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E3 2012: Hawken hands-on impressions

In 2011, a small development studio called Adhesive Games announced plans to release Hawken. The sci-fi mech action game generated a ton of interest immediately thanks to a trailer that showed the game had a very visually interesting art style, with dense Japanese anime-style urban environments.

However, as we have learned many times before, a game can look great but play horribly. Would that be the case with Hawken? At E3 2012, we got to play a multiplayer match and, based on our impressions, it looks like Hawken could match its impressive art style.

The match featured one of the game's modes which had two teams that were charged with collecting fuel from certain points on the map and then bring them back to  the team's base. If a team brings in enough fuel, that calls in a drop ship. However, if the opposing team does the same thing, you can still shoot down an enemy's dropship via your own weapons or with fixed anti-air placements.

The E3 2012 demo we got to play had only a few mech loadouts and weapons to choose from, from light scouts to heavy assault mechs; we assume more will be available when Hawken is released. More importantly, the developers at Adhesive Games have learned the lessons of previous mech-based games. When you pilot your mechs, they can move like the slow and lumbering vehicles that fans of Mechwarrior games are used to. However, they also have jump jets that allow the Hawken mechs to move much more quickly in tight situations.

Weapons are a mix of guns, rocket launchers and more. They don't currently have ammo limits but they can, and frequently do, overheat from long use which shuts the weapons down. Again, it's a nice compromise between a sim game and an arcade title.

The game looks as incredible as the trailers and screenshots have promised. It's just one of the best multiplayer games we have ever seen in terms of graphics. However, there are still a lot of questions we have about Hawken, including how the game will generate revenues. It's supposed to be a free-to-play game but specifics about what will be available in terms of micro transactions have yet to be revealed.

Hawken's gameplay, at least at E3 2012, was a lot of fun and we hope the final product is as much fun to play when the game is launched on December 12.

Image via Adhesive Games

NeoGamr and Neowin's coverage of E3 2012 is sponsored by War Inc. Battle Zone.

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