Genre: Adventure, Indie, Simulation
Release Date: 26 Jan, 2017
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A neat little detective hacking game with some clever tricks and a decent story.
1) The story is good. Interesting and constantly evolving with some fun characters in the background. There's also an interesting commentary about the Orwellian nightmare of massive agencies being able to see everyone's lives, but also a criticism of the power hungry anarchists that attempt to overthrow the status quo.
2) The artstyle is decent. It's not hard on the eyes at all!
3) The gameplay is charming. Essentially, you're tasked with hunting down cyber criminals. You do this by looking on websites, hacking them, and searching through files with potential leads and evidence to move forward. There's no hand holding and it allows you to look for the evidence yourself. Since you're limited to a small amount of information with details all over it, it means you have to think sometimes, but never get lost in piles of potential evidence!
1) Some cases definitely felt anti-climactic. You just sort of... finish them with no real hurrah.
2) There were some points where it was a bit ambiguous what evidence they wanted for a criminal cause you would have multiple pieces that would seem valid.
3) My major complaint is that I feel this game didn't go far enough with it ideas. The hacking never strays too far from "Ping website's IP, hack IP, download files". As a result the game felt tedius at points. For a sequel I would highly recommend fleshing these mechanics out.
4) For some reason, the trading cards were never given to me which was odd.
All in all, a charming, if a bit simple at times, detective game with potential for future expansion!. Definitely an addictive puzzle/crime solving game.. It may be worth waiting for a sale on this one, but it isn't actually bad.
Allegedly inspired by real life privacy laws being passed in England, Mainlining is a government hacking game where you play as a member of the mysterious agency MI7, aka the "Lions". It's okay though, you're the lightly comedy kind of oppressive government. You've even got an agent who exists entirely to be a walking Twin Peaks reference. Ha ha.
You're allowed via the "BLU Pill Act" to hack into any PC you want, but you can only arrest people if you can produce evidence towards one of three charges: Selling illegal items (5 years), Theft of data or physical items (10 years), or the most heinous, life-destroying crime of all... Unlicensed Software Development (25 years).
The anti-government activist group THORNS however is working on counter-hacking the hackers. Can you capture them before...
...well, nothing actually really happens, because here's the thing: Mainlining is way less a hacking game and more of a traditional point and click adventure. If there's a way to game over, I didn't find it, and I tried things like arresting random people out of the phone book a half-dozen times just to see if the newspaper articles accusing MI7 of being incompetent losers ever got more fed up. (They did not.)
So in practice the tiers of arrest serve as self-imposed difficulty levels for the most part. Poke around a little, find someone selling drugs, arrest them for 5. Or you can poke further, discover they're being framed and arrest the framer for a data violation. Or you can push further and arrest the guy who wrote the software that made it possible for the framer to do his work.
There's no branching plotlines based on who you arrest, you just kind of bomf along to the next case.
I went out of my way to investigate everything and finished this in about four hours, so it's not going to strain anybody. However, it's because I went out of my way to investigate everything that I'm not sure I can rec this one very hard.
By the end of the game the typos are out of control (including in MISSION CRITICAL places, which ought to be a showstopper right there), the plot makes less and less sense, and more and more sites are introduced that you SHOULD be able to hack but can't. You'll have a great idea about where to look next and ... oops, no, that site mentioned in an email doesn't actually exist.
I spent a fair amount of time towards the endgame going "Oh. Well that should've worked though?" and that's never something you want people saying about your adventure game. I feel like there was a big scope in mind and they had to cut it down and cut it back for actual release.
Mainlining has a lot of cute ideas about the hacking genre, and it's not a total wash of a game. It's just flawed, and you really really have to know that going in.. Better than Orwell. A really good game if you wanna keep yourself occupied and have fun while doing it.
Whats Next? - 1.2:
The next update will not be for a few weeks, but just letting you all know The Life Of Greather is still being worked on.
As it stands now the next update will contain the following -
- Save/load feature
- Improved Npc's, responses from being attacked etc
- Ambience (audio) across all of the world
Its very possible it will contain more, but this is just as it stands at this exact moment.
. Update 1.1.5 - Released:
The original idea was to update The Life Of Greather via a newer engine version.
That update however is not ready.(Update 1.2 that i previously posted)
I decided it was best to bring out an update now.
Update 1.1.5 - Contains the following:
- Weapons balanced (No more Overpowered dagger/Knife)
- Enemies now become tougher as you progress requiring you to obtain a better weapon.
- Enemies wearing an helmet can no longer be killed with 1 hit to the head.
- You now look the correct direction when entering and leaving buildings.
- Signs now added to use in conjuction with map to help navigate the game world.
- Triggers re-adjusted to stop enemies visibly spawning.
- Black squares no longer appear when hitting building floors and rocks.
- Occasional bug when you opened a gate but got stuck by an invisible wall now fixed.
- Floating objects fixed.
- Minor enviroment Re-texturing/tweaks
. Update 1.1 - Released:
Apologies for the delay
Update 1.1 contains the following changes:
- Added music to the main menu & the game world.
- Added more voices.
- You can now pick up a knights sword after killing them.
- Adjusted health of villagers (much weaker)
- Removed "Press R to open Map" Prompt which was always displayed on the bottom of the screen.
- Minor Performance increase - Certain resource demanding assets are now only loaded when you are entering an area.
- Certain bandits now spawn on triggers, depending on direction you approach, so they might not appear to be in an area straight away.
- Multiple bug fixes
Ambience was added to most of the map when entering forested area's etc. But after much testing it was found to cause multiple other audio glitches, So to not delay the update even furthur ambience as not been added fully as of yet.
There is however an odd area now, for example the graveyard, which contains ambience.