Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. 75
    It isn't one of those games that will keep you enthralled for hundreds of hours, but it is most certainly a great change from most of the clones that are released onto the market these days.
  2. This is a game where you can get lost in the moment very easily.
  3. While a very nice and original concept, Uplink will only appeal to a select few.
  4. Uplink will serve its purpose as a game that can be played sporadically. It's doubtful you will want to play it for extended sittings but it's got a lot of potential replay value providing you don't overdose on it during a weekend binge.
  5. 73
    Solid, immersive gameplay that sadly does lose some steam after extended periods of time. But, it's a fun ride for those looking something a little different from the norm.
  6. A misunderstood and sadly unappreciated diamond in the rough.
  7. A fairly satisfying gaming experience... that goes for deeper strategy – actual gameplay! – rather than a flashy package.
  8. One of the most innovative games we've seen in years...It delivers all the immersion, innovation, and entertainment you can ask for.
  9. A unique game that is definitely worth a look by anyone looking for a gaming change of pace. Its long term appeal is questionable, though.
  10. Couple this sort of tension with the cerebral challenge of building a hacking career and you've got a game that makes crime pay. [July 2003, p.87]
  11. It doesn’t have the flash and hype of big name, but it is one of the best games I have ever played.
  12. Good if you’re methodical and like to play your games in short bursts. Not for twitch gamers or those who play to relax; it’s a surprisingly stressful experience!
  13. While the lack of true visual quality can be overlooked, the slightly confusing, and at times overwhelming interface that you're presented with can add to the nerve wracking nature of the game.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 110 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 47
  2. Negative: 5 out of 47
  1. ChristopherP.
    May 11, 2008
    4
    This game carries an innovative and exciting concept, but the execution is grossly off. Most guilty is the interface: there are quite a few strange quirks in entering information, for instance, requiring the mouse cursor to constantly be within the field you're entering information in, or it will be deselected. You'll spend most of the game entering information, so this bizarre interface error gets annoying very fast. At resolutions above 640x480 the text and buttons are uncomfortably small, barring the player from playing at more attractive high resolutions. Then comes the basic gameplay, which sounds exciting at first due to the entertaining concept, but in practice is tedious and pointless. You'll start by simply hacking passwords and performing basic tasks like copying and deleting information. As you "rank up", you'll get access to more advanced missions e. g. editing profiles and databases. Starting with cracking passwords is horribly dreary; rather than actually using thought to find the password yourself, you use a tool and select the password field, and the crack will eventually find the password. No, it's not fun. Hacking and editing databases can be fun for a while; going through lists of information and creating queries to find a specific entry and altering it somehow while you have the threat of being traced is modestly fun. The huge problem is, however, is that tasks like these encompass almost the entire game, and there is a very thin list of tasks to accomplish. You'll be tediously working through mission after identical mission to earn the right to partake in large-scale scenarios with a goal that takes some skill and thought to reach. These are the only worthwhile reasons to play the game, with your requiring advanced tools such as voice recorders, decoders and IP apps. Unfortunately, it takes an excessive time commitment to reach these scenarios. In the meantime you'll be clicking dozens of password fields and altering information ad nauseam. Other quibbles include an unnecessary "upgrade" system that forces the player to buy expensive new equipment before being able to perform another mission with or without the rank required also hurt the experience. Also, when you're "caught", it's game over and your save file is deleted, which I assume is to increase the intensity and fear of being caught. This can be worked around by just copying it from the save folder when you want to, but for a game that offers so little reward for so much monotonous work, it's cruel to force the player to work through the multitude of horrendously boring introductory missions again because of a single mistake. Also well worth noting is the method of covering your tracks by deleting IP logs, and this design choice doesn't seem to show any purpose. After every mission or attempted mission there will be logs where you were. These logs have to be deleted to prevent you from being traced. What this means is you'll be revisiting certain places both yours and foreign solely to click your log deleter then a log in a list, often with a dozen or more individual logs, and you'll have to do this very frequently. A game focused on a fictional portrayal of hacking is a terrifically exciting concept, but because this game suffers from a frustrating interface, poor pacing, lack of variety, and poor design choices, the concept's potential is unfulfilled. Not recommended, even to indie game fans. Full Review »
  2. Jan 3, 2013
    3
    A retro-futuristic hacker sim that flops on execution. After your intro to the interface and basic gameplay mechanics it looks like a promising game, with many different upgrades and ways to hack into systems. However the learning curve is strong and requires a lot of repetition to learn the proper paths and ways through systems. Compounding on this issue is the permadeath; if you are caught, it's game over with no save reloading. In some games this would be welcomed but here it's very frustrating because it's so easy to forget to cover your tracks 20 different ways and one slip up is a quick trip to the game over screen. This is definitely a unique game with some exciting concepts but I don't feel compelled to go back to it anytime soon. Full Review »
  3. Jan 25, 2012
    6
    Uplink is a very interesting game that fills a much needed gap in genres. Hacking simulation games are rare, and this one fulfills that need beautifully. You are placed in front of a terminal from the very beginning. The tutorial helps you get started without any problems, and once you complete your first few missions, you will understand how to use the basics. The music gets a little repetitive after many hours of play, but does not become a distraction or an annoyance. If you prefer, you can turn it off in the settings. The complexity of Uplink comes from the various missions as well as the many hardware and software changes and upgrades you are allowed to make. Some of the early missions can be a bit confusing, but after a few tries you realize what you did wrong, and will be able to complete them without any problems. The setting of the game is somewhat futuristic but manages to keep facts into perspective as well as keeping all aspects of the game realistic for such a simulation. There is much reading to be done in the form of bulletin boards, viewing items, and reading mission details. Making the video resolution too high will make the fonts too small to read, which makes things tough for the eyes. As the difficulty of the missions ramp up, you are basically left on your own to figure out how the game works, and what you need in order to be able to attempt missions. This can be frustrating and can possibly leave the player feeling almost completely lost. It is often very difficult to understand what tools one needs for the various jobs you have access to, or how to go about correcting some of your mistakes. I suppose Uplink is keeping its simulation genre up to standard, as a real life hacker would probably go through the same hurdles and difficulties for learning about such activities, which can certainly take much time and many errors to master. Getting caught, losing everything, and being forced to end your career early as a hacker is heartbreaking, and gives the impression that you are playing a roguelike. Getting help from a FAQ or guide is almost a requirement. As you complete the missions, you rarely feel safe. It almost feels like at any time, you will get caught and have to restart the game with a brand new character again. The more advanced missions are so complicated, involved in minute details, and difficult to complete, that I don't think there is any way to go about them by trial and error. Once again, a FAQ or guide is an absolute necessity. Worse yet, if you make a ridiculously small mistake in the very first part of the story mission, you will have to start over from the very beginning if you want to do more than the non crucial missions and proceed through the storyline. The player is not allowed to save and reload games at all. Starting from the beginning multiple times because of small mistakes means that you will be throwing away dozens of hours until you get it right even once. This problem of having to restart the game from the very beginning, in conjunction with the lack of variety in the missions makes for somewhat of a disappointment. Even then, Uplink can be enjoyed in short bursts, and is a good choice to go back to every now and then, by keeping it installed for the long run. It is also valid to mention that for its age, Uplink has accomplished plenty. It is a complex and complicated hacking simulation to be enjoyed by those who are patient and don't mind a steep learning curve. Full Review »