Hacker II (Activision) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


Hacker II
By Activision
Commodore 64/128

Published in Computer & Video Games #62

Hacker II

This may come as a surprise, but did you know that you are the world's greatest hacker? No, neither did I, but according to the latest game from Activision you are. The follow-up to one of the most successful games of last year has finally arrived, just in time for the Christmas rush.

Hacker II is written by the author of the prequel, Steve Cartwright, and takes a totally different angle to the original game.

This starts off in exactly the same way as the original, with the words 'LONDON PLEASE', and from now on, you're on your own. Once you have logged on, the CIA break into your computer, and interrupt you with a message. This informs you that the Russians have a notebook in their possession, known as The Doomsday Papers. Now this may seem trivial to you, but with it, they can bring the world to its knees.

Hacker II: The Doomsday Papers

What has this got to do with you? Well, because you are such a cunning hacker, the US Government is lending you their satellite so you can get into the Siberian complex with your computer. To help you slightly, they have managed to infiltrate this building with three Mobile Remote Units, which are little robots, that allow you to map the complex.

Now this sounds easy, but the building has a sophisticated security system, including guards, video cameras and monitors, plus another droid called The Annihilator.

Unlike its predecessor, there is only one screen, which is set out in the form of a video display unit, with four monitors and a control panel. With these you can monitor what happens on the security cameras inside the building, and using the complex video system, bypass one of them.

To do this, you select one monitor, and switch the video on. Next, get the time on the video, to sync with the real time on the TV screen, and then press the bypass button, and then you can stand in front of the camera without security spotting you.

The screen controls are accessed by a hand sprite, which is moved over the command, and when the fire button is pressed, the finger moves down, and depresses the instruction.

There is only one small problem, and that is the instructions. These are in the form of an instruction booklet for the monitors, and so the language is fairly complicated, and so it does take quite some time to read through. It does contain all the information, it's just finding what you want that's the problem!

The graphics are spectacular. The animated effects on the video sequences have to be some of the most atmospheric on any computer game. It's almost worth buying the game just for the graphics.

When it first arrived, I spent ages just playing around with the video recorder. Every detail has been included, even down to the noise bars on the screen during the preview and pause modes. The sound is just above average, although it is atmospheric, and suits the game well.

Being a fan of the original Hacker, I have been looking forward to Activision releasing this. Well, it has lived up to my high hopes and I, for one, am not disappointed.

I suppose this game will form another cult of followers as the original did. Definitely one game for all fans of Hacker, and many other game players, will play into the wee, small hours of the morning.