It's a big day for the folks that develop the mech-battle game Hawken as they leave their download-it-yourself space and enter Steam. From this point forward, this free-to-play machine vs machine game will be tied to Steam, complete with in-game purchases and full distribution. Today marks the first patch that will come from Steam - this and all future patches for the game will also come from Steam.
If you're already playing Hawken, it's important at this point to note that if you plan on continuing to play the game, you need to sign up with Steam. From there you'll be re-downloading the game and running from there. As your content is stored in the cloud, you wont lose anything - you'll just have between a few minutes and a few hours of load time to click around in.
Veterans of the game should also note that you'll likely have an email in your inbox right this minute with a Steam key. With this key you'll be able to download and play the game immediately while the public still may have to wait a few hours or days before the game is fully available.
"If you had an account before February 4th and you haven't received a code by February 11th, submit a help ticket with the subject Missing Steam Code at playhawken.zendesk.com" - Meteor Entertainment
Those users that've already had their hands deep in the game will notice that both Countermeasures and Tuning Points have been taken out. These removals were both done with fairness in mind and to create a more distinct set of user types and machines.
"The reason we're approaching our release in this manner is so we can slowly ramp up to a full Steam launch. By the time our full February release is good to go, we want all of our existing users to have already made the transition over to Steam. This should help reduce the stress on our services immensely.
All of us have worked very hard to make HAWKEN on Steam possible and we can't wait until it's available for everyone to enjoy. Thanks for your continued support, and we're looking forward to experiencing this new battlefield with all of you!" - Meteor Entertainment
Another take-away from this release is the fact that we're still looking at a "Beta" release. This game has been rolling hard for a long time - since before December of 2012, mind you - and it's looked excellent the entire time. It's only going to get better from here.
And for those of you wondering how this game will be different from Titanfall - while you certainly can see your character leave your mech here in the garage (in Hawken), this game is all about the mech. While a Titanfall suits will move more like Iron Man, Hawken is the most visually advanced and user-friendly version of the classic "mecha battle" game on the market today.
You can also upgrade your mech in Hawken in a completely different way from Titanfall, and you're concentrating on your mech here, not your soldier. To each their own.