This game would’ve gone under your radar if you haven’t been keeping up with gaming news. Telltale’s newest game is based on USA Network’s Mr. Robot, a television show based around hacktivists that aim their attacks on the big bad corporation known as E Corp, or Evil Corp. The show features very real methods in how real life hackers work; thus it has been met with high praise.
, is designed as an E Corp messenger app and it set in the television show’s world. The game itself is very well put together and it takes a couple of days to finish before it resets. Now, how does your character fit into this world? How much realism does this game offer? Would you actually be hacking? Will this add more lore into Mr. Robot’s story? Let’s dive right on in and get more in depth in what you may be getting yourself into.
Since this is a messenger app, there isn’t really much use for graphics in the traditional sense although the GUI (Graphical User Interface) is very well put together. For those who don’t know, GUI “… is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and visual indicators…” In short, it’s what you see in your everyday life through your computer and phones. The GUI for this game actually looks like a legit messenger app. You have your messages, attachments, contacts, alerts, settings and a big ol’ E logo on top of all the options. The text is easy to read but you can change it from default to large by going into settings (see section 5, Gameplay). Navigating through the app is fairly smooth with no lag at all. If you’re in the app long enough, it will start to feel like your phone is actually using a E Corp phone or at the very least, that E Corp is real. It’s very well put together.
Also worth noting, the pictures you receive are of real people and objects and none of it are of low quality. The ID pictures for your contacts are of fake logos, real people and real places. They look as if they are real contacts, although it looks a bit staged. Also, any file you get is a photo of a paper with .ZIP, .APP and so on. This adds to the thought in which the game may lose you in bringing you into this world. Nevertheless, it’s still of high quality and can be overlooked. You’ll be too intrigued by the conversations you’re having to even care about the photos.
To start it off, the game opens with a short video from Fsociety which then introduces a picture of a phone on the floor with text appearing reading, “E Corp is the largest conglomerate in the world, fsociety is an underground group of hackers determined to destroy them.” You tap the screen to pick up the phone. Then, you sign up for the E Corp messaging app. Once, you complete that, you will get a system alerts and messages from a number asking if you’re no longer trying anymore. You then are greeted with three ways to reply (see section 5, Gameplay).
You’ll also get messages from other numbers such as a group chat, the New York Library, a dating service, food service and more. You won’t get the messages all at once and you usually can’t initiate a conversation (unless the story asks for it, which is rare.) This game works in real time so you have to wait to get these messages and continue the story. You’ll eventually get a message from someone who claims that the phone you picked up is their phone and has an important file in it that they must get. Throughout the story, that person is trying to find a way to find the file in the phone by hacking in. While they do that, you must pretend to be them once you get messages from other people. This is the entry point into their world. You will be given a couple tasks to do for the sake of the “greater good.” Eventually, the person finds the file and the phone fries, or resets, which then restarts the game. This time you can choose different options in how you want to interact with each person. To not get into spoiler territory, I’ll leave who the unnamed person is, what the hackers are really doing and what the file is alone so you can experience it yourself.
The music that plays in the background represents the soundtrack in the television show itself and is fairly relaxing. It makes you feel as if you’re in the television show yourself as you text your way through the hacker’s world. You’ll also hear the text message alerts when you receive a new message. It’s a generic text message sound but it isn’t crummy. It’s high quality and makes you excited to see what you got. Also, there is a typing sound effect that is seen in the options but I don’t hear it as my character writes out their message. Now, this may be the referring to the sound as I send a message but that is highly unlikely. Nevertheless, the sound effects in the game are of high quality and doesn’t go unnoticed.
Sadly, you won’t actually be hacking anything but you will be manipulating people. You’re sort of like the messenger. As stated before, you are greeted with Telltale’s classic three choice dialogue (staying silent isn’t an option, sorry “…”) and each choice you pick is greeted with a different response and outcome. Now the good thing about this being a messenger app is that you can actually see what your choices will be before you actually send it. Of course, the options are simplified and may contain a different tone than what you may be expecting,so you can change your option at any time but once you send it, it’s done. For exmaple, at the start of the game you will be greeted with three choices as you reply to “I waited around for like half an hour. ur not trying anymore, right?” These options include:
- Trying what?
- Who is this?
- Uh.. no?
For the sake of showing you what you may get, let’s choose option 1. It’ll show your character type and even make mistakes which they’ll correct (which is a nice touch, we’ve all done that) and you can choose to send it. We chose the first option which is “trying what?” which changed to “I’m not trying what anymore?” Sent. “You know what I’m talking about”. We are greeted with the options again.
- I think you have the wrong number…
- Who is this, really?
Let’s go with option 1 again and see what we will actually write out. You tap it and it writes out “Hey, um, sorry, but I actually think you have the wrong number.” Not that exciting but from another play through, we don’t get a response back. So, let’s see option 3 since it’s just one word. “Alright, I won’t, I guess.” Let’s play along and choose that. This time, we get a response. “Good great. i’ll talk to you later.” Done with our first conversation. Going story wise (see section 3, story) you must choose your options carefully to get what is needed to help out the hackers. You will use this three dialogue system to help manipulate people into your favor. You will also be given files in which you must send to certain people. You can view the file logo, but can’t view the file itself. This goes the same with photos, you can view it, but nothing else.
Now, is the messaging real to life? Yes, the people you message actually talk as if they are real people. I had to remind myself that the main person I was talking to wasn’t actually my friend in reality because they both had nearly identical writing styles and attitude.
You can’t delete conversations or contacts so you will get a cluster in your messages. This takes away from the realism. Although if you’re curious about someone, you can go to the contacts folder, click the contact you want to view and see their phone number, home address, company and job title.
Also if the sounds don’t really intrigue you (see section 4, Sound) then you can go to Settings in the app and turn off music, alert SFX and typing SFX. Also, if it’s visually hard to read due to any complications, you can change the text from Default to Large. This actually makes any capitalized messages more fierce and kinda funny.
You can reset your game at any time by going into Settings and clicking the Clear Data option, which is a nice touch for people who disliked how their character has become and wants to change it to better suit their personality.