PAX East – Hawken Update Impressions
By Jonathan Doyle (Ardua), OnRPG Journalist
It’s a matter of faith for me that Heaven is a giant Mech. Granted anywhere you get a giant mech, like all over Hawken, you get other giant mechs trying to blow you up.
Maybe my idea of Heaven is really Sci-Fi Valhalla.
In the meantime, we’ll just have to satisfy those desires with what is on offer in the real world. At PAX East Hawken made sure to offer a double helping of the future.
Coming in the April update for Hawken is a new mech that doesn’t rely on the twitch gaming skills of the current giant robot jockeys. The Technician is coming to heal you up and debuff the opposing team.
Packing “weapons” that slowly regenerate other mechs on their team or buff them up in combat will be familiar to anyone who has played the Team Fortress 2 Medic class. Just now instead of being German and with a pigeon, your medic is a giant robot that can also strip away enemy armor and slowly whittle down their health.
The Technician promises to shake things up in Hawken as a result. Not through straight firepower, of which it effectively doesn’t have any, but through the added layer of strategy and by bringing in more players who otherwise would not have been comfortable with the gameplay previously.
People were of course tight lipped about other mechs that will be coming in the future but I think it’s safe to say that they will be looking to create even more strategic and open options to keep things fresh and fun.
I’m not Heavy, I’m Big Built.
The other fantastic thing we got to see was physics! Yes, physics.
Hawken, in partnership with Nvidia, had a demo both in our interview and down on the floor demonstrating a potential future of the game. Fully destructible environments!
Is your enemy hiding behind a building? Go through it! Are you jump jetting onto a bridge? I hope it’s not been shot up because if you’re too heavy you will break through it.
Admittedly if they could release this with the Technician, and I stress that they cannot yet as it is well.. rather complicated and needed some hefty hardware, I’d give the big shake up to physics, not the new mech class. Maps as they exist will/would have to be reexamined and redesigned to deal with the fact that the big guys can now charge right through walls or otherwise ruin the landscape to deny cover and opportunities to their foes.
Maybe we’ll get it one day and bring sci-fi Valhalla that little bit closer.
Walls? Where we’re going you don’t get cover from walls.