"On a distant planet colonized by man, industrialized to the point of collapse ... Our population has been devastated. The hunt for resources has become the battle for survival."Hawken
— Hawken, Story Trailer
is a first-person mecha-combat game. Made by Adhesive Games Ltd. with Unreal Engine 3.
The planet Illal has seen better days. It used to be a idyllic, resource-rich colony world, but warfare between the dominant interstellar corporations on the planet have left it in ruin. A self-replicating nano virus named Hawken was unleashed on Illal when Crion, one of the three dominant corporations, collapsed violently. As it spreads, Hawken converts the environment into a nightmarish labyrinth of patchwork metal known as the "Giga-Structure."
By now, Hawken has converted a third of the planet's surface into the Giga-Structure. Those who could afford to leave Illal have done so. The remaining two leading megacorporations on the planet, Prosk and Sentium, wage open war for control of the planet's remaining valuable resources. The front line fighters in this war pilot mechs, mostly jury-rigged from salvage or repurposed civilian models.
And that's where you step in.
The game entered open beta at the 12th of December.
Hawken provides examples of:
- After the End: The setting, set after a disaster that wiped out a Mega Corp and is turning all of the planet into patchwork metal. Those who could flee did—the rest were recruited into the two remaining Mega Corps.
- Allegedly Free Game: Actually averts this, despite following the free to play model. Yes, players can buy Meteor Credits with real world money to buy in game items with, but the only things that absolutely cannot be bought with Hawken Credits (currency that can be earned in-game) are cosmetic upgrades.
- All There in the Manual: The comic, which would net people access to Closed Beta (and later gave Open Beta players a bonus of in-game money), details the backstory. The setting's on a planet light-years away, and the conflict is between two Mega Corps fighting for rare minerals spawned from a global catastrophe that is spreading some sort of virus that mutates everything it touches into a patchwork of metal.
- Anyone Can Die: In the Hawken comic, all named characters die by the end of the second issue.
- Chicken Walker: Many of the smaller mechs uses this configuration.
- Color Wash: So far, the playable areas tend to have a specific color theme. "Prosk" is sea green, "Uptown" has golden hues, "Origin" is ... periwinkle and "Bazaar" is full of sandy tan colors.
- Corporate Warfare: Sentium vs. Prosk.
- Dynamic Entry: If you get a kill by jumping on an enemy not only will you not take fall damage but also get a "Crush 'Em" bonus.
- Fragile Speedster: The Light Mechs, as well as some close-range mechs, meant to get in fast, are made to do a lot of damage, then flee.
- Gatling Good: The Point D Vulcan Minigun and Machine gun turret. What they don't make up for in damage, they make up in sheer firing rate.
- Glass Cannon: The Berserker, a Mech that can dish out plenty of damage and is lightning fast, but will die to sustained fire from anything heavier.
- The Scout, a mech that is lightning fast and has a damaging flak cannon, is very deadly in the right hands, but only has 500 points of health. A well-timed TOW rocket will almost kill it.
- The Sharpshooter. It has long range, high damage weapons. However its guns are less accurate when unscoped, especially the Sabot rifle, which means it's incredibly exposed in close quarters combat.
- Grenade Launcher: Used by several mechs, specifically the Grenadier.
- Grey Goo: The Hawken Virus works this way, although it differs from the typical example in that the virus is aimlessly building something as it spreads, rather than just making more of itself. A non-affiliated survivor, who used to work for the corporation that was destroyed in the outbreak, heavily implies that it was released on purpose.
- Notably, despite being a prominent part of the game's backstory and The Namesake of the game, the Hawken virus itself does not figure into the gameplay in any way, shape or form. At all.
- Heal It With Fire: The special repair drone that comes with the Vanguard "Cupcake" mech squirts oil onto it, and then lights it up with a flamethrower.
- Jack of All Stats: The CR-T Recruit mech you start with is the most balanced mech, with the assault rifle and TOW missile giving it good firepower at mid-long ranges, and the unlockable SMC giving some shorter-range punch. It's common to see the CR-T Recruit dominating the leader boards.
- Lethal Joke Character: In-universe, the CR-T Recruit mech "Fred" is often underestimated by new recruits, due to the hilarious, awkward shape of the torso/head (it's so called, because its cockpit looks exactly like a CRT television, computer monitor, and/or gimmick toaster). Most recruits change their minds when it sends a TOW barreling into their face.
- Macross Missile Massacre: The Rocketeer and Bruiser both have Hellfire Missiles as a special weapon, which fire a homing swarm of missiles, though, for balance, they distinctly don't have much punch.
- Memetic Mutation: "Cupcake," which was originally the name of a player that kills the "protagonist" at the end of the Hawken Story Trailer. It became a running joke among the community during the Alpha and Closed Beta, which culminated in a special mech dubbed the Cupcake as part of the Vanguard Initiative.
