There’s something exciting about a mental battle in cyberspace; there is something lovely about being able to change the world with just a keyboard.
Unfortunately, video game hacking is usually either limited to a series of progress bars or so complex that it requires a mountain of tutorials. And it rarely has as much impact on gameplay as it feels. Developer LuGus Studios wanted to change that.
This is how the Midnight Protocol came about. The title is a narrative strategy role-playing game set in the not too distant future and existing in a world where the Internet of Things has reached its natural end. Against the backdrop of automation, big data, and machine learning, slip into the role of a prominent hacktivist known only as data.
If you’ve always wanted to feel like a hacker without going through hours of tutorials, this is the game for you.
As Data, you’ve made a name for yourself by whistling against corruption in both the public and private sectors. It turned out that someone didn’t appreciate what you had done. Despite your best efforts, you got boxed.
They tried to blackmail you. They tried to arrest and prosecute you. You failed, and now you are going to find out what that means.
You will not accept that. You’ve been doing this for a while and you’re far from helpless. It’s time to get up, dust off, and show them what you can do.
How you do this, however, is entirely up to you.
Identity plays a huge role in the Midnight Protocol narrative. As the game progresses, you have full freedom to choose exactly what kind of hacker you want to be. And as your reputation grows, history will change.
Are you going to be a principled, ideological white hat pursuing the greater good? Are you going to be a ruthless black hat only there for yourself? Or will you mix up the disciplines and use whatever tactics you think necessary to track down who was responsible for the doxx?
This is not only decided in the main story either. As the game progresses, you’ll have access to dozens of side quests full of Easter eggs for the eagle-eyed science fiction fanatic. Many of these Easter Eggs even go so far as to breach the fourth wall, making you think like a real world hacker – editing your save game, for example, or finding a secret file hidden in the game’s folders.
These quests offer hours of extra content and even more ways to define exactly what kind of hacker you want to be.
Whichever route you take, it must be approached wisely. Navigating the complex web of connected devices and hardened servers requires both light touch and careful planning. Fortunately, you have a rich arsenal of hacking tools at your disposal, from jackhammers, cloaking software, and more – and whenever you need new hardware or software, the black market is easily accessible.
Midnight Protocol takes place entirely in a futuristic hacking interface that is entirely controlled from your keyboard. This is your home base, where you do everything from upgrading your deck to initiating hacking operations. Speaking of operations, this is where the Midnight Protocol shows its unique flair.
Before an operation, you should adapt your deck to your unique play style.
Perhaps you overwhelm a network with a distributed denial of service attack before quietly slipping out the back door. Perhaps you are posing as a legitimate user and creating a profile based on carefully collected data. Or maybe you show up with malware in hand, leaving nothing but binary soup.
Whichever way you choose to approach things, during a hack you will have to manually enter the commands you want to use. This may sound complicated at first, but it isn’t. Instead, it adds a layer of immersion as you type commands to access data, evade rival hackers, break security protocols, and more – no computer science degree required.
They thought you were the perfect blackmail target. They thought doxing you was enough to get rid of you. You were wrong.
You’re going to show them that in a moment. Whoever they are, you will find them. You will hold them accountable for what they did.
But will you be ready for what you discover when you do?
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