For the large part of the population, playing around in terminal is not really the pass time that people have in mind. HackNet brings a new perspective on all of that, by telling the story of a recently deceased hacker who went by the name ‘Bit’. The entire game is a simulated hacker environment and Team Fractal Alligator have really put a lot of thought into both the realism of it all and the feel of the genuine ‘hacker experience’.
The game play has an extremely real feel and is really not as complicated as it looks. Upon researching the game to begin with, I initially thought the game was going to be immensely complicated, but the developers had already read my mind. Upon starting the game, you are thrown into an extensive tutorial that changes lines of code on a screen into something that can be easily played and manipulated. Everything is in the tutorial and is extremely easy to use; for example, it tells you how to connect to other computers and how to crack them. To start off, you hack the basic computer to see if you learnt the starter commands, then you get given a task to delete the logs from a rival’s computer, giving you a mission in order to get into a hacker group going by the name of Entropy. This immediately throws you into the hacker world that you always dreamed you were a part of but only got to experience when ‘Mr. Robot’ was on the TV.
Everything is pretty solid; the only criticism that I would have is the lag delay in the keystrokes. The game is extremely easy to run and there isn’t a whole lot to do with the graphical settings – I still couldn’t find a way to make the keyboard responsiveness as instantaneous as I would have liked; even after trying it on multiple systems.
The graphics overall are outstanding. It simulates a hacker’s terminal or, interface and is very hands-on with the content of it. Over time you can change the view and theme of the hackers terminal with the progression that you make over the course of the game. Aside from that, there really is no graphical enhancements that could be done – in the end, Windows has basically kept with the same user-interface for their terminal all this time.
The music and score is extremely unique and it is one of the things that I loved most about the game. Within the first moments of playing, I knew that the music was going to be one of the many major highlights of the game. As the game goes on, it really does all get a little repetitive and unfortunately the tune does not change when you are in different situations such as hacking another person’s computer or they are hacking you. Having a different sound for these events would make it all the more interesting and different – sort of like when you are walking through the tall grass in ‘Pokemon’ and the music changes when you get attacked by a wild little monster.
HackNet is a very well thought out game, with a lot of detail put into it. You can tell that the team got inspiration from many different popular hacking franchises and ideas in order to make an extremely realistic experience. The graphics overall are better than I expected, and I really enjoy it! I’d recommend this game if you’re into the hacker simulation games, 10/10 from me.