Cyberpunk Review » HacX (A Doom II TC)

July 11, 2011

HacX (A Doom II TC)

Game Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 1997

Developed by: Banjo Software

Platforms: Doom II and ports thereof

Versions Reviewed: 1.2, 2.0 r55

Official Site: Dr. Nostromo’s HacX Twitch ‘n’ Kill

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Rating: 6 out of 10… for now.

Terminatrix Terminated

In HacX, you’ll get to do two things; Kick ass and chew gum. You did remember to bring gum… right?

Overview: Released over a year after Quake, HacX (pronounced “hacks”) was pretty much Doomed from the start… along with every other Doom-like game. Banjo Software spent $5K US for a license to market HacX as a Doom II TC, but it was rushed to market in the wake of the technically advanced Quake… and failed faster than you can say “nailgun.” There was supposed to be a 3D version called HacX 2, but rapid advances in gaming engines, and other forms of interference, kept that project on hold.

With retro-gaming popular these days the original HacX has since been released as freeware. Additionally, version 1.2 is available that no longer needs Doom II to run, just a supported source port like ZDoom. Plus, a version 2 is being worked on with improved graphics and better level design. Hopefully, the end result will be what HacX should have been when it was first released. While no Quake/Unreal/Halo/Whatever killer, HacX looks like it had the potential to hold its own against the more advanced shooters. At least, it could be on par with Marathon.


The Story: From the official site:

G.E.N.I.E. Rules.

Whole cities lie in ruins. Entire countries laid waste. Over 5 billion people dead, used for food, or for genetic mutation experiments. Situation: Hopeless.

HacX slaughter

Get over it!! You’ve got work to do.

The Story of Danny Evanger, Written by Holt Satterfield

Okay. So you’re going along, minding your own business, which just happens to be hacking into other people’s databases, when your latest hack, some hi-tech company, catches you on-line and sends over some government jerk to arrest you. Mother said there’d be days like this. You broke a few national and international laws. So what’s the big deal?! Hacking is what hackers do! But seems like you hacked into the wrong database this time. Ultra-secret and all that. Genemp Corporation. Some biotech something or other. Database called itself GENIE. Something peculiar in that. Awfully sophisticated database. Especially if it caught you in the middle of hacking, and you’re the best, it’s eerily sophisticated. Like it can actually think, or something.

So they send you packing… to the federal pen. For the rest of your natural life. No computer, no gear, nothing. Total drag. Cement and bars, and the other guys inside aren’t exactly your average beefcakes. They catch a glance at your cyber-jockey derrière and get a wet gleam in their eye. So what you do for the next twelve months is hit the weight room–hard and fast! You pump iron like your life depended on it–and it does. You learn to sleep with one eye open. Punching the heavy bag becomes your breakfast; tae-kwon-do your lunch, and for dinner… well, you gotta eat sometime. And practice? Plenty. ‘Cause these boys got a gleam in their eyes that won’t go away. But how you’ve changed! Over once scarecrow arms, muscles wrap tight and heavy, and you’ve got a fu-kick that makes the boys call you “Sir”. Before you were just an average pencil-necked geek, now you could grace the front of Muscle and Guns Magazine. And just in time, too.

Because one day you return to your cell to find a tight-lipped, little man in a black suit with a bad haircut. Won’t give his name, but says he’s a Government Agent with the Subcommittee. Which subcommittee? The Subcommittee. The guy’s a regular riot; just one clown shy of a circus. But you listen, ’cause heck, you’ve got all the time in the world.

And so he tells a tale…. of world-wide communication blackouts, computer network shutdowns at governmental and military installations, international stock market crashes, and what might seem unbelievable…. armies of cannibal zombies roaming the globe, laying waste to everything in their path! Nothing fancy, just your everyday global chaos. The President has declared martial law, but they’ve lost contact with parts of the armed forces, and some of these rogue military units are assaulting urban centers. The country is being decimated!

And you thought you had it rough! So, why tell you? Because you’re the best Hacker in the business. And they think they know who’s behind this weirdness–a consortium of powerful, international hi-tech conglomerates, but they can’t get close enough to be certain. So far every government agent they’ve sent in has yet to return. They need you to infiltrate these corporate databases and find out what’s going on.

HacX screencap

This looks like a clue.

