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Steamward bound: Hawken moves home today

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Steamward bound: Hawken moves home today

Today sees the free-to-play mech-smashing Hawken begin its transition onto Steam. It won’t appear in the Steam Store straight away, but existing players have been sent out a Steam code which allows them to play early. 

From now on, every Hawken pilot will need a Steam account to play, and publisher Meteor Games recommends players uninstall the previous version before they dive into this new steamy future.

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Hawken released on Steam ahead of full launch

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Hawken released on Steam ahead of full launch

Hawken’s been selling mechs and weapons for more than a year so you’d be forgiven to think the thing had launched already. Apparently it was still in open beta, though that tag is not long for this world. As developer Adhesive race towards the semantic finish line they’re making the game even more accessible. To that end, the team are releasing Hawken on Steam.

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Hawken gets a new map and some Christmas cheer

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Hawken gets a new map and some Christmas cheer

Hawken's Last Eco map is rather nice. It's got trees and nature and probably squirrels, which is a welcome change of scenery from the dry deserts and urban jungles the mechs normally find themselves battling in. But you know what would make it even nicer? Christmas trees! Candy Cane! Festive nonsense!

Even mech pilots like to celebrate blizzards, heating cost increases and indulgence. So Last Eco is now appropriately Yule-ified and you can slap some wrapping paper on your mechs or even employ some snowman repair drones, which sounds like a blooming hoot. 

And since it's the season of giving, there's a brand new map available to boot. It's a bloody Christmas miracle is what it is. 

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Hawken patch 0.9.6 adds co-op boss mode and a new heat-seeking mech

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Hawken patch 0.9.6 adds co-op boss mode and a new heat-seeking mech

Hawken’s new mech, the predator, could cause real problems for the futuristic robots. At least Arnie was able to hide from the Predator’s heat vision by covering himself in cold mud, 15 foot machines with poor limb articulation don’t really have that option.

As well as the new mech, patch 0.9.6 also adds a new game mode: Co-op Bot Destruction. You and four other players have to fight through 25 waves of AI bots before facing off a big boss.

There’s a metric-poo-tonne of fixes and balances, too.

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Hawken’s devs on consequential level design and pushing the limitations of technology for Last Eco

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Hawken’s devs on consequential level design and pushing the limitations of technology for Last Eco

Take one look at Hawken’s Last Eco map and you know that the team at Adhesive Games had a great time with it. After all the game’s exclusively urban, manga-inspired city scapes, Last Eco is a forest-based map, offering a whole host of new challenges for both the design team and players. For players, there’s no longer the sharp angles and choke-point streets to rely on for tactical advantage. For the designers, creating Last Eco was a small headache.

“Unreal Engine 3 isn’t optimised for a high volume of foliage" explained Adhesive CEO Khang Le. “We just had to be clever and work around the limitations of the technology." A quick run around Last Eco though, and you’d believe Unreal 3 was made for the sole purpose of making forest areas. 

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Hawken: Ascension update is "the beginning of a new age" and a "monumental piece of work", now live

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Hawken: Ascension update is "the beginning of a new age" and a "monumental piece of work", now live

I’m not saying Hawken: Ascension’s patch notes are long, right, but Peter Jackson ordered another month of post-production. I’m not saying there’s a lot of information to swallow, but the NSA are complaining of too much paperwork. I’m not saying that a load of mechs are in a state of flux, but the Transformers have decided to sue.

Alright, this is big.

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Hawken to receive major revamp as it approaches "version 1.0"

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Hawken to receive major revamp as it approaches "version 1.0"

Some major changes are coming to Hawken’s experience and mech upgrade systems very soon, to address some longstanding issues that have dogged the game since its open beta began last year.

“ Everything is going to be impacted," producer Jason Hughes explained. “From my perspective, ‘stickiness’ with a game, especially with F2P — you need a lot of people playing, you need people telling their friends, you need a lot of people staying with the game and playing with the game. And that could have been a lot better for us. So we tried to look at places to go, where are we failing people where are people not sticking around? Where are players getting confused? And that was a big motivation for this update."

