Beware of giant fighting Robots over at Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo. At the event, Meteor Entertainment made an appearance showcasing Adhesive Game's Hawken, a free-to-play first-person competitive mech shooter. Fortunately I got my shot at playing the game and even had an interview with the creative director, Khang Le.
The first thing Khang and I talked about was the story and the whole premise of the game. Hawken is set on a human-colonized planet which has been industrialized to the point of collapse. The giant mechs were used for nothing more than mining. But since hell has broken loose, you, (the mech pilot) must stick a giant gun on top of it and gather resources to battle for your very survival. This sounds like an exciting yet terrifying world to live in.
The second thing we talked about was gameplay, customizations and upgrades for the mechs. Hawken has a role playing element to it. You fight, kill, and rank up. The higher you rank up the more customization you unlock for the game such as guns, specs, and skins for your mech. The game segregates players determined by skill level. So you won't have to worry about being a level one fighting against someone who has much better equipment than you.
Khang was describing to me about map design and overall fairness of the game. The battles consist of mid to close quarters combat, which makes it a very fast pace game. He didn't want to make a game where snipers rule the map because the lines of sight aren't long. The game is very balanced based off the type of mech you have and the guns you have on it. Basically, big guns mean bigger mechs, smaller guns mean puny mechs. To have more firepower, you have to sacrifice speed.
The game will feature updates and add-ons over time, but so far there is the usual five versus five, free for all and some objective game types. He also hinted me that they might add a horde type mode sometime in the near future. Also, if you have a poor pc that you have to stick in your fridge to cool down, you'll be able to play this game with Nvidia Grid and Gaikai. If your computer can't run it, you can play it via cloud gaming where its streamed to you.
Overall, Hawken was incredibly and I felt like I was in a balanced environment. I didn't have my own customized mech for the sake of the convention, so they had a few presets to choose from. I died quite a bit, but it was nothing to rage over. The game felt competitive, but fun to the point where I wasn't raging. I love all the little minor details I noticed playing the game. Like when your mech needs repairing after a battle, you have to go hide somewhere on the map and pull out a small drone that starts repairing your mech.
Hawken will be releasing December 12, 2012 on the PC. Beta sign ups are going on so enlist now.