Hey remember when a lot of people got excited that cult mech shooter Hawken was coming back from the dead? That was Monday! Now it’s Wednesday and I’m unhappy to say the thrill has been very short-lived.
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Hawken Reborn, which is free to obtain and in Early Entry however is additionally charging for microtransactions, has launched in in regards to the roughest method conceivable. On Monday I voiced a small concern after seeing Reborn’s launch trailer that “the perimeters appear to have been sanded off the sport’s aesthetic”; after taking part in it I don’t know the way this sport is even set in the identical universe.
Hawken was a sport made most well-known by its visuals, which weren’t solely technically spectacular, they were also heavily inspired by the kitbash stylings of Maschinen Krieger. Hawken Reborn’s visuals look to have been impressed by a free-to-play cellular shooter, and it’s laborious discovering any frequent floor between the unique’s rusted, bristling look and…no matter that is:
This jarring discrepency between what we keep in mind and what’s being provided at this time continues by way of into the sport itself. That is what Hawken regarded like in 2016:
And that is what Hawken Reborn appears to be like like in 2023:
Yikes. Maybe most damning is a number of the artwork utilized in Hawken Reborn’s static cutscenes, which increase some questions. Like…why is she holding that iPad the other way up?
And why do these virtually similar angles of the identical character look so totally different? Particularly her tooth? And why do her earring designs change each time you see them?
Would a human artist have ignored this stuff? I requested publishers 505 Video games, by way of each an electronic mail to a PR consultant and a group rep on Reddit, whether or not AI artwork was used within the sport’s improvement (and in addition who, precisely, the event staff are behind this challenge, because it’s listed solely as a “505 Video games” title on Steam). At time of publishing I’ve acquired no response from both.
Anyway, what in regards to the sport itself? Additionally sucks! Hawken’s trademark factor was a swaying view of your cockpit, which gave gamers the phantasm they have been piloting an enormous, lumbering mech. Hawken Reborn tries to repeat this, however in a method that’s barely sickening to should consistently sit by way of, and it’s PvE ranges are a meandering slog by way of barren wastelands making an attempt to shoot tiny and insignificant human enemies and static rocket turrets, a monotony damaged up solely by the occasional bullet-sponge enemy mech piloted by the stupidest AI conceivable.
On Wednesday night time the sport had a “Mostly Negative” rating on Steam, with gamers hating every little thing from the sport’s microtransactions (that are for precise in-game gear, not cosmetics) to the repetitive missions. Probably the most helpful one is maybe this, from Shard:
That is the Hawken IP being utilized by the writer to decorate a shallow and generic Future clone that regardless of not having any multiplayer in the meanwhile, already has premium forex packs being offered for it proper below the Play Sport button on the shop web page (which you’ve already seen). It lacks the superb artwork route of Hawken and as a substitute combines the acquainted Hawken mechs with essentially the most bland trendy sci-fi artstyle on the market. Graphically, it manages to look worse than the unique, a sport that got here out in 2013. I get that it’s “”Early Entry””, however with the state it’s in everyone knows why there was actually no public data about this till 36 hours earlier than launch.
Things aren’t any better over on Reddit, either. I do know the sport is in Early Entry, which means there’s room for enchancment. That’s why that is an impressions piece, and never a evaluate. However the truth its publishers noticed match to launch it in a state like this, trying like this and taking part in like this, and have the nerve to cost cash for microtransactions regardless of all of it…doesn’t bode properly!