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She Sneaks, He Hacks: Clandestine's Asymmetric Co-op

When social engineering fails...

Here’s a cracking idea for a co-op game: an asymmetric spy ’em up where one player’s a secret agent infiltrating facilities using stealth, social engineering, and violence, while the other is a remote hacker who cracks systems and feeds the agent information. That’s a real game. It’s Clandestine, made by Expeditions: Conquistador devs Logic Artists. You can buy it today on Early Access.

I was not at all surprised to learn that creative director Jonas Wæver was lead designer of remarkable Deus Ex mod The Nameless Mod.

Right, here’s how it goes. The spy heads out into the field on missions to do spy things, ideally without getting caught. To help with this, she’s got guns, gadgets, and garb. A grungy sleeveless hoodie with jeans and a plaid shirt tied around her waist will make guards more inclined to believe she’s harmless than body armour would, for example, but not do as much to dissuade bullets from penetrating her flesh.

Helping her is a hacker. He exists purely as a screen, watching over maps to track people, hacking security cameras, bribing guards, arranging supply drops, digging for intel, opening doors, and engaging in other shenanigans inside the Gibson. Oh sure, you could play in single-player, switching between the two with a button-press, but that sounds far less fun.

Well, that’s sort of the plan. Clandestine launched into Early Access yesterday, and Logic Arts have only included four standalone challenge missions to avoid spoiling the story – and those don’t have any of the conversational social engineering stuff. That’s a shame. They plan to launch the full game in February 2015. It’ll run you £22.99 for one copy, or £34.99 for two.

Here’s the launch trailer, or you might fancy a dev video about the two roles. Yes, it does all look a bit shonky, but without tolerance for jank in stealth games we can’t play Alpha Protocol either.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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