Hawken (video game)
Hawken Entertainment, Inc.
|Publisher(s)||Meteor Entertainment (defunct)|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 3|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows (closed as of January 2, 2018)|
|Genre(s)||Vehicular combat, first-person shooter|
Hawken was a free-to-play multiplayer mech first-person shooter video game. The game focuses on creating an intense battle experience that captures the feel of piloting a mech, while keeping the action fast-paced and strategic. The game features three game modes: Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Co-op Bot Team Deathmatch. It follows the freemium model of game monetization—with in-game purchases as the main source of revenue.
Hawken had closed alpha and beta programs that took place before the official PC open beta release on 12 December 2012. The game had been constantly updated with new content and balance changes in the form of a game patch until Spring 2014. Following Reloaded Games' acquisition of the game's IP and assets in March 2015, the developers launched the game on the console platforms in early July 2016.
On 2 January 2018, the developers shut down the PC version of the game, permanently removing the ability for players to continue playing on the PC platform. DLC content was also removed from the Steam store the same day.
Hawken is a mech-based first-person shooter. The game takes place in a dystopian human-colonized planet industrialized to the point of collapse, in which the hunt for resources has become a battle for survival. The player assumes the role of a pilot within a biped battle mech—armed with a variety of ballistic cannons and missile weaponry. Relatively agile, these machines are equipped with booster jets that allow them to travel faster and hover in short jumps.
Unlike many other first-person shooters, weapons have unlimited ammunition, but are prone to overheating during sustained fire. Overheating will shut down all weapons of the mech, forcing the player to find a safe place to recover. Players can choose alternate weapons, equipment and upgrades for all mech types to match a playstyle or to fill a specific role for a team. In combat, the player will be able to side dash, boost, and make 180 degree turns to compensate for the slow movement of the mech—which in turn will deplete the recharging fuel gauge.
Hawken consists of ten playable maps. Each map is uniquely designed, offering different structures, themes, and strategies. These maps deeply reflect Hawken's lore and universe, and have been designed to accommodate most game modes. The ten playable maps are Bazaar, Bunker, Facility, Front Line, Highways, Last Eco, Origin, Prosk, Uptown, and Wreckage.
Hawken offers three different mech types (colloquially known as "Generation 1", or G1): A-class, B-class, and C-class. Following the game's lore, mechs are called an "axe".
A-class type mechs, also known as "light mechs", are very agile, but have weak armor. B-class type mechs are well rounded mechs that have balanced armor and speed. C-class type mechs, also known as "heavy mechs", have high armor, but are slower in speed. Each mech has a unique ability that can be activated for additional damage, protection, or utility. Some mechs have passive abilities that are always active, and requires no activation. Players head to the garage to fully customize their mechs.
Previous game producer Jason Hughes, from Adhesive Games, had introduced a new type of mech, called "Generation 2," or G2. These mechs were a complete redesign of their predecessors (G1). G2 mechs featured different stats, weapons, and chassis. During this time, there were only two available G2 mechs prior to Patch version 1.6.0 (known as post-console update).
After the release to consoles, Reloaded Games had reworked the approach to the G2 evolution. Instead of becoming different mechs altogether, the G2 variants have become slightly stronger and faster. Additionally, G2 mechs have a unique mech skin akin to the looks and design of carbon fiber.
There are a total of three different game modes available to the player: Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, and Co-op Team Deathmatch.
Energy Units (EU) are only encountered in Siege mode and Co-op Mode, where players collect EU from EU base stations and from player dropped EU orbs. The game features EU tanks on the user interface that correspond to the total amount of EU a player possesses. In co-op mode, EU is used to upgrade armor, cooling, and the damage of weapons.
If a destroyed mech was carrying EU, that amount is dropped where they have died, and forms into a green EU orb; at which point it can then be collected by other players. The maximum amount of EU a mech can carry varies with its class type. A-class mechs carry less, whereas C-class mechs carry more.
Level Progression System
Hawken features a level progression system that goes up to level 30. As players gain experience (XP points) from playing the game, they begin to level up. Each level brings different rewards in customization, items, and/or XP/HC (Hawken Credits). Once a player reach level 30, the XP points they earn go into a buffer—called "overflow XP"—that allows them to spend in-game credits to level up other mechs in their garage. Additionally, each mech they own has a unique level. The level of a mech determines what they can do with its potential upgrades and customizability.
Hawken offers a unique exploration mode, in which the player is able to freely explore any map in the game. This mode is single-player only, and there is no combat. In addition, the player has the option of switching in-game perspectives from 1st to 3rd, and can respawn as a different mech.
On October 2, 2017, the developers announced via the game's Facebook page that on January 2, 2018, the PC servers will be permanently shut down, along with it the PC platform and any DLC/purchasable content. The developers cited a need to "refocus our development efforts".
On January 2, 2018, HAWKEN was removed from Steam, and all DLC associated with it. The game continues to exist on consoles, being developed by Hawken Entertainment and published by 505 Games.
Hawken primarily generated revenue from player purchased currency (Mech credits, or MC), which is how the game operated on a free-to-play business model. These mech credits could only be purchased in packages, which range from $5 to $100 USD. Once purchased, the player could spend these credits to unlock any content the game has to offer. This includes every weapon, item, internal, player avatar, mech cosmetic, XP/HC (Experience/Hawken credit) booster, holotaunt, and mech.
However, the game avoided a pay-to-win scenario by opting for a different "pay-to-not-grind" system instead; players could pay money to obtain in-game weapons, items, internals, holotaunts, boosters, etc., without the need to grind for HCs. The only aspect of the game that cannot be unlocked without paying money (that also don't have a HC price tag) are most cosmetics—i.e. player avatars, mech paint and mech camos/skins.
Finally, it was not necessary to unlock every item and weapon to excel in the game; player skill and personal experience in FPS games were largely responsible for individual success. Positioning, strategy, accuracy, and utilizing a forward-thinking approach when engaging were crucial for surviving and defeating the enemy.
—Dan Jevons, Creative Director
On 24 August 2011 an article on entertainment news website The Wrap was released confirming that DJ2 Entertainment, an independent production company, was able to obtain the rights for a film adaptation. Adhesive Games was hesitant to release the rights at first, opting to focus on the game release instead. "I assumed someone already got it because it was so huge. Big names were chasing this", said DJ2 producer Dmitri M. Johnson, "A-list directors and big hit agencies."
The story will follow two young pilots from separate clans pitted against one another after a devastating virus has covered most of the heavily industrialized planet surface in toxic crystal. There have been no official announcements regarding writers, producers or lead actors for the film at this point, but a panel at Comic-Con 2012 announced Act of Valor director Scott Waugh would be taking the reins on the adaptation.
- "IT'S TRUE! HAWKEN is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4! Check out the trailer!". 505 Games. 2016-06-13. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- Scapes (2012-12-12). "All Pilots to Their Mechs, Open Beta is Live!". Retrieved 2016-06-15.
- "Closed Beta". Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- "Dev Update - Catching Up! Coming Soon - PS4 & Xbox One! - PC Announcements". Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- on YouTube
- "Maps - Game Guide - HAWKEN: Free-to-Play Mech First-Person-Shooter". www.playhawken.com. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
- "Hawken". store.xbox.com. Retrieved 2016-07-12.
- "HAWKEN | Official PlayStation Store US". HAWKEN | Official PlayStation Store US. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- gamereactorTV (2016-06-29), Hawken - Joshua Clausen Interview, retrieved 2016-07-10
- Weinraub, Jake (24 August 2011). "Hot 'Hawken' Videogame Film Rights Go to DJ2 Entertainment (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved 28 August 2011.