Hacktag is a stealth co-op game where two players must work together to steal as much data as possible. The aim is a simple but completing this goal is actually very difficult.
One player controls the Stealth Agent while the other takes the role of Hacker. Both players have their own uses which makes them both necessary to completing levels. However, both sides come with their own unique challenges which can be overcome if the players work together. For example, security cameras will call guards if the Stealth Agent steps into their sight line. However, the Hacker can disable the camera for a short period of time which allows the other player to walk past safely. While the Stealth Agent can disable the antivirus which is hunting down the Hacker in an attempt to stop them.
If a player is captured then they’ll be take to one of many specific rooms found across the level. The other player must then reach that room and free their ally within the specified time. Once the timer is up, the police arrive and it’s game over. Both players being caught at the same time also results in a game over.
The gameplay in Hacktag feels fresh and unique. In addition to this, the game is asymmetrical allowing for unique gameplay experiences each time. This is great for players who get easily bored of repetitive games. However, playing with a friend makes this game very easy to replay even if you’re stuck on the same level all night.
Players must work together on different challenges to open more of the level to the other player. This is done by using access panels on the wall to allow the Hacker access to more of the mainframe so they can open doors for the Stealth Agent. In addition to this, there are some very nice puzzle challenges for players to complete. Matching wires together so they can be cut or matching lines of code resulted in hilarious moments.
While the game is not yet fully complete, there is a major downside for PC players. The controls for the game aren’t mapped for a keyboard but for an Xbox One controller. This is something the developers will most likely be changing in the future but it does result in several minutes of confusion. For those who struggle with other languages, the game immediately starts in French but it’s possible to change the language to English in the Options. Finding this might take a little bit of time for some players however.
While Hacktag is mostly well optimized we did run into some bugs when playing the game. For example, we couldn’t always access the alarm panels to stop the alarm going off and sometimes the prison doors just wouldn’t open. This was frustrating to see in the game but again, the game isn’t complete just yet.
Hacktag only has a few minor shortfalls and the developers are sure to fix these once the game enters Early Access on June 1st. This First Impression article is based on the recent Open Beta and previous playtests of the game.