Developer Blog #4 – Detour

Jul 31, 2023

With Patch around the corner, July has been particularly busy as we took player feedback that dissected all the elements of Hawken Reborn and did a bit of our own dissecting by prioritizing the entire month towards reformulating the First Time User Experience (FTUE).  While this is only the tip of the iceberg, it’s a significant part in how we address the “survivorship bias” comments that we’ve seen relating to how much great constructive feedback we’ve highlighted from the community, but seemingly ignoring others who simply put the game down due to their negative first impressions.

There are many more areas of improvement that we’re tackling, but this one in particular is this massive undertaking that requires a pivot from a heavy story lead experience into one where a pilot can truly explore at their own pace without the initial 3+ hour grind to get into Patrol Mode.  

If you need a refresher from our Dev Blog #3 – Baselines, Patch will let pilots hop into Patrol Mode after completing the game’s first mission (Starfall) and then they’ll be able to learn the ropes of repairing, crafting, and upgrading mechs at their own leisure. This will take approximately 15 minutes and from there, a pilot can choose to explore the free roam areas of the Refuge (Zone A) or hop back into the game’s narrative driven Story Arc for the remaining 5 missions, which will give a preview of the other zones in the game.


Even though it may not seem like a lot of changes if you’ve already played a few hours of Hawken Reborn, it’s still a critical detour on this Early Access journey that paves the way for some really exciting things to come. Here’re a few notable adjustments that we’ve made that all players will notice immediately. 

Pre Launch Settings

Right out the gate, pilots will be greeted with a settings page before starting the first mission. This will allow you to set up the game how you want to play without having to worry about the always online server instance (for future co-op) that you’re about to load into. Unfortunately this settings page does not have a keybinding option, but it’s definitely something that we know is a much desired feature and on our list to tackle. 

Dash Cooldown

Just a small, but critical part in dialing our movement formula is the dash which will see a noticeable cooldown reduction that will allow for more agile close quarters combat experience. Future updates will factor in mech weight and thrusters which will open up a lot of customization options based on your specific playstyle.

Mission Director

The Refuge has 30 total Patrol Missions available, but due to the current Mission Director programming, most players were only able to experience a handful of the same missions over, and over, and over again… So instead of getting your fill of vitrolum laced wine runs or escorting our favorite tragic poet Neil around, heading back into Patrol Mode will now surface several new missions that were previously very tedious to obtain. 

HUD Improvements

Similar to our update to the dash ability, our HUD is going to get a revamp factoring in feedback that we’ve received from the community. Things such as clear ammo indicators in the center, better health/shield bars, and an array of other design changes that will do a better job in communicating critical information are in the works. . For now though, you’ll notice that the ammo indicator has significantly been increased in size and damage markers will now vignette as you take hull damage in combat.

Climate Change

Illal gets a little dose of climate change as the green haze has been dialed down for a cleaner viewing experience. We’ve seen some feedback that the game has a bit too much green haze that can blur the lines between what’s part of your cockpit vs the external environment. This aesthetic is mostly relegated to the Refuge, but since you spend most of your Patrol Mode time here currently, it’s a much needed change to make things easier to distinguish when combat can get a bit chaotic. 


We’ve talked a bit about the changes that are coming with Patch so let’s get back on track to some of the big developments that are going to make an exciting impact on your gameplay experience in the future.

Multiplayer Co-op

Originally listed as an Early Access Phase 3 feature in our road map, Multiplayer Co-op is now being moved up in our development plans. We felt that making sure multiplayer co-op has ample time to polish in Early Access was is extremely critical variable. Since its earliest inception, the game has always been built with co-op in mind, which is why there is no pause button in its current single player experience. You, as a player, are on an active real time server, which means that you’ll be hosting fellow pilots in the future. When specifically we aren’t able to say just yet, but know that co-op is currently in high priority development. 

Arsenal Additions

In addition to the existing 5 Mech Platforms, 6 Thrusters, and 9 weapons that launched with Early Access, a few new additions are going to be added to the garage to increase the variety of options available to take into battle.

Ostentum Heavy Mech

Released only as a cosmetic in H1 as the Falum, Hawken Reborn’s Ostentum is the next tank-like heavy platform that will be unlockable as its own dedicated mech for your garage.

Description: Every specialist soldier is an investment in training, time and equipment. Protect that investment with the Ostentum luxury heavy mech. A single Ostentum can protect your snipers and e-war units, needing only seconds of rest for a full recovery. This is not just any mech, this is the Sentium Ostentum heavy defensive platform.



Ultra Rapid Fire SMG

Loaded with small calibre rounds at a medium effective range, this new Sub Machine Gun will dispel targets easily with its extremely fast firing rate and even larger clip than your standard SMG.

Loren Missile Launcher

Boasting semi-automatic high velocity lock-on missiles, the Loren is your answer to dealing with distant waves of enemies at a time. Don’t be fooled by the low clip size, these missiles pack an explosive punch.

Wyndham Moors (Zone B)

Currently only the Refuge (Zone A) is available in Patrol Mode. This is because the start of Early Access meant having a complete Story Arc 0 and one zone featuring 30 patrol missions with full voice acting to enhance the narrative. During your playthrough of the Story Arc, you’ll get a preview of the other zones in Hawken Reborn, but they are still locked out because their Patrol Mode missions are still in development. 

For context, these are the areas and their respective missions.

Mission 4: The Dead Body Problem – The Fracture
Mission 3: Love, Death and Giant Robots – Korelev Pass
Mission 6: Use of Weapons – Wyndham Moors

Wyndham Moors (Zone B) will be the next area that we’ll be dropping the barriers to explore. In contrast to the Refuge, you’ll see a much more vibrant pop of color as this area has several facilities that are utilized by the inhabitants to thrive in Illal’s harsh environment.

Closing Remarks

With Patch soon to be released and the curtain lifted for some new developments, we hope that you’re walking away as enthusiastic as we are! The upcoming development cycles are going to be an exciting time on Illal as we start to roll out new game features that’ll layer in more and more polish to the Hawken Reborn experience.  Until then, we encourage you to take this time to level up a few mechs and find the right combination of loadouts that feel right to you.

Hawken Reborn is now available on PC Steam Early Access. To learn more visit our Early Access Blog and Steam Page

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