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Hawken Review

Firing is standard with the left and right mouse buttons. Mouse button one for your primary weapon and two for your secondary. Secondary weapons usually have some kind of extra firepower or special ability. For example, the Technician mech has a repair tool secondary weapon whilst it’s primary weapon is it’s regular offensive attack.

Hawken Gameplay

Thrusting your way back and forth to dodge enemies attacks can start to feel a little old.

The maneuvering of your mechs along with sprinting and flying make matches feel like you’re in control of the battle you’ve engaged yourself in. However it all just feels too slow for my liking. One on one battles usually play out with lots of hit and run methods until a victor is decided. Of course if you are connected with your team via some kind of online chat software, you will be able to strategize to your heart’s content. So in that sense the game does provide strategic gameplay. But then again so would every other online game, given that you have a team to speak with and plan tactics.

A particular feature that I feel Hawken lacks are headshots. Obviously mechs don’t have ‘heads’ so to speak therefore you can’t exactly perform headshots. Some players might think this is an upside because you won’t be dying to a well-hidden sniper in one shot. I feel the lack of some kind of ‘weak spot’ system makes for quite linear gameplay and doesn’t allow for much skill to be utilised. Plus where’s the fun in shooting someone… everywhere?

Gameplay Options

At least Hawken provides you with quite a few modes of gameplay. You can play against bots in an offline mode and online there’s the usual Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, defend your base etc.

Hawken MechsEach gameplay mode plays it’s role very well but I just couldn’t wrap my head around the layout of the scoreboard at the end of the match. In the lineup of mechs I appeared second, so I assume that means I placed second out of the mechs in points? Help me out here.

The layout of everything is a bit too cluttered as a whole in my opinion. Even perusing the garage, I had trouble knowing exactly where to find everything. With more time I’m sure I could become a pro at navigating the different tabs, but if it doesn’t make sense straight away, I feel that it’s just poor design. As a website designer, I strongly believe that the fewer clicks a user has to make to get the information they require, the better.

Being a free to play game, there are heaps of premium weapons and items to purchase with the help of real money. Unfortunately this leaves quite a large opening for people to pay-to-win as they can access the strongest weapons a helluva lot faster than everyone else.

Final Thoughts

In short, Hawken is quite a promising game but due to the lack of imagination when it comes down to the nitty grittiness of combat, I feel the developers have failed to create a true imagining of mech vs. mech battles.

But if you drool over the thoughts of controlling hulking pieces of machinery, go for it. You’ll get heaps of customisation options at a price but if that’s not up your alley, at least the game to play is free!


3 Star Review

3 stars – not bad gameplay but a bit same-ish.

Good PointsPluses:

  • Graphics are quite nice.
  • Customisation options are far and plenty.
  • Controls are easy to get used to.

Bad PointsMinuses:

  • Levels look like they’ve been put together with lego by a child.
  • Combat feels lacking.
  • Layout of score boards, main menu etc. are too cluttered.
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