Yes. Yes, it is. You can go back to watching cat videos now.
Still here? Oh, so you want reasons now. Fine. I’m down to clown. Hacknet, the hacking simulation game, was released a while back, but they just released a new DLC (which we didn’t make it too) and the dev is a super cool dude, so @curttheinvert and I decided to finally take the game for a spin. (Apply foreshadowy music here.)
Hacknet doesn’t look like much. I’m just going to get that out of the way right now, because it has like everything else going for it. It has interesting and challenging puzzles, a rich, in-depth storyline with lots of twist and turns, and most importantly, it doesn’t hold your hand through anything after the first 30 minutes or so. It also makes you feel like a frickin’ badass…
Until you see one tiny bump in the road, or happen to look away from the screen for a second to moisten up your dry cracked hackeresque eyeballs, and promptly forget all of the text commands you need to get through the next crucial phase in the game.
This is where Player Two comes in. Player Two, in this case @curttheinvert, henceforth known as Backseat McHackery, simultaneously acts as a driving force of stability, who, if taking notes, gently informs you of your failed life choices while reminding you that nmap is the network scanning command, while getting out their phone and shouting World Star just to see how you’ll collapse under the pressure of a shaky steadily-growing faux-Soviet-fonted timer.
Damn you @curttheinvert. Damn you straight to hell. And also I love you.
Also, screw that timer font. Yes, I know that I have 30 seconds left, you don’t need to scream it in red. Like who would set up their own computer terminal to put more stress on them in tight situations?
But somewhat more seriously, Hacknet feels like a completely different game in multiplayer, and it’s all for the better. The story is complicated, and while it doesn’t assume you’re an actual hacker (#SUBSEVEN4LIFE), it often tells you how to do something once, and only once. You can have notes open on the side, but these take up system memory (really dude, like 300k of memory just for a basic text file?), which may leave you with not enough memory to finish whatever task you may have at hand. Having another set of hands to write these things down and help remember other important facts is incredibly useful.
It’s also incredibly entertaining to hear to grown men try to keep their calm as they type commands into a little box that keeps warning them that they’re growing closer and closer to some unspecified punishment. I mean, I don’t know what happens when you fuck up in Hacknet, but with ol’ BsMcH screaming “Click the box. No the box! CLICK THE FUCKING BOX OR I WILL DESTROY YOU AND ALL OF YOUR UNBORN CHILDREN!” I don’t ever want to know. It’s a hint of extra realism, that really brings that tension home. It’s kinda like that part of Resident Evil, where you take your character through the L shaped hallway for the second time, and that dog comes through the window and attacks. I remember playing that at like three in the morning at my friend’s place when it came out. His parents were away and we had it up like super loud. Like, look at this video, but picture a bunch of people screaming when the dogs come out.
Okay, things were scarier in the 90s. Sheesh. It was a simpler time. Hacknet did made me feel this same tension though, and moreso when Curtis was in the room glaring down at my disapprovingly as I kept typing porthack as porkhack. I don’t like the idea of having a stress induced heart attack, but if I were to have one, I think this is how I’d like to go.
I wonder if I could just play Hacknet instead of exercising to get the ol’ blood flowing…?
So, yeah. Curtis and I streamed about two hours of footage when he came to visit a while back. OBS was set to turn off every time I pressed the letter P, and hilarity ensued. Man, we’re terrible at streaming. This starts about 5 minutes into the game and continues through for a while. It’s not too terribly screamy, basically because we cut it as we were getting to that point. Haha. Yeah. We’re terrible at screaming.
After we turned it off, we forkbombed our own PC and crashed our server. Hilarity. You should try it, like after you save it.
We’re going to do this again the next time Curtis comes over again, probably after BitSummit. It’s going to be amazing. Go download it.