I got into the Hawken beta last month, played it once and hadn’t played it again. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but something about it didn’t excite me. Recently I decided to give it another go. I wanted to see what Adhesive Games had updated and felt the game worthy of another try.
Since it’s just me playing today there’s no commentary during the video so I’ll provide what I can here. I figured the best way to get into the game was just straight up deathmatch. Something nice and simple, I shoot them, they shoot me back, done deal. So far I’ve seen two maps, the “green city” and in this video the “desert city”. I use the term seen loosely as the gameplay gets to be so frantic and fast that quite often you don’t even see the environment as you’re moving around so quickly focused on your targets. Which is a bit of a shame as they are very well done and detailed. Though they both feel a bit similar as it’s just buildings plopped down in a different landscape, but I can see why as the maps need to be tight in order to push the frenzied gameplay.
I’m one of the first people in the match ranking in at 1st place out of 12. I do a fair job of giving that up as more people join. Quite quickly becoming ranked 11th. I’m not super familiar with the game and the controls. It’s a lot like playing the old Unreal Tournament with the double tapping to do dodging to either get you across the battlefield faster or to make yourself harder to hit. After a bit of wandering I make contact and the fun begins. Your “mech” gets three slots, utility, defensive, and offensive. By default you get grenades for offensive but the others are empty and you have to buy your own items to fill those out. The enemy I come across starts throwing grenades and makes use of a shield, I only have grenades and honestly, I can’t remember how to throw them. This leaves me having to use my two guns which get overheated rather quickly. You’d think after playing so much Mechwarrior Online I’d be use to managing heat, but it crops up pretty sudden for me.
One of my biggest annoyances with the game happens when you die. You’re taken “out” of the game and to this deploy screen where you can quickly switch out weapons and equipment. I get what they’re trying to do, allowing you to change stuff up on the fly, your chassis, weapons, or loadouts. More often than not, however, I just hit launch as fast as I can. I want to get back into the fight without hassle. Someone just killed me and I want revenge or I almost had this guy and I want to get back and finish him off. This screen stops that. It breaks the pacing and it’s one of the few things I wish they’d redesign a bit.
As we’re fighting you can see me activate the repair bot dude when I happen to find a safe spot. Your chassis basically goes inactive and a little drone flies up and repairs you. I kinda like it. It rewards the smart player who manages to escape the fight or the victor who’s just won and needs to lick his wounds. At this point though I’m still getting my ass kicked but I’m slowly figuring it out and managing to hold my own a bit better. I eventually work my way up to 3rd before the match ends.
The interface for the game is something else I like quite a bit. Swapping out components is easy and intuitive (though finding where to go may not be) and the HUD for your chassis makes it feel like your fighting in a jet. On the ground. It’s pretty slick. Overall I’m rather impressed with the game but at the same time I don’t know if it’s one I’ll be playing a lot despite my love of all things mech. We’ll see if later updates change that for me.