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Hawken is Rock 'em, Sock 'em Fun

July 5, 2016

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Hawken is Rock 'em, Sock 'em FunGiant robots are cool. Giant fighting robots are even cooler. Giant fighting robots for free are just awesome.

The Free-to-play mech-shooter Hawken has landed on Xbox One and even though it is not as intricate or stylized as Titanfall, it does offer some great rock ‘em, sock ‘em fun.

The future in Hawken is one you are very familiar with by now. There is no sunshine, there are no smiles, there is no laughter on the dirty, rusty, gloomy, dystopian industrialized planet. Why can’t there be bright lights and piñatas? Why so glum sci-fi? You need to smile more often and stop watching reruns of Blade Runner.

Hawken is Rock 'em, Sock 'em FunWith Hawken’s opening cutscenes setting the tone, you suit up in your mech battling other bots to collect resources, which is really just an excuse to beat the holy crap out of each other. Armed with machine cannons and missiles that need to be managed properly as they overheat, you can also use your booster jets to get the drop on your mechanical foes.

What sets Hawken apart is that you have the option of resting and making repairs which adds a whole other tactical component to the free-for-all brawls. You have to pick the right time and find the right place to otherwise you could be in for an unexpected beatdown as you knock out those scorched missile dents and patch those bullet holes.

There are nine playable maps, which tend to be quite large and that can be a problem when you are a clunky mech that flies like a lead balloon. Except for a jungle-themed one, the maps aren’t that vibrant or eye-catching. Same old rust. Same old metal. There are plenty of tactical points though. There are an abundance of high perches, underground tunnels and dead-end killzones to take advantage of.

Hawken is Rock 'em, Sock 'em FunHawken offers six different game modes: Team Deathmatch, Deathmatch, Co-op Team Deathmatch, Co-op Bot Destruction, Siege, and Missile Assault. Although commandeering missile silos (Missile Assault ) and battleships (Siege ) may be amusing, you will probably spend most of your time in deathmatch as that is where the fun truly is.

To obtain better mechs and weapons, you have to level up or purchase credits. I, personally, find that a bit frustrating. Like Overwatch or Mortal Kombat, I would rather have a whole roster to choose from and not be forced into a particular style of gameplay until I level up. For skins, emblems and other customizations, the unlocking approach is fine as those rewards give you a reason to progress and show off your experience and dedication but when it comes to gameplay, I don’t want to be boxed in. I want to play my way.

Considering it is a free download, it is hard to find fault with Hawken. If you liked Titanfall, Mechwarrior, MechAssault or Armored Core and are willing to trade complexity for good old fashioned metal on metal mayhem, Hawken will satisfy. Like those endearing mechanized tin cans it showcases, Hawken is nothing fancy but it gets the job done.

Hawken is Rock 'em, Sock 'em FunHawken
Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Meteor Entertainment, 505 Games
Developer: Adhesive Games, Reloaded Games
ESRB Rating: T for Teens

Official Site:

Rating: 7 / 10

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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see