Hawken is a MMO first-person shooter placing players inside the cockpit of a mechanized war machine. Choose from multiple modes of gameplay and a wide variety of mechs to enter the future of war.
|Publisher: K2 Network
Type: MMO Shooter
Release Date: December 12, 2012
Pros: +Polished graphics and fluid gameplay. +Large variety of mechs. +Fast paced fun combat. +Cooperative play
Cons: -Repetitive gameplay. -Imbalanced matchmaking. -Tedious grind to unlock mechs.
Hawken is a mech-based first-person shooter developed by Adhesive Games and currently owned by Reloaded Games. The lobby-based shooter features a wide variety of mechs suited for specific roles on the battlefield. Choose a mech that fits your playstyle—on the front lines as a Brawler or sitting back armed with a sniper rifle. Taking down more than one war machine is impossible alone. Sticking together and working as a team is the only way to win in Hawken. Each mech has a permanent secondary weapon and a primary weapon that can be swapped out. No weapon is superior to another; each one suits a particular playstyle. The unique control scheme mimics lumbering machines, featuring a dodge mechanic that must be mastered early on if you’re to survive. Enter the pilot's seat of a bipedal mechanized robotic warrior and experience the future of combat.
Hawken Key Features:
- Loadout Customization – cater to your playstyle by choosing passive, offensive, and defensive improvements.
- Multiple Game Modes – including deathmatch, team deathmatch, missile assault, siege, co-op bot destruction, and co-op team deathmatch.
- Large Variety of Mechs – each one suited for a specific role on the battlefield.
- Fast-Paced Gameplay – matches pit players against each other quickly.
- Unique Items – such as grenades and holograms to aid in combat.
- Cosmetic Items - customize your mech's appearance with a wide range of skins.
Hawken Featured Video
By Sean Sullivan
In Hawken’s dystopian future, limited resources on a colonized planet are seized through war. Exchange blows on the battlefield by piloting prodigious mechs and working together to thwart enemies in order to secure victory. When you begin your career as a pilot, only Team Deathmatch is available. As you progress and learn the game's mechanics, you unlock new modes of play. It's a sensical way of introducing players to the game without overwhelming them. With only one available mech to start with, I elected to test the Assault class.
Piloting a Mech Never Felt So Good
Every map is intimate enough that you’re shoved into a firefight in moments. Like a father sending his son off on a bike for the first time without a helmet, you are likely going to crash and get killed. But it’s fun. Mech games that make you feel like you’re surrounded by metal, oil, and bolts are as rare as the likelihood of mech combat happening tomorrow. Hawken, however, has pulled it off.
Tromping onto the battlefield is easy enough. Move with the WASD keys. With each step your machine rumbles and grinds. Pressing shift activates a booster for a quick sprint while holding spacebar sends you skyward for a brief time. Both rocket propulsion systems quickly use fuel, forcing you to monitor them closely. Immediately I noticed that turning was not easy. This isn’t Counter Strike 1.6. You can’t nudge your mouse, pirouette like a ballerina, and headshot a player. It’s a Metal Gear; you move like one. Movement isn’t slow but it’s also not agile. Mastering your machine's functions and understanding its dexterity is vital to survival.
To make up for the sheer size and clumsy bipedal mobility Hawken includes a sideways dodge boost. By holding shift and “A” or “D” you can maneuver your machine in a quick sideways burst to avoid enemy fire. Be sure you don't hold “W” while doing so as you can’t move forward and sideways at the same time. Dodging around enemy projectiles is the only way to gain the upper hand. More than once a rocket would have shattered the glass protecting my squishy body, but I evaded with a swift dodge.
The fierceness of a firefight often leaves your mech in a state of disarray. Press C to start healing. The catch is as you heal your radar disappears. So, pick a nice nook in the dilapidated map and hide out until you’re drone bot finishes the repairs.
Every mech has a primary and secondary weapon. Secondary weapons are permanent, such as rocket launchers, and cannot be switched. On the other hand, primary weapons can switch. They are not so much upgrades that can be bought but alternatives to suit a particular playstyle. A center crosshair indicates the trajectory of your shots. Line it up and fire away.
The radar is the bottom lefthand corner. Pay attention to it. You and your teammates can spot enemies by pressing “Q,” à la Battlefield style, and register them as orange blips on the map. Have some team spirit and press Q, otherwise you’ll be flanked and unhappy.
