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Hawken

enlists players to pilot hulking death machines and use massive weaponry to destroy their foesin explosive FPS gameplay on the battlefield of the dystopian world of Illal! read more

Hawken Review (Xbox One)

Author: Daniel Quintiliano
12-May-2017

Category: Review

Hawken is a game that lets players take control of a “mech” while fighting fun and interesting FPS challenges. With an entertaining multiplayer experience, the gamer is able to engage in a futuristic environment through the eyes pilot who is in control of a powerful death machine. 

Hawken Review (Xbox One)

INTRODUCTION

Hawken is a free-to-play shooter that includes online multiplayer game modes to create great battling experiences. In this title, you will be taking control of a mech, similar to the traditional 90’s game, Heavy Gear.
Hawken has the potential to provide players with an intense combat experience in the middle of an urban environment with a chaotic storm of bullets and missiles.

The game consists of a mix of very fast-paced actions and strategy. The elements of the gameplay will keep players fairly busy at most of the time. That includes running around the battlefield for specific objectives and blowing up any enemy who dares to cross their path.

In Hawken, battles between mechs generally occur in a futuristic metropolis filled with skyscrapers and surrounded by steel and concrete. The game environment also brings obstacles, such as abandoned vehicles, tunnels, and wrecked buildings, which can either help you blend into the environment for better defense or deceive you to fall into traps.

To add even more to the gaming experience, the internal look of the robot cabin was designed to match visual elements that seem real and inviting. One of my favorite visual features of the mechs is the display panel and gauges, which can intimidate even the most experienced pilots at the first look.

Hawken was developed by Reloaded Games and is available for free on Xbox One.

Hawken Review (Xbox One). The title allows players who have different gaming preferences to have an enjoyable time by allowing them to choose among a nice variety of game modes.

STORY

In Hawken's game scenario, players will find themselves battling in a futuristic environment, in a place very similar to Earth. The story is introduced in a subtle way since the game has its focus on combats between the giant robots. By selecting the free-to-play model, players begin their arduous journey with just one assault mech.
Hawken's mechs come equipped with a phenomenal destruction power. Right from the beginning, the player will start the combats with a destructive machine gun and a missile launcher. However, as you advance in the game, you will realize that the standard mech is not enough to face and confront other enemies.

Depending on your performance, you will receive a determined amount of experience points and a specific quantity of virtual currency to help you improve your performance. With that in mind, you can visit the garage and unlock other items to expand your options in upcoming battles.

The robots available in Hawken have three different classes: light, medium and heavy. Each one of which can carry various items. When acquiring a new mech, it is important to consider the strategies you intend to use in the game. The reason behind that is because the robots’ weights may influence their characteristics and performance.

As players continue their journeys, new mech models and weapons become available. However, these resources are not easy to collect and require a lot of time and many successful completed matches. On the other hand, the player is given the option to purchase content with real money, which makes everything easier and faster.

Hawken Review (Xbox One). Despite the low average speed on mechs, players can easily dash and boost movements to perform better during battles.

GAMEPLAY

The great highlight of Hawken is its dynamic gameplay, which is an ideal choice for enthusiastic FPS players. The options in the garage are clear and simple to understand. The mechanics follow the patterns of other games of this genre, which makes it easy for players to learn how to control their mechs. Right after completing a few matches I was able to master of all the functions available in my robot and make use of all dynamic actions of the game.

There are several game modes with interesting goals that will definitely attract a good variety of players who have different in-game preferences:

On Deathmatch, the player is on their own. In this mode, you will enter the battlefield completely alone and need to be ready to face several opponents. Your mission here is to eliminate as many enemies as possible.

On Team Deathmatch you will be joining a team of robots that will focus on destroying other opponents. Considering that you are now part of a group mode, you should help teammates fight by providing a backup protection to their mechs and making attack or defense movements depending on the strategy adopted by the team.

On Missile Assault, each team will join the battlefield with the mission to protect their own base and attack enemies using three missile launchers. Reaching the opponents base first will give you the chance to complete this mode’s mission and win the challenge.

The Siege mode is one of the most well-elaborated modes in Hawken. When joining Siege, you and your team will need to collect energy units, take them to the military base and finally enable the launch of a spacecraft. After that, the members of the team become responsible for protecting this aircraft, while it flies around firing against enemies. In order to win, you need to ensure that your team's aircraft reaches its destination.

On Co-Op Bot Destruction you will join other three players to form a team that needs to survive a total of twenty-five waves of enemy troops controlled by the game's computer system. With each defeated horde, there is a considerable increase on the difficulty level. Such difficulty comes from other powerful mechs, a higher number of opponents and the presence of drones. These obstacles are not all of your concerns. Every five rounds, the main assault is commanded by some sort of boss, which can hardly be defeated by a player who tries to fights on their own. Therefore, in this mode, it is essential to play as a team.

In addition to these game modes, you can develop your skills and improve abilities by checking the two training rooms available. One of them is set as a game tutorial that teaches the basic commands for upcoming combats.

On the other hand, Hawken's mechs are not perfect. There is very little variety to choose from, as the game brings a limited small number of upgrades. In addition, players may feel pressured to rethink their strategy several times before wasting any newly acquired items. For example, you must remember that at some point of the game, there will be a need to buy items to make you stronger. Also, as armors wear out and require repair, you should buy coolers to avoid overheating.

Hawken's gameplay structure ends up instigating the player to perform better, improve their experience level and increase their credits. That will allow them to buy new robots, weapons, and armor or innumerable technological equipment and mech upgrades in the garage. However, the value of rewards in credit and experience is very low, which forces players to spend a lot of time playing to then become able to make purchases.

Hawken Review (Xbox One). When joining co-op modes in Hawken, teamwork is one of the key strategies to have a successful result.

AUDIO AND GRAPHICS

In terms of graphics, Hawken brings a well-designed game structure. The maps details are very visible, despite the darker areas you may find yourself exploring. The quality spreads around all other available environments, which will not disappoint the player. On the other hand, there are a few issues with drops in frame rates, which can be annoying. The good news is that you may eventually notice how the game's fog combined with other visual effects from the wind and air dust can hide most of these issues.

Hawken integrates a variety of audio features that are very similar to each other in a mechanical aspect. This characteristic does not make the experience necessarily bad, considering the game genre. The lack of an engaging music in the background makes the game audio experience become not only less than average but also sort of disappointing at times. However, mechs, weapons, and action movements are present with some nice features that help you analyze what is going on around you. For example, the computer assistance voice inside the mech cabin, aligned with the explosions and confrontation bullet fires, can really bring the player into Hawken's universe.

Hawken Review (Xbox One). Even though your mech counts with unlimited ammunition, you must be aware of overheating risks while battling.

CONCLUSION

Having the variety of four different game modes allows Hawken to satisfy gamers looking for an entertainment option with simple and fast goals. It also attracts gamers who wish to play long and complex duels that require the cooperation of the partners in their team. Even though it is hard to become bored while joining combats, the game lacks a few options for offline games and campaigns that are more focused on a detailed history. However, for a free title that integrates beautiful mechanics and a nice level of design, Hawken is definitely worth trying.

PROS
CONS
+ Amazing visuals with very detailed scenarios
- Eventual frame rate drops
+ Good variety of game modes
- Little to no focus on narrative
+ Diversity of items to buy and improve mechs
- Slow game evolution

- Average audio



SCORE: 8/10

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