So Hawken happened last night. I got one of the exclusive, limited 100 Billion closed beta passes through Destructoid, and was excited to finally try the game of my dreams; a game where you run around in a robot shooting things.
Hawken brings me back to a simpler time. These days, video games are all about emotions, and feelings, and storylines, and aliens putting their alien penises into human vaginas or vice versa. Games are great at telling us what to feel without actually making us feel them half the time. Of course, there are plenty of subtle experiences out there that can evoke real emotion, and that's why it's worth a belly laugh when a major studio invests so much effort into connecting with an audience only to fuck it up by having you do some QTE or other hackneyed bullshit that does nothing more than to pull you out of the immersion, and remind you that you both still have a pulse, and are playing a video game.
But when I was a kid, video games were about two things; robots, and explosions. And little spaceships. There was no story, at least none that I gave a shit about; it wouldn't be until I was around ten that I'd play my first RPG, and really understand what it meant to have a story in a game. Everything before that was simplicity. You get in the robot or ship or ship what is also a robot, and you press the shoot button. You blow things up. That's it.
I had a friend compare Hawken to Call of Duty, and the comparison is fairly apt; this is no mech simulator like Steel Batallion or Mech Warrior. This is much closer to the games of old where there isn't much to think about; you run, gun, and try to survive while laying waste to your enemies.
I really like this idea. Some of my favorite FPS games are ones that embrace a real old school mentality, such as Serious Sam and Painkiller. I don't know what Hawken will have in store for its full release, but if the simple death match modes inherent within are all that ship with it, I'd be perfectly fine with that. The mechs feel good. They feel big, clunky, and restrained, while at the same time giving you a level of freedom and a sense of mobility that other mech games don't. Oh yeah, about that - there aren't really any other mech games anymore. At least none that are notable outside a small clutch of people who actually give a shit about games like Armored Core still.
Hawken is a simple, yet satisfying experience that brings me back to my childhood. The environments in the game serve that purpose very well also. They don't really give a shit about reality, opting for the ultra robotic sci-fi look, and that is something I'm more than okay with. Check out the closed beta, happening right now until tuesday. The redemption code is HAWKEN_DTOID. But you'd better hurry! There were 10,000 passes, which is a lot, but who knows when they will all fill up?
You have no time. You must stop reading this and go. NOW.
I noticed a lot of you disgusting bastards have decided to take the Dewrito challenge this week. May God have mercy on you soulless, wretched heathens. Believe it or not, you revolting cunts actually inspired me to go out and buy Mountain Dew.
Yes, that's how much I love you. All the ad campaigns that company has been putting out for years have never convinced me to touch the stuff. The thing that finally did make me want to go out and drink a can of it was watching the lot of you eat a toxic mound of orange washed corn sludge. And I am dead fucking serious. I DRANK that Mountain Dew. I did the Dew. And honestly, it wasn't QUITE as terrible as I remember it being.
I am even considering doing the challenge for myself now.