Friday, October 12, 2012


This game looks really cool. I've been following it for a while:

I cut my teeth on mech combat with Mechwarrior 2, so I'm already a huge fan of big, metal machines blowing each other up. Although I haven't played Hawken yet, I can already see that with aesthetics so well developed the game will make an excellent spectator sport, and make for great YouTube fodder. I'm already imagining all the cinematic moments a game like this can generate, especially in a team combat setting.

I also find the design of the game's interface, mechs, and the associated animations fascinating. The piloted machines jitter and swerve in a way that seems distinctly life-like and organic, the spastic shaking / twitching making an interesting contrast to the deliberate, plodding motions of Mechwarrior's mobile platforms. It actually makes me of a (somewhat disturbing) creation by Boston Dynamics / DARPA, this four-legged bot with an intense desire to stay upright:

Games with functional but still visually pleasing animations aren't always valued for that quality alone, and it isn't always mentioned in games that lack it, but I think it deserves its own category of evaluation. Games with strong animation and strong multiplayer are some of the most interesting to watch -- animations made well add to the fidelity of the player interaction, helping both players and observers visually interpret what is going on more quickly and more fluidly.

Then there's the sound -- metal skin crunching, wire tendon snapping, actuators grinding -- I have no idea how the game will play, but I know its going look and sound like a gritty steel inferno, and that's enough to get me excited.

P.S.: Closed beta starts on October 26th. Check out their website for details.