Almost nine years ago an unknown bedroom-based trio of visionary graduates released a 20-something MB game about hacking government and corporate networks in the year 2010. It went ignored until it was reviewed in the foremost PC games magazine of Great Britain. The game of course was Introversion's Uplink, a game which has become a solid cult. While Introversion has gone on to bigger and better things, this year releasing Darwinia+ on XBLA, the loyal community has been begging for a return to the world of corporate espionage.
Last night, they delivered. At the BAFTA awards Introversion took advantage of the stage to demo their next game, Subversion. While the existence of Subversion has been known since May 2006, Introversion were tight lipped on what the game actually consisted of besides procedurally generated cities down to the level of individual sticks of furniture.
From what was shown, Subversion is a Syndicate-esque game of espionage and infiltration. Where as Uplink was about digital sneakery, its spiritual successor takes things to the physical realm. You will be directing actual people (well, not actual actual people, that would be illegal and awesome) around corporate buildings and possibly entire cities, manipulating the systems within and avoiding security personnel to reach your objective within. In the demonstration, this objective was a computer server system that the infiltrators blew up after gaining access to the room by shooting the lock off with a Kalashnikov.
I am reminded of secret content in the Uplink disc showing the developers' notes and plans on what the future could hold - an Uplink 2 where having hacked into, say, a bank's security systems you watched your team of infiltrators through the CCTV cameras and assisted them remotely by hacking the alarms off or the vault door open. Somewhat more ambitious perhaps but aren't all developers' day dreams?
If this interests you, and it should, check out the fascinating (yet fairly esoteric) Subversion blog running all the way back to the end of 2006. While you're reading that, you can download Introversion's first game Uplink (£10 from Introversion Store or £6 from Steam bundled with Darwinia) or reinstall it so as to wet your appetite.