This game is a mix of bright, flashy colours, a ton of loot, a bunch of shooting and a whole lot of eye cancer. And this is why I like it. If you wanna skip the lengthy part of my review and wanna go straight to the pros and cons, you can find them below.
Let's start, shall we?
Although this is an early access game, I bought it. I rarely ever buy early access games and to be frank, it looked boring as hell on the screenshots. But after reading so many positive reviews and watching a video provided by the dev I wanted to try it for myself. So, what is it about?
Well, you're a hacker and you move in a virtual city (you could probably guess from all the wireframe yourself). That city is full of corporations you gott hack in order to level up your mad skillz. Your ultimate goal is to hack the biggest company in town, Finality Corp. This is not only the biggest building but also the most difficult to hack. So your primary objective is to hack as many buildings as you can to level up, get stronger and ultimately face the big-♥♥♥ cybershark, the end boss and dangerous protection software of Finality Corp.
So, how does the hacking work? You stand in front of a building and press either H or 1 on your keyboard (default controls). Then the hack will begin. Upon hacking enemies will spawn. The higher the skill level required to hack something, the longer the hack will take and the stronger the enemies will be. You get XP by successfully hacking a company's building and defeating the enemies. Be careful though, because as soon as the hack starts, you will be forced to move in a limited area of the hack. Leaving that area causes the hack to be cancelled.
Upon successfully hacking a building, it will get transparent and you will get loot which you can incorporate into your software to get stronger. The loot that drops is based on your own level. Also, better hacking devices mean better hacking, keep that in mind.
What kind of loot is there?
A lot. There is a whole bunch of weapons, from machine guns to shotguns, sniper rifles, ice blasts, fire balls, rainbowlasers, laser beam weapons, bombs and so on and so forth. It looks all pretty cool tbh. Then there are minions you can conjure to help you out, additional malware, so to speak. And also there are better hacking devices for you to pick up and a lot of other stuff. A lot of the items will give you passive bonuses on your stats and effectively boost your mad skillz.
What can you do with all the loot you don't need? Visit a shop! In a shop, you can sell your unwanted loot for bitcreds and buy better items with bitcreds. But I gotta say, after an hour of playing you'll acquire so many bitcreds that you can buy almost anything in a shop which means the stuff could be a bit more balanced imo. Also, enemies do not drop loot, they only give XP.
Speaking of enemies, what types of enemies are there?
Well, there are a few. Stationary towers, a lot of moving enemies, little spiders, big boss spiders, enemies with and without cannons, shields and lasers, scorpions and the like. Looks pretty cool but the enemies lack a bit of variety, there aren't all that many in the game as it is right now.
Luckily there is a ton of different weapons and skills to defeat them with. The only gripe I've got with it though is the fact that the game's got no weapons models which means you won't see your super cool laser cannon but that's okay I guess.
The game's got other neat details though.
For instance: When you walk up to a company's building you can look for its entrance door and click on it. This door will give you some info on the company you are about to hack and to be honest, it's humorous and I like it. You can also find that humour with a lot of items, for example the "Ghost In The Shellfish"-minion or the "Downloadable RAM"-upgrade. It's pretty nice and it made me smile more than once. Good job.
From the technical side of things the game runs well without any performance issues. The only issue being that things can get extremely bright and you will get eye cancer after a few hours of playing. Also some very bright spots can prevent you from seeing the last enemy to defeat to end the hack.
And what other game mechanics does this game have?
Well, you can shoot, walk, run, sprint, jump, use a jetpack to fly, teleport a few meters away and most importantly: hack.
But be careful, because everything you do will cost you RAM. You can increase your RAM by leveling up and assigning skill points or by items which give passive bonuses. A jetpack, for instance, needs to heat up which costs a bunch of RAM and the flying itself also costs a big bunch of RAM. And when you're completely out of RAM you cannot jump, fly or shoot or even hack. So keep an eye on your RAM meter.
To wrap this up, what are the pros and cons of the game?
+ Huge, open world with the option of an ever generating world, making the game endless
+ Flashy and colourful visuals and nice reflections
+ Big variety of weapons to choose from
+ Cool soundtrack
+ Great character stat customization and fast leveling up
+ Great challenge with higher tier hacks
+ A big bunch of cool upgrades for you to use
+ Achievements to go after
+ Nice humour and little details in the game as well as a couple of funny references
+ Bunch of loot
+ A nice dev
+ Highly addictive gameplay
- Lacking enemy variety
- Danger of eye cancer (srsly, dat shizz is BRIGHT)
- No visible weapon models
- The amount of bitcreds you get is unproportional to the amount of useful things in the shops or: too much creds
- Although the colours are nice, the game's look can get pretty monotonous
- As soon as you approach Finality Corp. the boss will spawn so you can't hack anything near that building
- The amount of possible songs playing during combat is a bit small
- The uge world can get demotivating, even on the lowest setting
- No story (can be a good thing or a bad thing, for me it is a con)
And, finally, what I'd like to see in the game:
* Fixing all the cons I just listed
* To have your very own house or company in the world as a base of operations where you can store your inventory and which you can decorate and such
* That hacked companies don't get transparent but instead get added to your company, changing colour rather than getting transparent
* Optional colour filters for the game to change up the look a bit (for instance a filter that paints all the black squares rainbow-ish with flashing colours and the like)
* A couple new game modes, for instance a survival mode or an arcade mode where you hack only one building but it takes longer with each level and such (or something that has something to do with music and flashing colours)
* Visible and customizable player model when going to your inventory and/or your base of operations as mentioned above
* You can equip two weapons at a time, would be cool if the right-click weapon was right and the left-click-weapon was left, I am currently shooting with two lasguns and it's kinda disappointing to only have one beam
* Make the city more alive with visible data streams and little critters running around or even NPC players doing stuff, combine this with the idea of houses you can go in and the shops and such will get more awesome
I guess I could rant on and on of what kind of stuff I'd like to see in the game if I just thought about it hard enough but I guess I'll stop now.
So, that's it.
Would I recommend this game? Absolutely.
At 10 bucks? You bet! It can get highly addictive and is a bunch of fun, even in this early state. There is a lot of room for improvement but the way I see it, the dev will sort that out.