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The inspiration behind Hawken's Last Eco map

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The Last Eco map in Adhesive Games' free-to-play first-person mech shooter, Hawken, was inspired by Team Ico's Shadow of the Colossus and Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, according to a recent Q&A provided to Polygon.

Unlike many of Hawken's sci-fi settings, which take inspiration from titles such as Blade Runner, Cowboy Bebop and Alien, Last Eco is set in a sprawling, moody forest. Adhesive Games CEO Khang Le said he was fond of the "expansive canopy above that blocked out the sun" from Shadow of the Colossus. Le also credits Princess Mononoke as a "great influence."

"Last Eco represents the only remaining natural landscape on the planet of Illal," Le said. "As most Hawken maps have focused on the post-apocalyptic urban theme, the lush, open-space forest of Last Eco works well as contrast — a sort of glimmer of hope in a decaying future."

Le added that the game's Unreal Engine 3 isn't optimized for high volumes of foliage, so the team had to build the forest "very similarly to a city map." However, Le said that it's boring to build the same theme repeatedly.

"Map diversity is very important to us, not only to give our audience a variety of experiences, but also to allow our artists to express their creativity," Le said.

Hawken sign-ups are available through the game's official website.