It’s upon us. The summer drought. No big releases are on the horizon while the sun is high in the sky and the games press is still recovering from E3.This most woeful of times in the life of a gamer. We wade through torrents of new titles in the fall. We clamber up the walls of spring’s release schedules. Even in the winter we dig through the snow to grab the latest gem to hit the scene. Summer, the time when most people usually have the most free time to play, is a sun-scorched wasteland where the mirage of Fall’s releases sit on the horizon, laughing maniacally while preparing to assault your wallet. The cure? Bring on the Mechs.
For those who don’t know what a Mech is, the answer is just outside whatever rock you’ve been hiding under. Essentially they are huge robots or vehicles controlled by a human influence. Still not got it? Think Pacific Rim. Hell, even think Gundam.
The power trip they can give is unmatched in any media throughout the world though. For millions of people around the world a good Mech is enough to set the heart aflame and flush your loins with the warm feeling of power. So as we sit upon the precipice of the desert that is Summer 2014, here’s five Mech-based games to dip into to keep the months flowing.
Are you a PC owner? Then you’ve got a Mech game ready to play after a short download in Hawken. In the vein of many games out right now on the platform, Hawken is a Free to Play competitive online title where players are jammed into a gigantic walking tin can to fight in 5 vs 5 combat to the death. Or when the kill counter hits the upper limit.
Developed by Adhesive games, Hawken offers players the choice of 18 different Mechs (with a fraction of that being available from the start) along with a host of different weapons to slot onto them. The magic of this game lies not in the systems, the Player vs Player focus, or the interesting map design. Its magic is born from how combat feels thanks to the control system. Moving down a roadway in most FPSs feels like gliding across a texture with a floating gun. In Hawken, every step shakes the ground at your feet while lining up guns takes patience and intelligence, cementing its foundation as more of a thinking player’s game than a twitch-based shooter. Having the speed to react will save your life but having the grey matter swishing around in your skull will end the lives of your enemies.
Battles should be map wide because, well because the maps are fairly large and these Mechs are massive. What happens in Hawken more often than not though is smaller micro battles pop up where a couple of players from each team meet at a building and fight for dominance. Winning a battle on a larger scale is what’s usually the most heart-warming part of a multiplayer game, but in Hawken when the Mech you’ve designed melds with your wits to beat the enemy there’s a sense of accomplishment that no game can compare to.
Taking into consideration as well the fact you can indulge in multi-leveled combat with heavier Mechs on the ground and lighter bipedal death tanks skirting around on the roofs, Hawken becomes a great game just to play even when there’s a little time free. Matches rarely last more than 10 minutes and even a new player in a basic mech can cause experienced players in monstorous machines problems. It’s worth a shot, whether you be a Mech-groupie or just a curious and bored gamer.
Even the prices for some of the mechs are pretty low for a Free to Play game.