3While it can be fun to jump in for brief periods of time, the learning curve is steep for new players and the gameplay is hectic and repetitive in the long term. Even when winning matches, the frustration due to the game's chaotic nature can have a tendency to outweigh the overall fun factor. Matchmaking is constantly being worked on but seemingly never improved. Playing in team based modes (which comprises 3/4 of the currently available game modes) tend to result in one team dominating while the other team struggles and constantly deals with a rotating team due to players constantly leaving due to frustration. Making matters worse, while still in the open beta the game functionality and regular player base seems to have filtered out many of the curious newcomers and has culled the herd down to those hardcore players that have mastered their mechs, leveled each one to the maximum level, and don't necessarily want things to change. This leads to very limited options when searching for available servers and almost guarantees a new player to be dumped into a match full of high level, very experienced players. If in the US and searching at night on a weekend, you may be hard pressed to find just one server for each type due to the lack of activity. New players that express their concern about this painful level gap in game or on the message boards results in many of the established players explaining as a fact that mech level means nothing in Hawken (if you are as incredulous reading this as I was when someone first tried to explain this concept to me check the hawken message boards as there are many discussion regarding it). Even if this were the case (which obviously it is not leveling gives bonuses and bonuses give advantages), this would mean that the best case scenario is that the currently implemented upgrades system is close to worthless. =/
If you are curious go check it out and think for yourself, but based on experience it would seem the best course of action would be to wait until the game is out of beta before really investing any time (or God forbid money) in hopes that the fixes to gameplay and balancing are ironed out. While the game is in beta it seems as though focus is mainly on overall stability (there are very few crashes) and implementing new content for the dedicated fan base as opposed to making the game more accessible and enjoyable for new players.… Full Review »
Hawken is basically a gundamn style mech combat game with a western junkyard brawler look that is fast and furious. If your expecting mechwarrior with slow combat with slow moving mechs then this game is not for you, it is much closer to chromehounds or Japanese style mech games. The shooting is skilled based it is not the low time to kill bull that is plaguing other FPS games where map knowledge and spotting the enemy first is all that is required. The game has an emphases on landing skill based shots and out maneuvering opponents. Once you master dodging in and out of cover and landing skill shots you'll soon be able to rank in the top half of the scoreboard with just about any mech. The starting mech actually is one of the better mechs. It starts with the assault rifle which is the most well rounded primary gun in the game and the TOW which is hands down the best secondary weapon. The only down side to FRED starting mech is that it is an ugly mech and an eyesore but it has it's charm. Anyone who says the game is pay2win simply doesn't understand the game since you can acquire everything in the game with time. Meteor points just allow you to skip the grind and purchase paint jobs.
Now for the bad stuff. Despite Hawken's shooting mechanics being solid the game lacks variety and customization so far. The tech tree has very little effect on how your mech plays and I think it is mostly a place holder right now. Paint jobs are very limited with no ability to change color palates or add much to make your mech unique from other players. The game modes are also horrible. Basically both objective game modes suck right now. Seige just leads to snowballing lopsided matches and missle command or what ever it is called is your run of the mill domination style game. The game could use a capture the flag style mod or some kind of better objective game mode. With that said this is just about the only game that I will play death match or team death match in. Both those modes are great but without a more objective team work orientated game like what I was use to in NS2 I can see this game growing stale. There are only a few maps with prosk being a far superior map to the others with it's mix of open and close combat. Uptown is just a horribly designed map that favors close combat only giving very little freedom to sharpshooters and rockeeters. One aspect of the maps that is great is they are all multileveled much like the quake and unreal tournament maps of what I consider to be the golden years of PC FPS games. So in conclusion Hawken is the start of great shooter with a firm bedrock of mechanics that however is undermined by a lack of customization and variety. At this time the game still feels like it is very much a beta product but it also feels like it has plenty of potential. Since the game is still in development I have high hopes for it but I'm skeptical. I'd rank the game an 89/100 right now but it could easily be 95 if the developers added more content. The gameplay is there the content is not.… Full Review »
Hawken is a mech game fast & light mechs similar to gundam mechs NOT SIMILAR TO mechwarrior mechs. Its a quick learning curve game. For a free game this game is a winner, especially because this is a beautiful graphic game. To the reviewer that says you need to pay to win, maybe he didn't play it long enough but the only thing that I can figure you can buy with money that you cant buy with play credit is aesthetics parts. YOU WILL ENJOY THIS GAME IF YOU LOVE MECHS OR FPS games.… Full Review »