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GDC 2013: Hawken "destruction demo level" brings down the house

GDC may be over, but there's still the clean up operation to be performed. Discarded bits of news lay strewn across the show's floor, waiting for us to scoop them up and put them on their digital shelf. What's that in the corner? A burnt-out mechanical husk - misshapen and trampled by excited IGF nominees - informing us that Nvidia's APEX demo featured a Hawken map that utilised the destruction tech in multiplayer. Let's scan it's sparking memory banks to see if... yes! A video!

Hawken makes sense as the showcase for multiplayer destruction. It does, after all, feature mechs - giant, full of missiles and about as elegant as a toddler. Nvidia provide us with the science bit, saying the level uses "GPU Rigid Bodies (GRB's) with networking support for the best multiplayer game experience. The level provides totally new game play - you can open new pathways or destroy the ground underneath the mechs."

That's all great Nvidia, and certainly a more practical application of the tech than your other tool of mass destruction. But two questions remain: 1) When exactly is this going to make it into the game? 2) How many loans will we need to take out in order to afford a card that can play it smoothly?

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.