Created by Alice & Smith, NITE Team 4 was launched into early access beta in October 2017. NITE Team 4 one of a few RPG games centered around hacking and cyber warfare, boasting to base the gameplay on original NSA documents to create an authentic hacking experience. This game could also be categorized as an alternate reality war game, capturing the essence of what highly-secretive intel groups master on a daily basis.
And it is an authentic experience – gameplay entirely centering around what they call the STINGER OS that executes commands and allows the player to head missions in a real-world simulation. This visually dark game allows players to delve into the government programs that have the scope and power actually to do some of these intense and sometimes far-reaching missions.
The best way to explain this game to someone who has not delved in exclusively to the world of hacking games is a text-based puzzle game that focuses on mining for information and learning how to execute commands, sprinkled with mini-games that allow the player a pseudo-strategy battle simulation.
The main focus shifts between three different modes: recon and exploitation, located in STINGER, and the third, consisting of the mini-game-like, raid phase. It does have a steep learning curve in the beginning, with only a few basic prompts to guide you, but it quickly becomes addicting, trying to make sure you find the right commands and then maneuvering and utilizing an array of different programs to help you on your hacking ventures. The strategy simulations allow players to select in-game characters to complete missions, as they would in war games, letting the player act as a mission leader.
The game offers a series of missions, starting with the open world campaign and even having daily world drops that allow you to do more intricate missions and gain bounties. You can rise through the ranks, gaining more security clearance and the ability to access and utilize more secure programs.
Not only is this an immersive single-player experience, but Alice & Smith have also released a multiplayer update to allow you to accomplish missions with friends as well. Each player can select a role from the list, and the party must execute a mission together in real time. This adds for even more intense and dynamic gameplay. It allows them to combine the resources available, to rise more quickly through the ranks, and have the ability to communicate through the game, in both voice and text format.
There are a few cons to this game, however, but nothing so earth-shattering as to negate your ability to recommend this game. The learning curve is steep, so be wary of offering this game to fledgling gamers without warning: you have to figure it out with little information to guide you, but if you keep your eyes open (and complete the training missions), you will manage just fine.
For me, personally, some of the video elements were a little offputting at first against the sleek and minimalistic STINGER backdrop. While it does break the sense of reality a little bit, the Alice & Smith team did create an excellent game. If the few slightly disjointed elements are the most offputting thing about stepping into the game for the first time, then it really is a feat.
While the game has been available for a few months now, the early access beta has limited the amount of press out on the game itself. What can be found is a majority of positive reviews overall, ranking on Steam as a “Very Positive” rating based on comments by players. Those feel that the experience is authentic and realistic to actual hacking and a few who dare to say that they are in the market of hacking also concur. So if you want a real experience, to either live or relive the thrill of hacking and espionage, this is definitely a game that you should check out.