First Impressions – HAWKEN Beta (Now With Working Video!)

I’ve always loved mech games. Ever since the Mechwarrior series stopped existing, I’ve been waiting for something to let me fulfill the ‘shooting giant robots’ need in me. Luckily, I managed to score a key for this weekend’s HAWKEN beta phase. Does this thing live up to my rather high expectations? Let’s find out. Also, yeah, Grass Pants finally has some video content (without myself or the recorder speaking and it has a bit of a tendency to black out, but hey it’s a start).

As you can see in the video, this game is absolutely beautiful. The amount of detail they put out for the mechs is astonishing. This is the kind of attention you don’t really expect from a League of Legends-esque free to play game. There’s a good ‘physical’ sense, too. If you get hit by a missile, you’re gonna feel it. I think the only way it could be better is if you had one of those crazy cockpit controllers that cost entirely too much.

The game’s got a nice assortment of modes, too. You’ve got your basic Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch, to the capture and hold (and send a giant battleship to destroy your enemy) Siege. Siege is probably my favorite, if only because of all the cool stuff you can do in it. Enemy launches a battleship and you can’t get to the anti-air guns? Shoot it down with your Hellfire missiles and hope for the best!

The game’s controls are nicely set up. Mechs feel appropriately clunky when you’re not dashing (which makes life so much easier, might I add). It’s all very natural, and if something’s not to your liking, everything is customizable. And by everything, I mean everything, including your mech. The game has a variety of mechs to buy (either with in-game points or real money currency), and those mechs have a variety of abilities, primary/secondary weapons, deployable items, and even a League of Legends-style talent tree.

I honestly don’t have anything bad to say about the game. It’s incredibly well-polished, super fun, and just all kinds of beautiful. I can definitely see myself playing this after launch. Also, one of my biggest side-points for this game is how smoothly it runs. I had forgotten to install it until I got home yesterday, and it took a grand total of 10 minutes to get installed and patched. I’ve never had a single problem with lag or the game breaking or anything. Major props to HAWKEN’s development team, especially considering this thing is in beta. Anyway, if you guys have been looking for a new mech game and don’t feel like waiting for Mechwarrior Online, definitely check out HAWKEN. I’ll see you guys on the battlefield, and hopefully suck less than I did in the recording. As always, thanks for reading and have a good’un.

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