Hawken: Glimpse of First Closed Beta

I attached a screenshot and a video clip of the beta. 

Before I begin, I’d like all of you guys to know that I have a never played a mech-based shooter in my entire life. This is all new to me, so I’ll be writing about this game as a newcomer to the genre. However, I’m writing about Hawken for one simple reason– it’s a head turner and I kid you not. When I attended New York Comic Con 2012 a few weeks ago, I’ve stopped by a myriad of booths on the show floor. Some I’ve totally forgotten about and a couple I’ve found myself drawn to. While browsing through Archaia Publishing’s booth, I noticed two computers positioned at the corner. Two boys were playing a game, and in it, they controlled mechs with the sole objective of decimating mech foes with bullets and missiles. I shrugged it off as another stereotypical shooter game and left. Yet, every time I walked by Archaia’s booth for the next two days, it was hard not to turn my head and watch. It was only after a few instances this happened again, I realized that I actually wanted to get and play this game. It’s hard not to be green with envy when people get to revel in destruction and explosions while you simply spectate. Hawken may not be the type of game I usually look for, but it surely has my interest piqued.

As a result, I was able to get my hands on a special code from the good people of Hawken during NYCC. This code allows me access to the game’s first closed beta. I was so excited to give this game a go, but there were several problems I encountered even before I started playing. It took me more or less a day to finally get into a match, because of server matchmaking issues. I contacted tech support and it seemed to be a common problem. Luckily, they released a patch last weekend during the closed beta event. I was able to get in a couple of games but the matchmaking issue would still persist at times. I hope that this wouldn’t be a recurring problem when the final game is released.

While I was browsing through the various matches, there were a lot of different kinds of games available like deathmatch, team deathmatch, missile and the like you would normally find in shooter games. I wasn’t given the luxury to choose what type of map or match I wanted because of the recurring matchmaking issues. Thus, I elected to join random games available. Not a big deal really, since I just wanted to get a feel of Hawken’s gameplay. After you’ve been successfully placed in a game, you’ll find yourself in your own garage. Check the screenshot above and the video I posted below to see what I’m talking about. In your garage, you can choose your mech’s arsenal. You have two main weapons: your primary machine gun and your heavy weapon of choice.

In the video below, it is evident in my zero kills and numerous deaths that I’m not good at this game at all. However, I had quite a bit of fun shooting other mechs and exploring the area. I’m not really one who can give proper critique on technicalities unless its glaring right at me. So far, I think the gameplay is easy to comprehend. I think I just need a little more time to adjust to the controls though. Plus, I’ve got to learn how those other mechs jump and evade me like ninjas. I know this is just the beta, but I think it would be cool if they added missions a la Mass Effect 3 multiplayer where you have to complete specific and unique objectives either as a team or as an individual. I’m not talking about simple capture the flag type missions, but stuff like sending a signal or transport items from one place to another. I’m definitely lured in with all the action, but hopefully they will eventually add in more features that will enhance its replayability.


So, I hope my brief piece and video provide more insight on what kind of game Hawken is. If you’re interested to know more about the game, check out their website here.

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  1. It’s a fun game. They definitely need a tutorial but since it is closed beta I’m not surprised they don’t have one. I have had fun playing it myself. I’m a big mech fan and this game kind of feels like Call of Duty with mechs to me. Although, I have to say I’m a lot better at this game then I ever was at Call of Duty. I actually managed to place 2nd on a few deatmatch rounds which shocked me (I stink at Call of Duty, can’t get a killstreak to save my life). I think it’s a good game for any mech of FPS fan to check out.

  2. Personally, I prefer the more sim-style mech-combat that Mechwarrior brings to the table. I believe Mechwarrior online is open beta today, so you might want to give it a shot just to check out the contrast that even exists between mech games.

    To me, Hawken just looks like a bunch of other fast-paced FPS games, the difference being that this time that you just HAPPEN to be in a mech. A broad generalization to be sure, but it somewhat fits.

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