Saturday, March 2, 2013

Hawken Update 3: My Addictive Blue Mechs

I've been sculpting like a madman, lately.

New Karkpanzers.  New RUM-V sets.  New Mechs.  New bits for the CMG Kickstarter.  Ranting and Raving all over the internet about gun rights and political stupidity.

There are many times when I'm too tuckered to sculpt.

And then I think to myself: "Self, we should play some Hawken, and alleviate some stress."

And, yea verily, I do.

Just for some background, I have deliberately avoided video games in their various forms for the last ten years or so.

The last real game I played was HALO on the original X-Box.  It ate my life.  I have that proclivity towards things like that:  it's either all or nothing.

So, in order to pursue my artistic calling towards sculpting and writing, I knew I had to give something up.  That "something" was video games.

I may not have played video games, but I've kept up with them.  Watching lots of G4TV, keeping up with reviews on,  and listening to my friends' opinions filled in a lot of the gaps.

Sure, I flirted briefly with the Herzog Zwei-inspired Airmech.  It was fun, but I recognized that I was getting sucked into it.  I quit it, cold turkey, once the sculpting started to suffer.

Then came Hawken.  Oh, Hawken, sweet Hawken.

Here's my previous pair of postings on Hawken:  One, and Two.

I've fallen hard for Hawken.  I liked the junk-mech look from the first previews.  A lot of the stuff fits in nicely with my own design philosophy.  And I'm easily distracted by shiny things.

So, I'm now a fiend.  If I'm not sculpting, drinking beer, or running down the honey-do list, I'm playing Hawken.

Here's my favorite, a customized Sharpshooter class.  The max experience level is 25.  I'm at 21 on this mech, no huge accomplishment, but I split my time between my Sharpshooter and my Brawler, a superheavy close-in slugger.

Here's a walk-around of my Sharpshooter.  Blueboy is the name I've given my Sharpshooter mechs (I like the digital blue camo, and have bought it for all my rides).  Blueboy "Five", because this is the fifth iteration of mech I've played, counting back from the Alpha 2 demonstration, 3 closed Beta releases, and now the Open Beta.

I run a slug rifle and sabot rifle combo.  It's not quick, it's not pretty, but it hits hard, and I like it.

That's my baby.  I'm going to switch out the torso, I think, to a new hull called the Raider.  A cosmetic fix, but hey, what's a little digital vanity, right?

Here's my Brawler, BigBoy.  He's a tubby guy, but very handy in the close-in streets and corridors in most of Hawken's maps.  Those big wings on top of his hull fold down, and make him even tougher in "Fortress" mode.  Usually, engaging fortress is a suicide move, though, since you're an immobile target.

The playstyle that best fits the Brawler has been referred to as "Fat Ninja" style.  You creep, you stalk, you hide out as best you can, and then you hammer a guy close-in, when he least expects it.  Fat Ninja!

Here's the newest addition to my mech stable, a Reaper.  It's a fast mover, with sniping abilities.  It doesn't last too long in a close-in slug fest, but on larger maps it can move and hit from far away.

 Here's a standard Brawler.  It's a C Class, the superheavies of the game.  Heavy and slow, but tough.  The standard Brawler has an unguided missile and the equivalent of a heavy shotgun for close combat.

 The Grenadier is another C Class. I've never piloted one, but like the look.  These things lob depth-charge like grenades, and are great area denial weapons.

 The Bruiser is a B Class, the middleweights of the game.  It has a missile launcher that can lock on, or fire blind, and a nasty Vulcan gatling weapon.  It overheats quickly, though.

 The Assault is an upgraded version of the freebie mech that everyone starts with, but it can unlock better things quicker, and doesn't look like a damn TV.  I really like the look.

 This is what a Sharpshooter, my main mech above, looks like from the factory.  I've switched out a few components, namely the main hull.

Here's a Rocketeer, another C class.  It's a missile boat, as we used to say in the CAV days.  Guided and unguided missiles pour out of this thing like poop pellets from a rabbit.

That's a few of the mechs of Hawken that I've gotten down as screen captures.  There are more, most of them lighter and faster A class mechs.  The Scout, the Infiltrator, the Berzerker.  All fast, deadly, and hard to hit.  Most of the expert players use them.  I like the Sharpshooter, so I've stuck with that.

Now, is there a lot of fast action in the game?  Yes.  Is it a realistic mech simulator?  No.  It's basically a frag-fest, with mechs instead of humans.  Lots of killing and respawning.  But it's FUN.  And addictive.

To sign up for Hawken (it's free to play, but you can pay for cosmetic upgrades and other minor things), go to

But if you get addicted, you're on your own.

My handle on there is my full name, johnbearross.  Look me up.


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