Meteor and Adhesive’s solution to this is a drastic revamp of the way experience and credits work, letting players to experience more of the game without having to bank huge amounts of spacebucks to do it. The other part of the equation is the introduction of bot matches to help ease players’ entry into the world of mech combat.

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Hawken’s new map screenshots reveal a woodland mecha

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Hawken’s new map screenshots reveal a woodland mecha

Forgive me, but sometimes I forget just how pretty Hawken is. Scroll through our N page and you’ll see hundreds of exquisite cockpits and swirling dust clouds. So many that, after a while, you’ll stop noticing them at all.

The game’s Last Eco map relocates mechageddon from the cities to the forest, and in doing so forces us to start fancying Adhesive's game all over again.

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Adhesive Games are meching a new series of Hawken tactics videos; this is the first

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Adhesive Games are meching a new series of Hawken tactics videos; this is the first

Hawken types Adhesive Games are launching Mech Mechanic: a new Youtube series designed to provide players with tactical advice. It’ll showcase the game’s machines one-by-one, and spare you hours of trial and error in working out how to make the most of your weapons, abilities and items.

Its inaugural episode features the Raider mech, which was patched into the game back in March.

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Hawken trailer shows new map Facility in all its floating rock desert glory

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Hawken trailer shows new map Facility in all its floating rock desert glory

How do you make a level set in a desert seem to take place on a distant world? Adhesive have opted for making a couple small boulders float a meter off the ground. It’s a cunning approach, if a little on the lacklustre side. Otherwise, Facility is looking like a pretty neat map. In the video below see how lots of wide open spaces welcome mech-on-mech action.

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Hawken update adds new map: Facility

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Hawken update adds new map: Facility

Hawken’s stomping grounds just became a little more numerous, today’s update added a new map: Facility.

Other changes include upping every mech’s base armour, making taunts longer, and the submachine gun is no longer partially invisible (though, thinking about it, they don’t say whether it is now completely invisible).

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Technician Update coming to Hawken, aims to make the game more tactical

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Technician Update coming to Hawken, aims to make the game more tactical

This Friday on April 18th will see one of Hawkens biggest updates go live, adding its first support mech, the Technician. If that’s not enough, then you’ve also got the new Front Line map, new cosmetics, a ton of balance tweaks, an overhauled radar minimap and the Service Award achievement system. 

Without further ado, lets get stuck into this one shall we?

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Hawken adding a new map: Front Line

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Hawken adding a new map: Front Line

Hawken players rejoice! Meteor Entertainment is adding a new map for you to tear up this month, dubbed “Front Line". A large-scale map with an open area suited to open warfare, while also riddled with alleys and tunnels to sneak around those deadly firefights. We’ve received a gallery of snaps of the new battlefield, so do as Meteor Entertainment says and do your homework.

For science!

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Hawken patch adds new mech and a level to flit about in

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Hawken patch adds new mech and a level to flit about in

When Hawken first launched its open beta we felt like it was a little short on content, there were only a couple of levels to play about in and very few mechs with which to do so. The latest patch hopes to rectify that by adding both a new mech, the Raider, and a new map, Facility.

The patch introducing the two is also packed with weapon balances and bug fixes too.

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Hawken Valentine's Day Hearts on Fire update is excellently silly

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Hawken Valentine's Day Hearts on Fire update is excellently sillyThere's no better way to show your love of mechs and other people than by covering your big stompy metal suit with huge sloppy, lipsticky kisses. Till now such a thing has required a giant pair of novelty lips and, well, your own 60 tonne metal death machine. Happily for us Adhesive games have now allowed you to do such a thing in their free-to-play mech game Hawken.

It's all part of their Hearts on Fire Valentine's day update.

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