In just 1hr it will be 12/12/12 and 15hrs after the clock strikes midnight, the highly anticipated Hawken Open Beta begins. This is the date that has held the attention of PC gamers for over a year and a half. That first trailer they showed back in Spring of 2011 was mind blowing. It didn’t even look like a game and it was unlike anything I’d ever seen on the PC. The environments jumped straight out of Blade Runner and provided a glimpse of what the cyberpunk world of Hawken would look like. Even though the release date provided was for the open beta, I waited with baited breath for any sign of a closed beta. My first exposure to the game would be at E3 2012 while attending the Hawken party in Los Angeles. Loud music, free drinks and beautiful women couldn’t stop me from spending the entire night playing the Hawken alpha. I was sold harder than a crackhead off of their first hit. The only thing left was the long wait for December 12, 2012.
Hawken is the brainchild of Adhesive Games designers, Khang Le, Christopher Lalli and John Park. It was built on the free Unreal 3D dev kit and was up and running in 9 months. While Hawken sports next gen graphics, it’s an independent game project that’s being published by Meteor Entertainment. Thanks to $10 million dollars in capital funding, the game will remain free-to-play and offer the ability to purchase upgrades and goodies through micro transactions. They offered the Vanguard Initiative to eager gamers for a limited time some weeks ago. This allowed gamers to pre-purchase packages that allowed extra in game credits, prototype mechs, XP boosts and even your name in the credits of the game. This type of additional monetization is common with free-to-play games and was recently used in Firefall and Planetside 2.
Hawken has the most unique look I’ve ever seen in a game and at the same time brings back those great twitch style mechanics we know and love from games like Quake and Counter-Strike. Using a decent gaming rig, it runs without a hiccup. I was bursting at 60fps non-stop for hours of play using an Nvidia GTX 660. It’s very fast and allows you to instantly drop into a game and bust metal. It’s similar in fashion to what we love so much about Call Of Duty, but with some of the customization we crave from a game like Mechwarrior. There are 4 modes of gameplay including Free For All, Team Deathmatch, Siege and an unannounced mode that will soon be added to the game. Mech lovers, you can’t go wrong with Hawken and it has an introductory price of $0. Head on over to http://www.playhawken.com and get ready to download the free client and make your mark in history. THIS is next generation gaming!