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I (See) Robot: Hawken To Support Oculus Rift VR

Hey, not cool! I was staring intently at that building and going 'Oooooooooo'.

Hawken is one of those things I get visibly excited about when I describe it to people. I flail and gesture wildly such that no glass of water or small, desk-adorning cactus within a 100 meter radius is safe. Somewhat coincidentally, that’s almost exactly what happens when I teleport my brain into Palmer Luckey’s mad virtual reality fantasy realm with Oculus Rift – only, you know, for entirely different yet equally devastating reasons. So I suppose it only makes sense that the two literal home-wreckers would end up walking down the aisle hand-in-hand.

So it sounds like Adhesive’s pretty dedicated to putting the Rift front-and-center when Hawken launches on 12/12/12. Granted, this is a company that seems quite determined to explore every possible avenue on the path toward The Future Of Gaming. Among other things, Hawken’s also launching early on cloud gaming heavyweight Gaikai and, er, debuting a live action series in early 2013.

This decision, however, seems like a far better fit. Hawken’s now the second game to officially support the Rift – with Doom 3 BFG being the first. And it’s not a bad choice, either. Hawken’s world looks to be a brilliant realization of junked-up, dirt-and-oil-encrusted sci-fi, and I definitely dig the idea of simply looking around in it. Also, it sounds like your head movements will, in fact, correspond to the pilot’s and not the mech’s, so it won’t just feel like some tacked-on, highly ineffective alternate aiming option.

That said, Hawken’s not like other mech games. Its lumbering behemoths move like impossibly armed-to-the-teeth ballerinas, so I don’t imagine there’ll be too many (non-lethal) opportunities to stop and – for one brief, fleeting moment – believe you could smell the roses. Personally, I’ll be incredibly excited when someone finally develops a game with the Rift in mind as a key part of the experience. Maybe it’d just be something like Dear Esther, or perhaps it could be something most of us would never even think of otherwise. Either way, the future’s really, really exciting. And only partially because it has giant robots.

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Nathan Grayson

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