By hsvlad 0 Comments
Uplink is a very basic game in terms of it visuals but its game-play is incredibly deep. However you probably wont know that depth is there until it sneaks up behind you and cuts your throat. The game is a hacking simulation where you take missions from various clients that, to begin with are simple and eventually lead to labyrinthine investigations, digging through security and access logs to find and identify rival hackers. It is played entirely through the futuristic operating system of a custom built hacking computer that you are logging into remotely to complete your contracts. It is a very simple to look at but don't let that fool you.
You'll start with simple tasks. Steal a file from this company, destroy the research of that company. Then, as your reputation increases, you'll begin to alter peoples academic qualifications and social security status. To do this you'll need to buy software from Uplink, the contract handler you are working for, to help you break passwords, bypass proxy servers and firewalls, delete access logs to cover your tracks and break the encryption on stolen files. Then these missions give way to something much more advanced. I was asked by a client to find out how much a certain person had been loaned by a their bank. I had been tearing through missions up until now and didn't really pay attention to the briefing. I logged into the banks server and tried to access the admin options and found that I needed more then just a password. I need a password, a voice print and an Elliptic-Curve Encryption. The password and elliptic-curve encryption I could break using software but the voice print needed something special. I looked in the "About Us" section on the server I found the telephone number for the Sever Administrator. I dialed into his phone and he picked up, asking who was there but getting no answer, while I was recording his voice. After he hung up I dialed back into to the banks server and went to the voice print ID section and played my analysed version of the phone call recording which had been modified into his voice password and gained access. It was absolutely amazing and the fact I was able to figure it out without any real instruction as to how I would go about bypassing a voice password felt great. I'm always impressed when I play a game and one of my hair brained ideas about how I'm supposed to complete objective work. Its really a sign that your playing a very well designed game.
Now as great as it feels to achieve something in that way, its not so great when you are punished for something you didn't do because it was never implicitly explained. This comes in the form of people you have hacked into finding you because you haven't covered your tracks by deleting access records. There isn't any real penalty for not doing so early on but eventually you'll start receiving e-mails from your victims saying that they now know who you are, warning you not to infiltrate their systems again or they will inform the authorities. Sometimes this isn't a big deal for individual corporations but there are some servers that you will be breaking into frequently like social security and banking servers. The sad thing is that this starts to happen right at the point when the plot of the game begins to kick in. It's something I've always wanted to see because it seems like the story is built around some of the best and most open aspects of the game but I'm just not good enough to keep myself employed long enough to see it.
The game is dirt cheap these days on Steam and if you have any interest in the subject matter, this is probably the best hacking game I've played. Since it came out I've tried just about very other hacking game I've heard about but Uplink is still the best one around.