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Average User Score: 7.8Feb 22, 2013First off, this is not a Pay to Win game. The most significant advantage you get is from skill points obtained through experience and levelingFirst off, this is not a Pay to Win game. The most significant advantage you get is from skill points obtained through experience and leveling up, both of which you can't buy (although you can buy a exp-booster to temporarily increase the rate of exp gain). You also get to choose how these skill points are distributed in a skill tree for each mech. With a good distribution, you can get a noticeable advantage in close matches if the other mech is 10 or so levels less than you (max lvl is 25). The starter mech is the absolute best mech to learn on (one of my favorites in general), and you can buy a new mech right off the bat with free credits. Most mechs are balanced and the balance is only getting better as the open beta continues. You can also buy internal upgrades that are mostly useless, additional items to equip (you can only equip 1 offensive and 1 support), and aesthetic items.
The game looks like a triple-A title, it's easy to forget that this is a relatively small indie team behind it. There are 4 stages currently, and I think the game could do with more diversity on this front. Hawken differs from a normal FPS mostly in how you maneuver. The mechs can feel very slow before you learn how to move effectively and manage fuel and boosting. The gameplay is like many other FPS titles: movement, positioning, and awareness primarily decide who win fights, while reflexes and aim are crucial. It is balanced rather well in that the most skillful player will nearly always win the match, and most mech types offer similar overall combat ability despite difference in combat style. There is still more balancing to do among the mechs, but the current state of the game is very good for open beta. Faster smaller mechs seem to be winning more often in free-for-all deathmatch, but the balance is better in team game modes.
Current Negatives: Matchmaking can take a long time, and the results are sometimes very one-sided. Teams are not auto-adjusted during a match if a player quits. Gaining hawken credits takes a bit too long for a guy with a full-time job, but the weekly rotation of free mechs helps a lot in this regard.
Overall, Hawken is a very fun, fast paced shooter where you get the feeling of piloting a mech with a more FPS style of piloting and gameplay. There's a lot to learn and skill decides winners at the end of the day. I've been having the time of my life with this game and I would recommend it to anyone who likes FPS titles, but is looking for something different from the standard crop of war shooters.… Expand