In-universe, that mech is known as the H3 Cupcake C-Class Vanguard (AKA "Vanguard Cupcake"), used only by Prosk's "royal guard" units. They were so rarely seen that any transmissions involving them were regarded as wild speculation, until concrete evidence was leaked—sparking a massive riot among jealous pilots who wanted their own Cupcake. In response, Prosk outfitted special versions for rapid close-range riot control.
- Mighty Glacier: The "C Class" Heavy mechs, are lumbering and move slowly compared to their lighter counterparts, but have high health and defensive capabilities. They can transform into turrets via metal plates mounted on the chassis.
Also the battleships in Siege mode. You can
take them out using your mechs, but there's a reason the secondary objective is an AA gun when they're active.
- Mini Mecha: The mechs are essentially walking cockpits with guns and, in the case of heavy mechs, armor panels and missiles.
- More Dakka: The Submachine Cannon and Point D Vulcan.
- Overheating: Firing weapons for continuous periods without letting them cooldown will eventually result in them overheating. However, not only will overheating disable the weapons, it will also shut down all systems (save for movement), leaving overheated mechs sitting ducks for enemy fire.
- Real Robot Genre
- Scavenger World:
- The early versions of the L2 Moke A-Class Scout were made of recycled parts from salvaged shuttle wreckage scavenged from abandoned areas of the planet, since scouts very rarely make it back alive. Cockpits were made out of fuel canisters, and this design has been retained in the modern, more streamlined version.
- Prosk, the company that developed the L3 Piston A-Class Berserker mechs, has a unit of veterans known as the Skull-Dogs that's commonly seen looting the wreckage of Sentium B and C-Class mechs out of necessity.
- The M2 Hiefram B-Class Bruiser mech is said to be designed for ease of manufacture, to the point that badly damaged Hieframs are left abandoned on the battlefield because it would actually cost more to repair and refit them.
- The M4 Brommens B-Class Assault mech was originally a civilian mining model.
- Similarly, the Raider is a repurposed mech.
- HE Charges are IEDs (improvised explosive devices) scratch-built from spare parts, stuffed with street rubble and laced with mech fuel.
- The Slug Rifle is made of vent piping from abandoned colonies.
- The Flak Cannon is made from 4 repurposed AA guns bolted together.
- The CR-T Recruit mechs are an ugly, unaerodynamic boxy shape to conserve precious tech and save on manufacturing.
- All of the Heavy mechs are said to be very outdated models that, like the Hiefram, are usually abandoned if badly damaged, because repairing them would be extremely expensive and time-consuming. Maintaining them is already expensive and lengthy, in the first place.
- The only mechs that avert this is the Infiltrator, a Super Prototype that is continuously upgraded with new parts, and the Cupcake, a mech that was reserved for Prosk's "royal guard".
- The third issue of the comic books state that there's an entire civilian population living in the ruins, often caught in the crossfire between the two corporations.
- Scenery Porn: Each and every level is a wasteland of destroyed, Asian-esque cities, snow-blown ruins, or a desert Qurac bazaar.
- Short Range Shotgun: The Flak Cannon, a giant shotgun (see above for more information)capable of turning enemy mechs into piles of scrap, is only really effective at punching distance.
- Signature Sound Effect: The warning klaxon that bases make when a battleship is either attacking them (in Siege mode) or when the enemy controls all of the missile silos (in Missile Assault mode). Also, the iconic HRRRNNN of the Battleship's engines.
- The Turret Master: EVERYONE can deploy turrets. They come in 2 variants, one armed with a Point D Vulcan Minigun and the other a TOW Launcher. Heavy mechs can turn into turrets via large metal shields mounted onto their chassis.
- Unusual Euphemism: "Fuzzy bunny" is the go-to curse word in-universe, and in real life, is the word filter for any swear word (but ass) on the forums.
- Used Future: See Scavenger World.
- War for Fun and Profit: The two sides are corporations fighting for what's left of a world that used to be dominated by three—the third inadvertently unleashed the Hawken virus that is slowly turning the planet into random metal bits, and got blown up in the process. The comic states that they take precious materials and metals generated by the viral transformation off of the planet and sell them in space.
- War Is Hell: Implied. Scout mechs have an incredibly high mortality rate, which forces the corporations to use scrap metal for them. Damaged heavy mechs are left on the battlefield to rot, as returning them to base to be repaired would cost even more than just ordering or building one from scratch. Players die by the dozen, each destroyed mech another pilot lost in the war. The comics outright state this, and it's hammered home in Issue 3, where an angry civilian survivor tells off a corp pilot for "fighting over table scraps!".
- The War Sequence: Siege mode, which is a rush to destroy the enemy's battleship, or defend yours. The developers also want to implement a co-op horde mode.