Hawked is a new extraction shooter looking for playtesters this weekend

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Hawked (opens in new tab) is a new PvPvE extraction shooter that sends players off on a quest for treasure and mysterious artifacts on a strange, remote island, where they'll also have to battle aggressive monsters—and each other—in order to get away in one piece, naturally. An early access release is expected in 2023, but if you'd like to get a taste of what it's all about right now, or if you're just looking for something new to play this weekend, you can sign up for the closed alpha test that kicked off today on Steam.

The premise is pretty straightforward—X-Isle (Exile—get it?) is a repository of powerful artifacts from a lost civilization, but the current inhabitants don't want to give them up. It thus falls to the treasure-hunting mercenaries known as Renegades to get the job done. It's not the most coherent narrative ever, but action is the focus, and to that end you'll be able to customize your characters with unique weapons, equipment, and abilities in order to solve puzzles, dodge traps, and do lots of shooting "in an ever-evolving world filled with mountains, jungles, and ancient temples."

How that'll all actually come together remains to be seen, but the alpha test is a step toward finding out. The test will include a single game mode called Hunt, and developer Upwake.me warned that "certain features and content may not work as intended and may be subject to change." You'll also have to sign an NDA when the game starts up in order to play.

To get into the action, pop around to the Hawked Steam page (opens in new tab) and click the appropriate button. Upwake.me didn't say how participants will be chosen, but it's looking for around 2,000 players for this first test, a number that will presumably increase for future test sessions. Once you're in, you'll download a small installer through Steam, which will then take care of the rest of the setup.

This is what you'll need to play:

Minimum:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 (2.80 GHz)
  • GPU: GTX 1060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 6GB
  • Storage Type: HDD
  • DirectX Version: 11
  • OS: Windows 10 64-Bit

Recommended:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • GPU: GTX 2060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 6GB
  • Storage Type: SSD
  • DirectX Version: 12
  • OS: Windows 10 64-Bit

Hakwed will be free to play when it goes into full release, but a purchase will be required for the early access version. Pricing and other details will be announced in the future.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.