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Such is one possible scenario to explain Strategy First’s latest release, Uplink: Hacker Elite, a game; no wait, a simulation, that explores the often romanticized world of computer hacking, not as a hobby, but as a career. Borrowing all the high-tech elements from classic hacker movies like Sneakers and Hackers and cyberpunk novels like the William Gibson series you are literally “immersed” in a world of white-collar crime from the moment you start playing.
It helps that they still don’t have much competition (only the Hacker Evolution series comes close), but Introversion’s first title is a pretty brilliant execution of the concept. It’s fun, it’s tense, and it doesn’t bog itself down in authenticity or requiring technical knowledge. I do wish there were more freeform elements, or even some non-linear solutions to the basic hacks, and this is certainly going to affect anyone’s replay value. Still, if you’re interested in the idea, Uplink is a enjoyable go at taking down the system one server at a time.
It takes a while to actually get into tile somewhat convoluted conspiracy story in Uplink, and the gameplay eventually becomes repetitive, but for a while, it’s a breath of fresh air in a gaming world with stilted ideas.
Overall, Uplink is an addicting strategy title with the potential to be improved. A wider variety of sound effects as well as a more colorful interface would be beneficial. Fortunately, the superb gameplay easily makes up for the flaws in these areas, and the replay value of the title speaks for itself. Just a side note for anyone interested in purchasing Uplink, it is only available from the Introversion website and not available in retail outlets. For $25 US including shipping, Uplink is an excellent addition to any gamer's collection.
I wager everyone, upon taking their first computer out of the box, thought briefly of a life of computer crime. Hacking bank records, fixing your grades or manipulating the stock exchange to your own nefarious ends – those thoughts always died when you first tackled DOS, with it’s C:/> arsenal. Now, years later comes Uplink: Hacker Elite (UHE), a computer hacker simulation that may satiate your inner hacker.
A highly enjoyable game and well worth checking out, especially if computers and/or hacking are in your main interests.
Uplink: Hacker Elite does a lot of things right in recreating the hacker experience but as any warm-blooded hacker, cracker, or phreaker will tell you: a fundamental aspect of hacking revolves around the act of social engineering. Or ones ability to extract pertinent information from unsuspecting targets. This is not represented in the game at all, and that is what ultimately relegates Uplink to a novelty simulation title. Logging into various sites, running a password cracking utility, and performing a few simple tasks on a remote system can quickly grow tiresome. But the strategic aspects of tracking traces, upgrading your hardware and software, etc, can make for an entertaining, if brief, diversion.
Uplink: Hacker Elite is a fun little game and one that can be played for pretty short amounts at a time as a good distraction. It isn't one of those games that will keep you enthralled for hundreds of hours, but it is most certainly a great change from most of the clones that are released onto the market these days. However, if you're all about the flash and style of most strategy games and the twitchy reflexes of an FPS, this game probably isn't going to be for you. The concept and implementation behind this game is really something special. I'm not sure that it's 30 dollars worth of special, but if you see it in the bargain bin for even 20 bucks and want a shot at sneaking in and living out that criminal fantasy of yours, while still getting to be the good guy, Uplink may well find a fond place in your collection of PC games.
If he were still allowed to own a computer, Kevin Mitnick would undoubtedly approve of Uplink. Available only by direct order from the UK-based developer, Introversion Software's new strategy game seems to have been made for the infamous super hacker, given that the sole objective of play is to break into as many computer systems as possible. Success is measured in terms of altered, stolen, and destroyed data, and of course in being able to get in and out before tracer software gives your address to those friendly people at the FBI.
