An ‘augmented reality game’ by Alice & Smith, NITE Team 4 tasks you with hacking into dangerous criminal organisations. In the game you protect your field agents and participate in various organised military operations. Its unique use of puzzle solving and the way NITE Team 4 brings the real world into the game, make it one of the only sim type games I’ve been excited about.
My initial thoughts, as yours likely are after hearing ‘hacking sim’, include me wondering how staring at a console full of text could ever be fun as game? I now have my answer, playing through the alpha available on their website has taught me, as it should you. However, even if I try and explain it, it won’t get it across as well as playing the demo yourself, so go take a look!
The enjoyment you get from NITE Team 4 is not from seeing beautifully rendered explosions and expansive vistas, but the experience itself. Solving the problems, the moment you go “Ahah!” and have a rush of clarity, and the feeling you get while playing, all add up to make it a unique experience indeed. It’s one of the only sim type games where I’ve actually felt like I am what I’ve been playing. It does this by blending the realism of hacking, with what a game still needs to be enjoyable, in a way that’s incredibly intriguing.
A major reason for this is the ‘Augmented Reality’ aspect of the NITE Team 4, they don’t have you restricted to only the game itself, and require you to use other tools on your PC to complete missions, something that transforms the games potential to something quite special in my eyes.
I had just gotten through the first intro missions and was starting to get into it, I thought it was pretty interesting, certainly a type of game I’d not enjoyed before. The first few missions involve hacking into various sites and finding filestores. Once you find a vulnerability you can then destroy the filestore, or sneakily download all their information. You scan for open ports using outdated technology, and can infiltrate in by running an attack called ‘Foxacid’, something I understand to be a tactic used by groups such as the NSA, in real life. What really made NITE Team 4 evolve into something possibly much greater, was when they started incorporating the AR aspect. The first time this happens, you have to use google maps to find a location and the nearby businesses, then try to break into those businesses to find your target. This incorporating of the world outside the game is something I would love to see much more of, and is one of the main reasons I see so much potential here.
If NITE Team 4 does well, the developers are planning to turn it into a sandbox game, instead of mission based. They would keep their own server up and running, which players can attack within the game, and the developers can keep constantly updating, adding anything they want in the process. The wonderful thing? This would allow them to change and add new story to the game without even requiring the player to update. Another exciting prospect is the idea of player created missions, I’d certainly love the chance to create a twisted and convoluted web of simulated criminal organisations for players to take down.
If a hacking sim that draws on the real world and makes you feel more bad-ass than ever before floats your boat, then take a look. As long as the main game is as good as the demo, when it releases, it’ll certainly be the best game of its type out there.