What’s more, they want to surgically install a military-grade Genemp Microtel into your frontal cerebral lobe. A what, where? A new, experimental cyber device that allows you to cyberleap from one terminal to another using cyberspace as if it were a taxicab.

So what’s in it for you? You get to keep the Microtel and have lunch with the President. You laugh, ’cause you’ve heard better offers from the guys with the gleam in their eyes. Oh, he adds, there’s $20 million in gold. Suddenly you feel patriotic. Ah, why not?

There’s only one hitch to getting the gold, the Agent says. What? You gotta stay alive.


Pick your poison. Currently, there are three versions of HacX currently available online. Version 1.1, the original retail version, can be found most any-warez (pun intended) and requires Doom II, at least the WAD file, to work. Version 1.2 is a complete IWAD, meaning the only thing required to play is an appropriate port of Doom II. A version 2 RC 55 is available from the HacX developer’s forums, but I should warn you that it is still a work in progress.

Digi-Ota 1.2
Digi-Ota 2 (proposed)

A quick comparison of how the downtown part of Digi-Ota looks (v1.2) to a possible v2.0 vision.


Unfinished Business How much of a work-in-progress is v2.0? Map 06 (”Digi-Ota”) doesn’t have an exit yet, or the exit is inaccessible in the map’s current form. Be prepared to cheat, unless you can hack the map from v1.2.

Also, several maps don’t exist in the RC version (actually, they use a rather small, quick-and-dirty default map). Currently, they’re working on those maps.

Hopefully, they’ll be done faster than Duke Nukem Forever. But after some 13 years of development so far, I wouldn’t hold my breath just yet.


Conclusion. Killed before its time, HacX is one of those game mods that should have been bigger and better than what we got. Even with its few fans devoting themselves to elevating HacX to what it should be, it’s taking longer than Duke Nukem Forever did in development hell.

Despite its development problems, HacX is definitely one Doom 2 mod for cyberpunk fans, or anyone bored with the whole Doom/Heretic/Hexen demon-slaying fare.


July 11, 2011

SSJKamui said:

OK. At first, I think it’s very good that you started to review Mods.
This mod looks interesting. The graphics remind me on some other Cyberpunk games reviewed on the site. (Except from that screen which looks like a kind of torture chamber. This is the typical Doom “pulp gothic horror” style. ) Partly, the screenshot with the computer console also reminds me on the Star Wars game “Shadows of the Empire”.

The character picture on the HUD looks like a rather cheap repainting of the original Doom space marine.

The top view of the big weapon in the first screens look rather strange but the side view of the weapon on the first screen looks really cool.

“The story” excerpt put in the review is rather confusing and I think it’s an example of “don’t say much but use as much text for it as you can.”

July 12, 2011

gon said:

i’d like to try this mod, but i cannot find a download. doomworld is down. do you have an alternate site?

Mr. Roboto said:

Greets, Gon!

I just checked DoomWorld and they are up and running for me. Try them again. Here’s a direct link to the v1.2 download:

July 13, 2011

Orihaus said:

Looks interesting, wonder why I haven’t heard of it. Downloading now. :)

gon said:

yeah, now it works for me
so it was just a temporal downtime.

July 16, 2011

Suggestion said:

You should review Vr.5! It was this awesome (and thus cancelled) tv show from the early 90’s about a woman who can enter other people’s subconscious via her virtual reality/computer set up. A secret government finds out about her ability, and ropes her into working for them. It was really awesome, and totally cyberpunk.

July 19, 2011

The PESO said:

Hey Sfam Ive been following CPR for a few years now, Love it! I just have one “complaint” in the CP music section, there is no review of the Fear Factory album “Obsolete” You really need to check it out. Actually all of the Fear Factory albums are very cyberpunk, but the chorus from the title track of “Obsolete” is
‘Man is obsolete, our world obsolete, erased extinct’ and with song titles like “Securitron: Police State 2000″, “High-Tech Hate” The bands albums definitely deserve a spot in this site. Not to mention with one of their albums titled “Soul of A New Machine” DEFINITELY check out their catalog. I hope you rectify this oversight, Id love to hear what you have to say about their albums. Keep up the good work!

“When security governed thrue scrutiny? Your policy lies organized and refined, No place to hide” - Fear Factory ‘Securitron’

July 24, 2011

Katalyst said:

I’m going to play this. It looks cool!
Thanks Mr.Roboto!!!

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