Overall “Uplink: Hacker Elite” is a unique and very well thought through game. It’s not the best game in the world, but it's far above average. If you ever wanted to take a break from mindless shooting in your games and have a look at a simplified version of what hackers do (without going to jail of course), give it a try. Of course being produced by an independent developer the game doesn't have the best graphics and sound in the world, but it's all still very acceptable. The gameplay is really the strong point of the game, and while it might not last on your hard drive for longer than a week or two, it will still keep you hooked to your monitor until early morning for the time that it'll be there. And hopefully Introversion Software has made enough money to be able to make Uplink 2: because I really can't wait for a slightly tuned-up sequel... Heck, I'll be one of the first to buy it if it ever comes out.
Uplink is an innovative and addictive game, a triumph for bedroom game development. Sadly graphical glitches, a slightly awkward interface and the rather simplistic server bouncing system lets it down somewhat, but it's still well worth a look if you fancy something completely different.
Ever wonder what it would be like to hack your way into a mega-corporation’s database and sabotage important files? Well, now you can (without fear of imprisonment) in Uplink: Hacker Elite, a strategy title that puts you in the shoes of a corporate hacker working anonymous jobs for different companies. Uplink: Hacker Elite manages take a very interesting spin on the strategy genre, although it does falter on a few fronts.
Die ersten Stunden mit
Uplink vergehen wie im
Flug: Es ist unheimlich spannend,
unter Zeitdruck in die
Systeme einzudringen, ständig
den piepsenden Warnton des Wachprogramms
im Nacken. Mit immer neuen Programmen
und Bauteilen knacke ich ständig komplexer
Uplinks großes Manko ist die bescheuerte
Speicherfunktion: Ein Fehler zu viel, und das
Spiel ist vorbei! Außerdem nervt die Steuerung
gelegentlich, etwa beim fummeligen Kopieren
von Files per Hand. Trotzdem: Wer gefahrlos
seine Hackerambitionen ausleben will, sollte
sich ins virtuelle Netz wagen
There's an old proverb, "Beware of what you wish for -- you just might get it." Most game reviewers stuck playing the latest game-of-the-month knockoff or some game's fourteenth sequel have often wished to get their hands on a truly original title. Then Uplink: Hacker Elite lands on your desk and you realize that true originality comes with its own set of problems. Even when an original game is pretty good -- which Uplink is -- it can be so out of the mainstream of gaming conventions that it's not as much fun as you might think.
Overall, I enjoyed Uplink and its foray into creating a realistic environment where you are in control of how the game plays out. It reminded me at times of the ill-fated online game Majestic
where you became the central figure in a huge government conspiracy that involved you surfing the internet and calling people in order to move onward. I think if EA had incorporated more of what Uplink is after, with high-bandwidth terrorism and dealing less with the pathetic characters at the heart of its story, perhaps Majestic would still be with us today. And I would be shorter ten bucks every month.
Hackers, The Net, The Matrix; not so very long ago, the world seemed obsessed with the dark underworld of computer crime. Suddenly, the image of the pasty, thin, heavily bespectacled geek on a library computer metamorphosed from “that poor, pathetic man” to “public enemy number one”, almost overnight. The image of the hacker, first popularized by glamorous banditos such as infamous “phone phreak” Captain Crunch, et al skyrocketed into the public imagination. Just think, the power to enter into any system you wish, from anywhere in the world, anonymously. You could learn secrets, add information, and destroy lives: godlike power in an environment free of ethics. Now, finally, without petty inconveniences such as federal police, log tracing, hefty fines, and jail time, Uplink allows you to live the frantic, heady life of a professional electronic espionage and sabotage agent: a Hacker.
Uplink is an original idea, and this is worth some points. But, the graphics and sound are very basic, and the gameplay has some quirks that offset the better aspects of the game. If a saved game option was included along with better documentation of advanced features, Uplink would be a much better game. But as it stands, Uplink does have tension the first time you play, but once you discover the repetition of the missions and play the beginning quests over and over again, the novelty unfortunately wares off.
A creative idea that will appeal to a niche market. Timed gameplay which may become repetitive for some, and frustrating for others. Very basic graphics, lack of a manual, aggravating tutorial and no personal saves.