Game Bytes: Hacknet + Labyrinths DLC

Let's take a look at Hacknet, the hacking simulator that attracted a lot of players worldwide.

Today we're talking about Hacknet (and the Labyrinths DLC). So I'll have to split the review into two parts: the Main Game and the DLC.

The Main Game

The game starts in a pretty mysterious way, and walks the player through the first steps, with a pretty well-made tutorial. The player will have to find their own way among lots of missions until they find out what happened to Bit, the hacker that contacted and guided the player in the beginning.

Graphics

Graphics are pleasing and well sorted, the effects (when there are any) don't distract too much from the game. Does the job nicely.

Sounds

The Music Tracks are fantastic and help a lot in involving the player, and most of all they'll contribute to the final-mission tachycardia. Amazing. I didn't really appreciate some "Incoming Connection" jumpscares, but that's just me being nervous all the time.

Setup and performance

The game runs well enough on my old Core2Quad with a cheap ASUS/Nvidia EN9500GT, even though it has some pretty simple and clean graphics, the game tends to run under 60fps. Anyway there haven't been any lockups.

The Setup was painful, since the new version didn't want to work at all, I had to use the XNA branch version, which forced me to install (the hated) Windows Media Player so I could enjoy the background music.

Gameplay

The gameplayer requires a lot of concentration in some points, while it ends up being pretty much "a chore/a routine" in some others. The game tends to guide the player a bit more than what's strictly necessary; but it's better like this instead of ending up frustrated and swamped at a point of the story.

The DLC: Hacknet Labyrinths

New music, new missions, new tools. Let's see what the DLC has to offer.

Graphics

Not much changed here, there are some new themes, some new tools and protection systems to break (with their own animations and all).

Sounds

Some new music is available in this DLC, and they're all pretty good, even though the tracks are objectively a bit too few, so they tend to repeat a lot during the DLC playthrough.

Setup and Performance

No problem in installing this expansion pack, and the performance are not suffering in any way.

Gameplay

And here's the rub, even though there's a decent number of new (or renewed) tools, protection systems, etc... the expansion is kinda poor in content.

The first mission starts with fireworks and all, with a background music that contributes a lot in intensifying the sensations that you get from looking at what's happening on the screen, it looks like you're about to start up with a very difficult mission right away. Instead we're facing a couple of undertone "challenges" (and I use the word loosely here). I would have preferred a higher level of dare.

The ending is good, forcing the player to take a very hard decision with very little time available.

The expansion "spreads" to other contents of the main game that we visited earlier, enhancing the game's longevity, if you're up to dig deep enough.

Extras

The DLC allows to access community-made contents, giving even more life to the game. Sadly these extra contents require ad-hoc savefiles, so they don't "become one" with the main game.

Conclusion

The game is very good, and if you want a good challenge, that makes you feel some strong emotions, this game is for you. Even more if you want to feel like a hacker, even though you're just pretending.

The score goes from 0 (this game should have never existed in the first place) to 100 (you are morally forced to try this game).

I think a suitable score for this game could be 87/100

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Penaz

social