Hawked preview: For those who are tired of murky aisles

It’s known that the interest of the gamers shifts to different genres from time to time. Hawked is a new addition to the extraction shooter genre, which has recently become a favourite of gamers with its strained atmosphere.

As someone passionate about the simulation genre since I was a teenager, I have to admit that the game genre that has taken up most of my time in the last few years has been extraction shooters. Can I tell you about the 600 hours I desperately poured into Escape From Tarkov? If we include Marauders, Hunt: Showdown, and The Cycle, there are not many games of the genre that I haven’t experienced enough.

Sometimes, we desperately hooked our way to the surface in Deep Rock Galactic; sometimes, we stuffed the loot of our friends who died in Tarkov into our bags so that we could return it to them. We had a lot of fun, but we were also stretched a lot. I don’t know about you, but – leaving Deep Rock Galactic aside – extraction shooters have never been a game that can be played when the sun is shining outside. I’ve always told the stories of these games as if they were as serious as a heart attack.

As such, it was only a matter of time before a skillful team filled the vacuum created on the “light” side of the business, and this was MY.GAMES aims to add more color, action, and humor to the well-known extraction shooter genre.

What are we doing here?

Hawked is a colorful third-person shooter that adheres to the main mechanics of the shooter genre but adds a lot of sauce to the recipe and delivers it to us. Well, when you remove the heavy atmospheres, which are the dominant elements of the genre, you need something other than the heavy atmospheres, well, MY.GAMES has a wide arsenal in this regard.

First, Hawked is more detailed than it looks, so I recommend you not skip the tutorial. When you enter the tutorial, you will realize that it does not talk about one or two simple topics; it takes all the mechanics and explains them to you nicely. After the tutorial, the next step is creating your character. Hawked, where you can unlock new cosmetics as you progress in the game, comes with a more detailed character creation screen than I expected. For now, you can choose from 10 different categories. You will be able to improve your character’s appearance during the early access period from the in-game store, Twitch drops, or in-game events.

If your character has developed, we can come to the lobby. This is the part where you can socialize with people, build your team, and throw yourself into the heart of the action. Let’s remind you immediately: you must be friends on Steam to meet with your friends on the same team.

Of course, it is difficult to make a healthy comment about the matchmaking system during the hands-on preview period; after all, the press members hang out with other colleagues, but I have to say that the matchmaking time is relatively short. We can say more about this issue on November 30th, when the game enters early access.

Assuming you have passed all these steps without any problems, it is time to go to X-Isle.

X-Isle!

During the testing process, I realized that everyone who tried the game had different opinions about the genre, the design of the island, and the art direction. For example, I liked the approach loosely resembling the once-trendy cel-shaded graphic design (the graphics are not cel-shaded). The structure and appearance of X-Isle reminded me of Horizon Forbidden West, and the character designs reminded me of Overwatch. Let me also say in advance that the island is bigger than I expected, and you will travel long distances while trying to reach your goals. No fleeing from the map without taking 30K steps!

Hawked is a “grab the treasure and run” game, and I have to say that this “grab and run” process is quite enjoyable and action-packed. Once you start the game, the quandaries start with the fact that you don’t have your ranged weapon in your hand. Will you travel well and go to the treasure with better equipment, or will you reach the treasure before the other teams with your pistol and surprise them after getting a good position? This dilemma will keep you busy throughout the game because you and the other teams are not the only ones after the treasure.

The island’s native race of lizards (the Arakists) are also a formidable bunch of gun-toting, thick-skinned fellows who can take you down in a heartbeat if you give them a chance. The elite units within these lizard groups are especially fierce. If you fall, your teammates must come to your side and lift you up. Otherwise, you will remain ineffective until all team members are dead, and you will eventually return to the lobby.

I think the variety of weapons in the game is sufficient in the beta process. You can also strengthen your hand with artifacts you find when you solve some relatively basic puzzles. When you manage to escape, these relics stay with you and can be combined with your items. There are currently 18 different artifacts and 15+ different items that you can combine them with. Their number will continue to increase.

Since we’re talking about a shooter game, we should also talk about the gunfight. I’ve seen a lot of improvement between the two preview sessions that were presented to the press a few months apart. The weapon doesn’t go out of your control, but the recoil control feeling it gives is quite pleasant. Sure, the mechanics are light, but the gunfighting in the game is enjoyable, and the sniper rifles offer a satisfying experience for those with good marksmanship (AWPers!). The feel is good; I never felt unfamiliar with the mouse in my usual setting (800dpi). When you aim well, a single bullet of this sniper rifle means guaranteed death.

Verdict

Hawked strikes me as a very well-thought-out and well-executed game. To be honest, I think it can attract players from shooter enthusiasts of other genres rather than the “serious” brothers of the genre, like Escape From Tarkov. The title will start the early access process for free on Steam on November 30th and is expected to be released as a full version in 2024. Console versions will also meet with players at a later date.

If you have played any game where the character holds a gun, you can give Hawked a chance; it’s quite possible to have fun times.

NEXT: Review: Defense of the Kings

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