My love for games that incorporate computer hacking goes way back, and for that reason I am always intrigued when I see that new one is released. I guess it’s something about the thrill of being able to break into something, or spy on people without them knowing that draws me to this type of game play or perhaps its my love for technology that attracts me. A good hacking game for me has to have at least three elements – hacking – after all it’s supposed to simulate computer hacking, some type of simulated command line interface, and stealth.
Clandestine is stealth, hacking game developed by independent game development studio Logic Artists. The game can be played in single player mode or co-op mode, which allows one player to be the spy, while the other player guides them through missions or helps hack their way through security.
The story is set in 1996, you play as a field operative Katya Kozlova the spy on the ground, or hacker Martin Symborski. The two are working together to investigate the assassinations of former Cold War operatives from around the world. Both have been tasked by the CIA to investigate and provide them with various missions.
It’s a basic story, but it really isn’t the focal point in a game like this. It should be about the hacking and stealth aspects. So what about them? Were they there?
They were, but before I get into what I liked about that. I have to talk about what I didn’t like – the movement. Movement in this game was very clunky and never felt right to me. I felt myself always fighting with the view angles as well as dealing with awkward character movement – sometimes Katya wouldn’t even move when given a command. Coming in and out of stealth positions was often painful. It is worth to take note that there are some really cool take-down moves that Katya can implement while sneaking up behind people.
So now that we got the negative things out of the way, lets talk about what I liked. I loved the hacker element to this game – it was there and really saved this game from being a bust. I thought the game had a very good hacking system and enjoyed the hacker interface. While in the hacker interface you have access to the camera feed, the console, the network view, and the tactical map. These four windows are an intricate part of this game and provide that hacker feel I was looking for.
The camera feed will prove to be an invaluable tool especially when playing co-op, as it allows your partner to scout out ahead to warn you of what is coming. I found this to be fun when playing with a friend we could communicate via chat or voice what was going on. Playing co-op in Clandestine is fun and it adds in some extended play-ability to the game. Like the Camera View, the Network View window is just as important it’s here where you track down your nodes to attack all the while trying to maintain your distance from the network administrator. In this window you see the entire infrastructure like servers and firewalls laid out on a grid. Overall I really liked the hacker interface that the game provided.
While I did chirp a little about the game movement issues, the game does deserve praise for its ability to capture the hacker genre video game as well as providing a fun co-op experience.