NITE Team 415th October 2019
I love this game. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been this into a game. I’m generally a fan of Alice & Smith’s augmented reality creations, but this one; this one fills me with so much joy. Lately, I’ve had significant concentration issues, I find it very difficult to commit to any one task. Often, I’ll have multiple games going at once, and usually with a bit of Netflix or YouTube thrown in, just to add to the chaos. I was utterly focussed on NITE Team 4 from the moment it booted up.
First and foremost, when the game boots up, the first few seconds give me serious Mass Effect vibes. That moment when you connect to the Alliance military database for the first time. As a huge Mass Effect fan, it gave me butterflies going in.
NITE Team 4 is a hacking game. An augmented reality, covert military operation, hacking game. If that sort of thing sounds appealing to you, you’re going to love this. If those words fill you with no excitement at all… at best, you might be intrigued enough to at least try the free demo, at worst, this post will be a monumental waste of time.
Let’s start with the basics – when you log in to your super-secret StingerOS, your first port of call is the tutorial section. Several agents talk you through all your different tools and how to use them. Once you’ve finished the basic tutorials, you can choose to let loose on the story missions and bounties, or you can undertake the advanced training. I went with advanced training first – I like to know precisely what I’m doing, but also it’s good practice of the more basic stuff.
Often I find training missions to be a bit… tedious, but these were quite fun, even if not quite as interesting as the main missions. I suspect the demo is the training missions, basic or both basic and advanced, but I’m not sure… I may have bought it before I was halfway done with basic training.
The game consists of finding people, gathering intel, all sorts of military and spy stuff you’d expect (I assume). You use vulnerabilities in networks and exploit them to get access to phones, laptops, etc. There’s a lot I would actually like to say about the missions, but talking about some of the cool stuff would be a bit spoilery. All I will say is that there are some very clever solutions to various problems.
It’s everything you would expect from a hacking game, but with added military stuff, like drone strikes. As an ARG, you also need to break out your google-fu to help with certain puzzles. Often, I find having to leave a game to engage with the real world to be quite immersion breaking. But… even if I were a member of a covert military hacking division, I’m pretty sure I’d still have to google the artists who illustrated Paradise Lost.
Alice & Smith’s attention to detail. I appreciate it so much. They give you everything you need to immerse yourself. NITE Team 4 has multiple monitor support, which makes me very happy. I can crawl through subdomains on one screen, and fingerprint the results as they come in on the other. It’s also easy to bring up your browser without the whole game minimising. Or if you don’t need to have the game running on multiple screens, you can have your browser of choice open and switch between them quickly.
Then there’s the community aspect. If you get stuck, the community will help you, whether on Steam, the Alice & Smith forums or on their discord. Everyone is committed to helping people along without revealing too much. If you’re stuck, they will nudge you along, so you can still solve it yourself.
Further to the community aspect, there’s the Network Administrator DLC. It allows you to create your own content for the game, so there’s always new stuff to do. I can’t say much more about it, as it’s a little out of my price range right now, but it’s definitely something I will want to check out eventually.
If you’re not too keen on community content, there are always events that you can do. Last time I logged in, I found a suspicious-looking bounty, which, upon accepting, turned my entire UI red – turns out it’s a Halloween event. It also really made me work for it.
Perhaps I’m over-excited about this game, but I love hacking games, and I love any opportunity to jump into a game and exist in a different world. NITE Team 4 does that for me. I open it up on multiple screens, turn off the lights, and make the LEDs around my desk match the game interface. I can jump in and not think about anything else.
Hacking, spy stuff, covert military ops, augmented reality – if any of that sounds good to you, please consider giving this game a go. It has a free demo, so why not?