Burn Baby Burn
Watching sparks fly, glowing until they conflagrate, feels deserving. They explode in an inferno that says “I did it.” Or, you can watch yourself immolate and turn into disappointed ash. Every mech is perfectly suited to take out every other mech in a 1v1 match. It’s your skills versus theirs. Since the mechs are equally fortified, you must stick together as you hunt. Doing so gives you the upper hand. Surrounded by two enemies, it’s nearly impossible to kill either. You’re assaulted by a maelstrom of bullets and rockets, firepower that shroud the battlefield. This is not a game where solo players are rewarded. The lone wolf is turned into a pelt and hung out to dry. Cooperate with your team or die.
I was minding my own business high atop a lifeless jungle looking for my prey. Alone. My teammates were not marking the radar—neither was I. All of a sudden my systems went haywire. “INCOMING.” Missiles breached my hull and my mech was cut to half health. Two enemies flanked me from either direction. Strafing was out of the question. They mowed me down in less than an instant. Dead.
A Beautiful Day to Die
But dying is okay. You’re swiftly thrown back into the battle (the future runs on a Gundam economy). Back in the game, with a moment to spare before smoke, blood, and ash converge, you may notice how beautiful Hawken looks. The maps are gorgeous—where cities evoke a cyberpunk landscape and forests teem with fungi and oak. It evokes a science fiction atmosphere where giant mechs would kill each other in the streets. The first person perspective, displaying your gritty cockpit, creates the sensation that you're strapped into a warring machine. The Metal Gear influence is undeniable.
I Choose You
From lightweight speedy machines to hulking monsters, there are mechs for every taste. Different armor, handling, and weapon layouts create tactical variety and suit any playstyle. Move around the map swiftly, finding vantage points to pick off enemies from a distance. Play assault and throw yourself in the enemy's face as you unleash bullets into their machine. However, unlocking the mechs can be slow and tedious if you don't want to dish out money for bonus experience boosts or in-game currency to unlock the mechs early on. Everything in the game, from cosmetics to items to in-game avatars are on sale with either the in-game currency (earned from completing missions) or the games cash currency. There's an abundance of mechs you have to purchase to play. I do wish you could test out more of them before spending hard-earned currency. Nevertheless, the prices aren't ludicrous or unfair. For the time, I'll stick with playing the game to earn in-game currency.
Final Verdict - Great
Hawken is a highly-stylized MMO Shooter that imparts a realistic sensation of what it would be like to command a mech. Fierce battles are decided by momentary decisions, and the destuction of hulking machines is both satisfying and beautiful. It's a game where solo-play is frowned upon. Be a teamplayer; rekindle your little league team spirit. Otherwise, you'll be looking at killcams not victories. Unlocking new mechs can be arduous because earning the in-game currency is a slow process. A completionist will be forced to invest hours into Hawken to unlock every war machine. For the rest of us, Hawken is a highly polished pick-up shooter. Whether you queue up for matches alone or gather a group of friends, Hawken is bound to be fun.
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (32bit or 64bit)
CPU: 2Ghz Dual Core
RAM: 3 GB RAM
Video Card: 512 MB Graphics Card Supporting DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 3.0 (NVIDIA 9800 GTX or AMD HD 5670)
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB available space
Additional Info: 1280 x 720 or Higher Resolution
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (64bit)
CPU: 3Ghz Dual Core
RAM: 4 GB RAM
Video Card: 1024MB Graphics Card Supporting DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 3.0 (NVIDIA GTX 460 or AMD HD 6850)
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB available space
Hawken Additional Information
Developer(s): Adhesive Games, Reloaded Games (acquisition)
Publisher(s): Meteor Entertainment, K2 Network (acquisition)
Producer(s): Joshua Clausen (acquisition)
Designer(s): Khang Le, Christoper Lalli, John Park
Game Engine: Unreal Engine 3
Game Director(s): Bill Munk
Game Artist(s): David Hensley
Announcement Date: March 9, 2011
Open Beta Date: December 12, 2012
Steam Release Date: February 14, 2014
Launch Date: December 12, 2012
Shut Down: January 02, 2018 (PC)
Development History / Background:
Adhesive Games announced Hawken on March 9, 2011 after developing the game for only nine months. Using the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), designer Khang Le aspired to produce a triple-A quality game in a tight timeframe. The name of the game evolved from a joke. Le consistently made of fun of a former 3D artist named James Hawkins and the resulting name "Hawken" stuck to the game. On August 24, 2011, it was announced that independent production company DJ2 Entertainment acquired the rights to a film adaptation of Hawken. The story will focus on two pilots from rivaling clans set to destroy each other. No further information about the film has been released since the initial announcement. On March 16, 2015, Reloaded Games, owner of APB Reloaded, acquired the rights to Hawken after nearly a year of silence from the Adhesive Games team. The PC servers for Hawken were shut down on January 02, 2018. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One servers remain online, but with a tiny playerbase.