays, the spawn rate is so fast that you can instantly get back into the action. I mostly played Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch (There's still Missile Assault and Siege game modes) to just go all out with the carnage and I was having a blast. Dashing from left to right, boosting up to catch someone above, and hiding in a corner to use my repair bot in order to repair any damage I've taken. The overall feeling was just right.
It was definitely something different and it's hard to believe it's Free-To-Play, especially on how great the game looks like on max settings. Tons of detail on the map environments and seeing an enemy mech blow up in front of you is quite satisfying.
Another thing I quite like is the fact that every mech in the game can level up and be customized to your playstyle. Down to countermeasures, offensive items, to internal parts to improve certain stats. Nothing like Armored Core though, where you need to think about every single part, but it will do. You can also customize it cosmetically, but that requires real money to get those damn paint patterns.
Aside from paint jobs, you can also spend your hard-earned cash on unlocking new mech and new parts to play around with, but these can be earned without spending a dime, just be ready to spend a good amount of time with the game. The points earned after every match to buy is quite small that I instantly felt the need to grind. I'm still questioning if players that do buy new mechs and parts with real money get an advantage. But so far I see no problem taking down mechs with the basic machine given at the start.
The latency is a bit of a problem at times. With me living in the Philippines, I filter to join the asian and oceanic regions to lessen the lag. But even with me filtering to a closer server, I occasionally experience latency up to 200, which can ruin gameplay, especially when using rockets that has a delay when launched.
They also have a story all planned up. Not in the game though, a web-series, which is planned for release this year. Check the trailer below.
Is it worth a try?
Yes, definitely. This is the mech game that should have been made years ago. Plus, its free. All you lose is HD space if it's not your kind of game. For me, I don't see myself playing this everyday though, just small bursts. It's still in open beta after all, so I will definitely log in every now and then to see the new improvements and added content.
If you'd like to give a go, go ahead to Hawken's official website and create an account now. Download the client and start playing.