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HACKTAG – PAX East 2017 Interview

Most co-op games aren’t co-op games. Yeah, technically all noncompetitive multiplayer games are generally considered “co-op,” but how often are they games that genuinely demand cooperation? With it’s asymmetrical gameplay, HACKTAG is one of those few titles that lives up to the term “co-op,” requiring true cooperation between players.

In HACKTAG, one player acts as the agent on the ground while the other is the hacker. The hacker is essentially the Morpheus to the agent’s Neo, the Simon Pegg to his Tom Cruise, the Tom Arnold to his Schwarzenegger. Although both players view the game from an isometric perspective, the agent must physically infiltrate an area while the hacker remotely infiltrates it via a computer network, disabling cameras, operating doors, and deactivating traps.

Fellow Editor Chris Souza and I had a ton of fun with it during our demo. As the hacker, I had to coordinate with Chris as he moved about the targeted office building. While we downloaded the confidential data from the targeted computers, we had to watch each others backs and plan our next move carefully, with him shutting down an anti-virus that pursued me through the system and me distracting a security guard by ringing phones. We also had the ability to rescue each other if the other person had been caught by security. For example, as Chris was being escorted by security to a holding cell, with proper timing, as the hacker, I could remotely close a door between him and the security guard just behind him, allowing him a brief moment to run off.

As a fan of the coordinated, asymmetrical multiplayer found in Portal 2, and being a sucker for stealth and isometric games, HACKTAG is right up my alley. Recently greenlit on Steam, it’s slated for launch in June on PC and Mac and on Xbox One and PS4 in September for approximately $19.99. For more in depth information the characters, multiplayer and the procedurally generated maps, check out our in depth interview with Marine Lemaitre Freland, CEO and Project Manager at Piece of Cake Studios.

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