Day 21 - DataJack 

I only discovered DataJack very recently on Desura, and at first the graphics threw me off a bit. While the pixel art is more than good enough and atmospheric and the general aesthetics pleasing, the game unfortunately has a fixed resolution which makes it hard to recognize everything. There is a fullscreen launcher, but on my monitor it deforms the pixels (unacceptable!).

As far as a I got into it, DataJack is a cyberpunk adventure where you play a mercenary, doing some tasks one could describe as crimes – the very first mission is about robbing a Burger World, the second one about hacking a TV station. As a big fan of stealth I adore the possibility to crouch and generally being a sneaky guy. Every mission allows a varying number of deaths, sometimes even civilian casualties, and an abstract number of damage and chaos. It's up to you to undermatch these requirements.

It plays a bit like a low-fi version of Deus Ex. You can heal and upgrade your character and equipment in-between missions, in an adorable city hub where you find a clinic, a gun dealer and so on. What I yet have to see is some kind of a bigger story that glues the missions together or explores your motivation, and I'm suspecting there is none. At least you can find some lore about the world in the in-game computers.

What I can testify definitely is that the sound design of the game is great; it actually isn't what you would expect from the retro-craze nowadays and from the graphics of DataJack. Overall it's more realistic, you hear the typical buzzing from machines, and your footsteps can matter when you try to be stealthy (just don't walk on metal surfaces). The music complements the cyberpunk atmosphere perfectly.

I'm eager to try more missions soon! Oh, and did I already tell that the game is free? Unbelievable!


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