Hawken Review

Credit: 505 Games/ Meteor Entertainment/ Reloaded Games, Adhesive Games
Hawken (Xbox One) Review

Hawken is a first person mech shooter set in a dystopian war for what’s left of the planets natural resources, and it’s pretty fantastic. Unlike Pacific Rim, in which 90 meter high robots do battle with the equally terrifying Kaiju, you are not a lumbering tower of steel and muscle strands. 


You are a much smaller, far more mobile type of mech, fighting the opposing faction across a myriad of maps and locations. Gameplay wise it’s incredibly fun, even at the lower tiers even with the relatively balanced “microwave”.  The more you play the more in-game currency you'll earn and you'll be able to spend the free in-game currency to progress, alternatively you can spend real world money to buy mechs and upgrades. All the cosmetic choices in the game are purchased using real money as a means to support the game. This is the same method many F2P games have used to great effect, to both be fair and sustain the profitability of the game. With the elephant in the room out of the way, let me get back to that gameplay I was talking about. 

Credit: 505 Games/ Meteor Entertainment/ Reloaded Games, Adhesive Games

The gunfights in Hawken can be held at point blank range, with mechs engaging in a skirmish that wouldn’t be amiss in the Dark Ages, albeit with high caliber guns and a large array of explosive weapons. Or they can be held at long range, with the game featuring it’s very own sniper class. Mechs too fragile to venture into the violent melee can stand back at long range and make those hulking behemoths regret the day they dared cross your path. In fact the game features a whole host of different mechs and different playstyles. It even has mechs specifically designed with stealth in mind, a mech called the “Incinerator" class which leaches heat from nearby mechs (guns can overheat causing you to stop firing at really bad moments). Certain mechs are more mobile while other have more armor. 

Credit: 505 Games/ Meteor Entertainment/ Reloaded Games, Adhesive Games

Every mech has the ability to effectively sprint using rocket boosters, you can also use these to fly to an extent. This means that mobility is key. It doesn’t matter how big you are or how amazing those twin linked chain cannons are. If someone in a smaller lighter mech can get behind you. You probably aren’t getting out of this alive. The game also has some deployables, some mechs can deploy remote controlled explosive charges, others can deploy missile and galling turrets to help lock down choke points. Now I’m an fps player at heart and having played almost 300 hours of rainbow six siege, I respect the principle that death can come from all sides and any height. So the first game I played I single handedly inflicted more casualties on the enemy team, than their whole team did to us. Jumping around like a maniac, sadistically hiding on rooftops before pouring fire from above, flashing around a and using cover to deflect there poor attempts at retribution. 

Credit: 505 Games/ Meteor Entertainment/ Reloaded Games, Adhesive Games

Now a bunch of rookies vs a team of players who know the game is going to be a different matter entirely, but the game takes pains to make sure you understand it from stage one. The mech you start off with is balanced on a knife edge and dare I say it, is my favorite mech so far. Sporting a machine gun on its right arm which does decent damage and has pretty decent range, and a punishing RPG that you can detonate midair, it's excellently balanced. 

The last feature I’d touch on (and this is in no way a comprehensive guide to the game) are the abilities each mech has. Some mechs have damage reduction boosts, other damage boosts in one form or another, and every mech in the game has its own ability that can somehow change the ebb and flow of a battle. Should that mean you tanking in the front line while dishing out huge amounts of damage or sitting back behind your built in ballistic shields bringing death from afar. Playing as a scout mech makes me want to charge down the barrels of the enemy nimbly dodging missile fire, while screaming “I am awaited in vallhalla!”

Credit: 505 Games/ Meteor Entertainment/ Reloaded Games, Adhesive Games

 It’s not the best game in the world but it is free to download. And incredibly fun and satisfying to play, if you are an old hand to the mech genre or even if this is your first fps game. I assure you, you will find some kind of fun in Hawken. Having put in about 5 or 6 hours at this point I don’t regret a single minute of riding into battle. Shiny and chrome
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