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Hacker Evolution Immersion Review

Hacker Evolution Immersion is a simulation based game that will put you behind the chair of a professional hacker. Do you have what it takes to find out the truth behind the Sputnik space mission?

Hacker Evolution Immersion Review

Introduction

Coming in strong with their fourth installment of the Hacker Evolution games, the guys over at Exosyphen Studios show no signs of slowing down. From their early hacker games that involved finding criminals in stock exchange crimes, stopping a technology singularity, and taking back companies from the inside out.This time you're investigating a missing space file, could it be Aliens? This video game saga has always had a knack for making the player feel as if they were actual professional hackers. The environments and minor details such as the basic fonts that look like a classic command prompt, to the background map highlighting the areas to infiltrate, down to the fast paced music make this a great simulation game. It literally puts you behind the hacker's chair.

While playing this game I begin to notice the close comparisons the game had to programming languages. The commands and syntax that you have to use are identical to writing code. Making this a good way for beginner programmers to get a gist of using command prompts and writing the language. After all, what you are doing for the entirety of this game is talking to a computer; and just like any language, there is always a learning curve. That's the experience this indie game will give you. Learning to talk to a computer mixed with a dose of fiction is the perfect way to entice any gamer to take the challenge and beat this mission.  All in all it was a fun and new experience to the traditional way of gaming.

For anyone that wants to pick up this game and be the next best hacker it can be found at the Steam Store for $19.99. Who knows, you might be the world's only hope one day.

Narrative

The game starts with a brief message of the mission objective, your team has received Intel about Russia's Sputnik 1 mission and how there may be some missing files that were not disclosed during its original transmission. The mission is to hack into an engineer's phone who manages the mainframes and download all of the files without getting caught. Oh, and to add to your troubles this file is located in an old mainframe which wont be an easy task. It is up to you to figure out exactly what key commands to use to get into the phone, grab the data, and get out without being caught or overheating your PC's CPU.

Hacker Evolution Immersion: game play screenshot of the first mission objective
Although the game looks and sounds like it has very simple game play, it can get really complicated; unless you are a returning player to the Hacker Evolution saga. Between finding out the right commands to use, monitoring your CPU so that it does not overheat and doing all of this in a given time frame, the anxiety definitely builds up. I suggest this to all newcomers; make sure you have your favorite drink of choice with you, because it’s going to be a long night. Luckily the creators' at Exosyphen Studios were nice enough to add a tutorial that you can play before the actual mission to get familiar with the controls and commands.There is an option to play a level editor, but that should be saved for the more experienced players. The fact that the developers focused more on making this game feel like an actual simulation makes this an interesting choice for a gamer that likes a challenge.

Hacker Evolution Immersion: Tutorial game play screenshot, downloading files from a mainframe
The more I played this product the more it made sense that it falls under the puzzle game category. For all you gamers that are looking for a thrilling or adventure-filled experience; this game is not for you. On the other hand, if you are the type of gamer that thrives in puzzle games and are up to the challenge, then definitely get this game! Be the programming hero that never gets the credit in movies and get started hacking and find out the real truth behind the sputnik space mission.

Graphics

The graphics of the game have always been very basic, yet interactive; as they should be. It gives the player a reason to focus more on what he is actually doing rather than focusing on what is going on in the background. Which adds to the simulation experience and makes it different from the traditional style of gaming. After all, I am sure hackers do not have fancy high definition graphics and interactive videos playing while they are tapping into firewall encrypted networks. The basic background of the world map is enough to entertain any spectator. That is if they are not already amused by the long lines of code that looks like rocket science. 

Hacker Evolution Immersion: First mission game play, screenshot of IP address getting decrypted

SOUND

While the developers did not focus much on the graphics, they did add a fast paced BPM soundtrack that feels just right for what you are about to do. It is no wonder why some programmers “wire in” with headphones while they are coding. Pop some stereo headphones while playing this mission and the house infused techno beat will immerse you into a different reality where the fate of the world lies on your fingertips. The soundtrack will keep you on edge, but focused, which is a huge part when you are monitoring the gauges so that your PC will not overheat. Overall it was a fitting soundtrack for this title.

Verdict

I was definitely surprised at the creativity of the developers to make an exciting story line that brings the player into an alternate reality. The emphasis on the small details enhanced the game play and the soundtrack keeps you on the edge of your seat. This is not a game for everyone though, one flaw I have with this game is that the tutorial itself is very confusing at first. I would not recommend this game to anyone who gets frustrated very easily as this game requires a level of patience. Your patience is rewarded when you finish your mission; you get a sense gratitude and a learning experience that you can possibly carry to a type of programming language. Not to say that you will walk out an experienced hacker but more like comparing yourself to when you first played guitar hero. You were not the next Slash but knew how to have rhythm. The game is set to release in late 2016 and the early access leaves you in a cliffhanger yearning for more!  

The reason i give this a 6 out of 10 is primarily because i can see the potential that this game has to offer, but there are still some kinks that need to be adjusted; such as making the tutorial clearer to understand. I recommend any programmer or gamer who enjoys a puzzle to give this game a try, you will not be disappointed.

PROSCONS
+ Interactive Simulation– Challenging learning curve
+ Good Music– Tutorial does not help as much
+ Intriguing story 
+ Great puzzle game
6
Fair

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