King Link
San Diego, California, United States
 
 
I'm a gamer for over 30 years, a programmer, a game developer, a nerd, achievement hunter, and now a critic.

Check https://kinglink-reviews.com .

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Currently In-Game
OKAMI HD / 大神 絶景版
My website
I have a review website up now, It's located at https://kinglink-reviews.com

It would be helpful if you follow twitter account @KinglinkReviews and subscribe to youtube channel KinglinkReviews
Review Showcase
14.6 Hours played
Full Review [kinglink-reviews.com] -- Curator Site

Hacking games are weird. There are games with hacking as an ability such as Deus Ex or Watch Dogs but that’s not what I’m talking about. Those game have a “hacking mechanic” which at best is a mini-game and at worst is a button press. There are also games where the focus is on “hacking” systems and while it’s almost never realistic it usually can take steps in that direction and still be fun. Hacknet is one of those games, and it is an excellent example of why I enjoy those games.

So there are two sets of games I play. Normal games, stuff like Far Cry, Destiny, Bayonetta that average gamers can enjoy the same as me. Then there are the special games. I call them “programmer games” And they’re not all the same, they don’t have the same style of gameplay but most are made for the analytical mind of a programmer. Programmer games to me are games like Factorio, and pretty much every Zachtronics game (Which I will start reviewing soon, I promise, Zach your day will come!). And Uplink. Yes, Uplink is certainly there.

Uplink might be the first game I ever played where I felt a bond with the developer. I didn’t just like Uplink. I loved every minute of it. I was a novice with computers (and in some ways maybe I still am) but Uplink gave me the feeling that I was hacking into computers, and racing to beat a trace to avoid detection. Uplink was a blast. It was a great game. Hell in the back of my mind whenever I’m running a route trace (tracert) or pinging a server, I still imagine the map of the world and believe it’s following a single line on it.

I’m not the only person who liked Uplink. I can say that with absolute certainty because Hacknet clearly was developed to be similar to Uplink. Now two people can come up with the same idea, but Hacknet came out a decade after Uplink and even has a mission about someone copying “Introversion’s” game idea in Hacknet. Introversion is the name of the company that made Uplink.

Because of that, I’m sure the question comes up if this is a clone. While I have a very long version of why it doesn’t matter, the question would carry more weight if Hacknet didn’t differentiate itself from Uplink, or if Uplink was still developed. Introversion has gone on to make other amazing games, including the current “Prison Architect”. While Uplink is a clear inspiration, it’s also just the starting point, and Hacknet ran with it in so many directions that I’m impressed.

But there is one thought that Hacknet didn’t improve on Uplink. Uplink has a rather solid story, and it’s exciting from the first moment to the end of the game. I remember playing it a number of times, and the story drove me on to finish it in more than one way.

Hacknet, on the other hand, has a weaker story. Most of the story is done through missions and while there are some choices the player can make, or choose between a number of groups, there’s not really a reason or a purpose for it.

The real story of Hacknet only appears at the end and it only becomes a major event for a number of missions in a row, but it’s never has a strong pull to finish it, instead you just want to keep completing missions and because of that the story pulls you along. I feel like a lot of the story comes out of nowhere.

That’s not to say there are no interesting stories in Hacknet, but they’re more about the current mission you are on or just side stories that develop the world. It’s a shame because it’s one of the big flaws in the game in my opinion. The game feels like it tries to be open to the player making choices so it’s free-form but then backloads all the major story events to the end. I’d have loved to see the major story develop into emergency situations you deal with throughout the game and you could get the feeling you are competing against something even if you weren’t.

The bigger problem to me though is the story doesn’t tend to listen to the rules it has set up for its universe. You start the game and eventually join a hacking group. The first group are “White Hats” which means constructive hacking. They don’t exactly follow those rules, but while they can be destructive, they have a moral code that’s critical for them. It’s a good mantra to follow, and I like the idea of it.

The problem is the game never follows it up. In fact, a few missions are hollow when you realize there’s no positives or negatives for how you do jobs. The group might claim they’re “White Hats” and they told me to only delete what was necessary on one assignment. I trashed the computer and destroyed everything I could. The group never brought up my destructive nature. In fact, from that point onward, I found I could go against almost all the rules that the story developed for me.

