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Complete Review & Description

One question I’ve found to be particularly divisive is the one that asks what makes a game, and consequently what makes a gamer. The hardcore might make a remark towards only more the conventional and stray little from the triple-A path. Then again, someone who plays cluedo habitually might also consider what they do “gaming”, and likewise think themselves a gamer too. And why not? The most significant difference is the physical over digital, and I don’t recall gaming being defined exclusively by the virtual. Only by its play.
So could an experience that could only be described as a “command prompt adventure” be considered an actual game? Again, why the deuce not.

Hacknet is the kind of game that’s really funny to play in public (and I absolutely did), ‘cause people will either A) call the cops) and/or B) think a lot more of your intellect. It looks freakin’ intense, like the Matrix just spewed on your computer. That’s probably it’s greatest attribute; you will look and feel like a hacker. It’s presentation is stylishly basic with a hearty tempo of techno. To access networks you’ll open their ports, overload proxy servers, bypass firewalls, finish the job before you get traced, and cover your tracks when done. You’ll even scan devices to open pathways to others, creating a variable nexus of connections.
It’s not like the Arkham games, where Batman does the figuring-out and you do the heading-nodding. No you’ll actually have to pull your own weight, manually writing commands so your x-server.sys will primary config the sequencer.exe. If that sounds like Pig Latin you need not feel intimidated (it won’t make sense to any Hacknet play either, it’s totally illegible). Prior experience with anything, except basic logic, isn’t necessary. The game tells you and gives you most of what you need. It might have the impression of such, but it doesn’t force any coding-elitism that might come with association. You’ll still point-and-click through directories and networks, you’ll just have to look a little harder.

Though if you’ll allow me to make another crude comparison; try and remember a time when you had no familiarity with Assassin’s Creed. You were Altair for the first time. You felt engrossed and empowered with professional efficiency with a game that wasn’t like too many. Until you knocked off seven targets with no change to be had, all with the same pickpocketing-preparation.
Hacknet will give similar fantasies, at the cost of repetition. You will compromise a lot of networks, most via the same method. Once you know what you’re doing, the game scarcely changes, and the allure may very well be over. It does accelerate eventually, but it doesn’t develop much either. Hack one computer and you’ve hacked them all.
It’s not like the Arkham games, where Batman does the figuring-out and you do the heading-nodding.
Everything begins with the disappearance of a fellow hacker, along with the questions “how” and “why”. You’ll follow the breadcrumbs of corporate espionage for a small time before getting preoccupied with contracting for several hacking guilds. This majority chunk contains the aforementioned repetition and is also the least concerned with the main narrative. Each contract you take is its own tale, not all of which you’ll see fully unless you explore and read the miscellaneous documents. You might call it voluntary storytelling, or optional exposition.

Only near the end will the story abruptly kick-in, and so too the difficulty. It’s not exactly a paradigm of pacing when both your narrative and gameplay repressively accumulate nigh conclusion. About 80% of the story reserves itself ‘til the end. Though naturally, it is also the most interesting time. Hacknet only provides subsistent information as is, and near game’s end you’ll have even less. To proceed requires you do exactly what the designer had in mind and jump onto their train of logic. Visit the Steam boards and you’ll find a myriad of likewise confused people.
I don’t enjoy having my hand held, but a game based off a system that requires precise commands down to the upper-casing needs to be more specific itself. Otherwise it becomes the point-and-click conundrum of old, and you’re rubbing the cat against every orifice to active the next sequence.
Hacknet could easily come under media scrutiny for training people to become hackers, but the game is not so complex for that criticism to be valid nor simple enough that it isn’t worth playing. While you wouldn’t think such a game would require much attention to appearance, a lot of thought has evidently been given to creating the unique Tron-esque ambience. By and large it is much of the same thing for ten hours, and that’s the irony of Hacknet; doing repeatedly something you’ve probably never done before. Play it because it’s different, play it because it’s a far cry from anything you’re lik



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