In September 2013, E McNeill won the Open Call Grand Prize at the Oculus Rift VR Jam with Ciess, a hacking game that evokes Johnny Mnemonic with its virtual reality-based vision of the internet. Yesterday, McNeill announced that the concept will become a full release in Darknet, an Oculus Rift exclusive. Unlike the William Gibson short story, Darknet doesn't include a cybernetically enhanced dolphin hacker addicted to heroin, but it still looks awesome.
McNeill describes Darknet as a VR strategy game that casts the player as an elite hacker in cyberspace. You'll zip around a network in a disembodied, first-person perspective, breaking codes, unleashing viruses, and slicing through layers of security to get your hands on valuable data. In short, you'll feel just like a real cyberpunk hacker, only without all the boring computer science.
If you want to get a feel for it, you can download both the Oculus Rift and desktop version of Ciess on McNeill's website . Darknet looks very much like that prototype, only prettier. It's much more involved, but if you were a fan of the hacking mini-games in Deus Ex: Human Revolution , you should be all over Darknet.
McNeill lists Darknet's release date as “Oculus Rift Launch,” making it one of the few launch titles for the device we know about (along with Valkyrie ). Its price is currently set at $10-$20.
If you're interested in the game and want to watch it evolve throughout development, McNeill says that the /r/darkcom sub-Reddit will be treated as an ongoing Ask Me Anything.