Uplink is a hacking simulator with good depth (but not realism), great atmoshpere and heart-pounding action. Please take a moment to look at the screenshots below. Hard to imagine any of them as heart-pounding, but avoiding active and passive traces in addition to the pressures of your task will have you working overtime. The consequences of being traced are pretty much fatal.
The core of the game revolves around using hacking tools to perform missions in exchange for money. The money earned can be spent upgrading your hacking machine and various hacking tools that make missions easier and higher-prestige missions possible. Prestige is earned by succesfully doing jobs, and lost by being clumsy and failing.
This is a game listed in a thread about difficult and evil games, remember? Failure more often than not, leads to your chacacter being compromised and unable to work. Basically, it's game over when you get caught. You will get caught. Often. If you're prone to ragequitting, consult a physician before playing, lest you get an aneurysm :) Okay? There's a way to "acquire" certain "insurance" but it costs a small fortune and wont help you complete missions or gain prestige so it's of very limited use in the beginning.
Typical jobs require you to hack into a server and then either disable security, steal a password, delete files, copy files (steal them), but some are more devious or possibly entertaining. Such as altering someone's Social Securuty details or criminal record. YOU are in the game as well, so you could hack stuff about yourself as well. :) You also have a bank account. And there are a few banks around. They can be hacked. You are a hacker... while you're connecting the dots, please realise that it is the single most difficult stunt to pull off and almost guarantees your game will be over.
There's more to the game than just consulting the bulletin board for jobs and such. Many of the targets are servers belonging to various corporations, but there are also goverment servers. Any server can be attacked for pleasure or treasure but consider the consequences and potential rewards before you engage any target. There are no random rewards for hacking outside missions, but you could create your own rewards. Corporations are listed on the stock exchange and if you can figure out how to "influence" the prices, the game will let you. You are not forced into a linear path. If you belive your own bank accounts are in danger of being snooped or hacked or wish to spread your money around, simply move your money wherever you wish. Again, the game will not stop you. The more you hack, the more you will appretiate your own security :)
There is an overall story, but you can choose to ignore it and play your own game. While you are a freelancer, you depend on a special corporation to house your machine, secure it, and handle your transactions and rating. Your rating isnt just about skill, but also your "karma". Performing destructive missions may be more lucrative but it may attract the wrong kind of attention to you. Or the right kind, as again, you are free to play any way you wish.
The graphics are ok. Nothing flashy, but nothing ugly either. The music is beautifull. The story and setting, and the overall tone make Uplink a very personal and engrossing experience. While it's not a realistic hacking sim, realistic hacking is pretty boring and would not make for a good game.
Try the demo. Uplink has that certain magic about it.Uplink - demo
- (PC,Linux,Mac)Uplink - Gog.com