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Silicon Sports | 20/09/2017

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How to Hack But Not

No, this is not a manifesto on how to crack security systems of corporate and government agencies. It is, however, a preview of what to expect in Team Fractal Alligator’s upcoming hacking sim, HackNet.

I was fortunate to get hold of a demo and have a play through the tutorial, which lasts about 15 minutes. The story line, like any other great conspiracy driven theme, opens up with that ominous line, “if you’re reading this, I’m already dead”. Damn, I am hooked already. I just love this stuff!

Bit, the games protagonist, has built in a fail safe for his/her system that kicks in after 14 days of inactivity. This instigates a messaging service to recruit hackers to help Bit complete hacking missions to ensure the HackNet-OS doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

From here its up to you to solve these ‘missions’. But don’t worry, whether you have experience in a terminal or not, the game is very accessible with point and click as well as command line inputs. It is really quite intuitive and engaging.

For example, the final mission of the demo puts in place a timer to run a sequence of commands to destroy a web server; the screen lights up and the music pumps as you race the clock to get everything done. Its just a little insight as to what is coming in the full game.

I just wish there was more to this demo.

HackNet releases August 12 on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/365450/