• Publisher: Bandai
  • Release Date: Feb 10, 2003

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. The end of this first episode of .hack - dubbed Infection - will leave players hanging and longing for more.
  2. 85
    Clever story twists; excellent character design, and an addictive gameplay engine can go a long way.
  3. If you can forgive it for some plain visuals and don't mind wading through menus - it may be fast-paced, but it's still an RPG - it's worth your time. [Mar 2003, p.58]
  4. The most disturbing thing about .Hack is how short it is. Perhaps the whole series, or at least two of the games, could have easily fit on one disc.
  5. 91
    While .hack is not going to thrill anyone with its visuals or sound, the sheer replayability and depth of gameplay is incredible, and that’s what games are SUPPOSED to be all about. Bandai, you have guaranteed yourself a customer for your future .hack episodes.
  6. The most fun I have had playing an RPG in a long time! This game just spews forth with innovation.
  7. This sense of fun defies all odds. I never would have thought it, but these encounters with computer-generated pals can sometimes be even more enjoyable than the real thing.
  8. The illusion of an online community is maintained flawlessly.
  9. 80
    The story integrates so well with the faux-online theme that it drives you to continue playing almost as addictively as the real social interaction of a legitimate online game does.
  10. Definitely something that is not for the faint-hearted. It can be a tough to keep your attention from wavering onto another game. Believe me; with all the other games being released now, it was a challenge. But if you stick with it, you will be pleasantly surprised.
  11. A truly brave, and hopeful germination of pertinence in the typically banal garden of videogames.
  12. The only real let down is the moments when you’re thrown out of the World and have to sift through all the message board posts and e-mails in order to figure out what to do to log back onto the game.
  13. The feeling of “just one more dungeon” dominated our lives for the 3 days to completion. The engaging environment held our attention without much effort.
  14. A simple, repetitive experience that's over fairly quickly for an RPG, and its story doesn't go anywhere at all. Nevertheless, it's pretty fun while it lasts, and anime fans probably won't be able to resist it.
  15. A game so fresh and unique, it just begs to be experienced despite its flaws. [Feb 2003, p.138]
  16. 80
    Despite the simple battles and plain story, .hack is addictively fun for the 15 hours it lasts. [Nov 2002, p.182]
  17. Despite some dated-looking visuals (it REALLY does look like PSO), Dot-hack is an impressive bit of high-concept work, and scores lots of points for its presentational excellence.
  18. 80
    A complete package that is both a solid adventure and a promising beginning for this Bandai series.
  19. The game-within-a-game concept is fantastic and the simulation of the MMORPG experience is flawlessly executed.
  20. I had to muddle through almost half of this 20-hour RPG before .hack really grabbed me... And now, I'm hooked. [Feb 2003, p.100]
  21. The character models are very well done. The facial expressions impressed me the first time I played. The characters have an anime look that I think the developers were trying to pull off and they did a good job.
  22. .hack scores major points for its unique setting, but there's also some very solid game design to back it up. [Nov 2002, p.50]
  23. The main bulk of the gameplay, which mainly consists of battles in fairly unattractive dungeons is clichéd, and highly repetitive. The graphics as a whole fall a little below average, and for a standalone game, it’s fairly short.
  24. It gains points for plot and the audacity of simulating an online world, and could have scored higher, but its simplicity and inflexible save system drag it down. [Apr 2004, p.108]
  25. That it makes no bones about the fact that you're in a game doesn't make it less of an experience - indeed, it's one of the few things that saves Infection from being a run-of-the-mill RPG. [Mar 2004, p.104]
  26. It’s all rather tiresome and disappointing in a release that promised something different. But what remains is a bog standard RPG, dressed up as something else but flattering to deceive.
  27. I also realized that what really made it good wasn't just its refreshing take on conventional RPGs, but that it also captured some of the community aspects of a MMORPG. [Mar 2003, p.82]
  28. Don't buy this game if you don't plan on getting the whole series. It would be like watching "The Fellowship of the Ring" and not bothering to watch the rest.
  29. NPC reaction isn’t all that diverse, as it would be in a real MMORPG. The visuals, aside from the character designs, aren’t all that impressive.
  30. Highly original and addictive, .hack is more interesting than most of the MOM-RPGs the game attempts to simulate.
  31. By being forced to set-up a premise that MIGHT evolve into something interesting in the long haul, ".hack's" storyline drags and plays second-fiddle to average-at-best (and done better elsewhere), random-dungeon clearing RPG fodder.
  32. There is no doubt that Bandai has a really, really interesting concept here, but it’s just so unfortunate that things like the camera system and inexcusably repetitive dungeons lower the game’s status to just another mediocre RPG with tons of potential just waiting to be noticed and explored.
  33. The game itself is a very competent dungeon-exploration affair that neither looks great nor is that polished, but it's very addictive. [Apr 2003, p.62]
  34. You will get so caught up in the story you won't be thinking "Dungeons and Dragons." Can't wait for the next one.
  35. 67
    Ugly. It's got a muddled battle system. [Feb 2003, p.44]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Oct 3, 2010
    You know a game is good when even with crappy visuals it still holds on to you, this is even more evident in RPGs. This short but great RPG should be in every collectors catalog as it's one of the many great RPGs of the PS2 era. Full Review »