For instance, Hacknet stresses deleting logs are important, and this was critical in Uplink. If you left logs in Uplink, people would be able to backtrace you even after you disconnected. However, in Hacknet there are two problems. First disconnecting from a server leaves a final log entry that’s deadly. In real life, you could wipe the log, have a program delete them after a timed execution or crash a server to avoid writing a disconnect if it matters. But none of these are required because of the second issue. Leaving the logs alone makes no difference. It’s a story element that doesn’t actually have gameplay attached to it.

I want to say both of these are acceptable and they are, but in fact, they annoy me a lot. The logs were a core system in Uplink and while the new game doesn’t have to be exactly like Uplink, Hacknet talks about deleting logs as critical. If they make it a major part of the story, they should require it since they said it was important.

So this has started to evolve into a discussion on the gameplay, and the gameplay is either the best part or the worst part of Hacknet. It will pretty much come down to the question of if the player can use a terminal effectively.

If you take a random server in Hacknet, you’ll usually be presented with a login prompt and the ability to “probe the network”. Almost always you will have to probe the network, from there the game will tell you what type of security measures the servers have. It might be a proxy server that you have to overload with other servers or a Firewall that means there’s an analysis program you have to run and figure out a passcode by reading off the letters that remain after analysis. You’ll almost always have to open ports on the system so you can crack the password, and you open ports by running exploits. Almost all of this is only done through the console. You can probe with the mouse, but the exploits require running the programs manually and giving them the ports.

The thing is, this is rather fun to me. I love the hacking aspects, and eventually when there’s a time limit it gets even better, trying to get everything done against a ticking clock because you have to run all the exploits, overload the proxy, figure out the firewall, and then do whatever you intended on the computer before it locks you out again.

The downside is the trace is always the same length of time. In Uplink there’s an idea of proxies which worked, as you could build a longer trace time but here, you just directly attack the computer and either have enough time, disconnect before you’re finished or run out of time.

If you want to read more and see a final score, you can see the full review with pictures at https://kinglink-reviews.com/2018/05/21/hacknet-review/ You can also check out my Curator page at If you want to hear more from me, you can show me that by following my curator at http://store.steampowered.com/curator/31803828-Kinglink-Reviews/
Achievement Showcase
11,998
Achievements
67
Perfect Games
50%
Avg. Game Completion Rate

Recent Activity

1.8 hrs on record
Currently In-Game
4.2 hrs on record
last played on Mar 18
19.3 hrs on record
last played on Mar 18
[Spirit] Ram Mar 9 @ 12:50am 
I just fought you on absolver. if you want i can help you learn some more moves for pvp.
Tamaster Feb 18 @ 2:57am 
Added for your steam reviews.
Sysgen Dec 24, 2018 @ 10:59am 
`´︶´¯`︶´`´︶︶´*★  ^v^  ┊❅  °☆ .   ☆ :. ☆   
  ) )  ⦅‖ ͇͇ ͇͇▃▇͇͇͌̿̿⌂͇͇▌..* ★  ☆ .   ★ ^v^  ° ❅  ☆ .   ★ ^v^  ° 
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╱◥◣ ◥████◣▓∩▓∩║   HAPPY HOLIDAYS & │∩ │◥███◣ ╱◥███◣
│╱◥█◣║∩∩∩ ║╲◥███╲   HAPPY NEW YEAR ╱◥◣ ◥████◣▓∩▓│∩
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João Rodrigues Charlatão Nov 30, 2018 @ 1:05pm 
big G:rarity_star:
King Link Sep 4, 2018 @ 6:00pm 
Hey Biker, I actually have it and just haven't had the time to play it, it might be a couple weeks, but I'll put it at the top of my queue.
Biker Sep 4, 2018 @ 2:21pm 
Hey King Link,sorry for disturbing but,can you please make a review on a indie game Hyper Light Drifter,thanks if you do it,but if you dont do it please tell me when you have time if you think its good