Hawken is one of the most attractive games I’ve ever seen, all shuddering steel and clouds of debris, and it is exclusively about large robots fighting. There’s no cutscene-laden narrative, no downtime and no pricetag. There are maybe six people in the world who don’t like to see mechs fighting twenty four hours a day so Hawken should be the most popular game in the world. That’s not the case though and, ahead of its full launch, publishers Meteor are moving their multiplayer bot-battler to Steam. Current account-holders will receive codes by the end of this week, allowing them to reinstall through Steam without losing their progress and items. Once the migration has occurred the game will become publicly available, some time later this month.
There’s a full FAQ regarding the move here. I’ve already seen people (with some justification) pointing out that a previously DRM-free game is now tied to Steam, making this A Bad Thing. My view? Like any other multiplayer game of this sort, Hawken needs players to thrive and despite the early excitement around the early footage, the masses never arrived.
I like Hawken. It’s fast, beautiful and the mechs are suitably varied, providing a dollop of tactical consideration. As much as I like it, though, I rarely play it. If a bustling community of Steam users adopt it as their own, perhaps that will change.