MediaTale brings Midnight Heist, an early-access, online co-op action-horror game. Think Payday with a spooky twist! Play solo or with up to 3 friends to earn money, build your reputation and reap the rewards from the increasingly shady companies that hire you. Midnight Heist is available on Steam for £8.50, though a demo is also available.
The Police Won’t Be Your Main Concern
Take on the role of an experienced hacker and fulfil tasks from shady organisations across Midnight City alone or as a team (with friends). The law isn’t the only presence you need to worry about. Something else may stalk the buildings, and they are far more interested in you than any loot or data you find.
Midnight Heist allows its players to choose a character out of a selection. Customisation such as outfits, hats and glasses are available alongside gadgets, which you can purchase with in-game currency earned through heists.
The main screen allows you to select a Contract to play. Players can choose the Contract’s difficulty. There are four difficulties: Beginner, Normal, Hard and Nightmare. The Contract screen also shows the map size, how much money they’ll earn, and how much computer data they need to collect to complete it. Additionally, the stats screen shows you overall things, such as how much money the player has earned throughout the game.
Loot & Data
Outside of the data you need to complete a Contract (and bonus objectives), there are other valuables throughout the map that can boost your overall payout (loot). Loot randomly generates, meaning you won’t find it in the same place twice. The loot consists of electronics, cash and important documents. Usually, these valuables hide in drawers or cabinets, but some are lying on a desk or shelf. If you find a rare item, such as a Rolex, you can sell it on the black market after the Contract is complete. However, the prices on the black market can vary.
While you can leave a mission and still earn money, you must complete a mission to keep any rare items you find. Additionally, if a ghost kills you, you still get money, but a fee is deducted from the total amount, and you will lose your rare items.
Taking incriminating photos for blackmail, such as evidence of drug use or money printing, is another way to earn extra money on a mission.
Hacking & Mini-Games
Before you can take your ill-gotten goods home and call if a job well done, you have to do what you do best: lock-picking and hacking. The lock-picking mini-game is familiar to most gamers, where you twist until you find the right angle to unlock.
Most importantly, however, your most important skill is hacking. There are also two devices for hacking: your tablet and your smartphone. The camera hacks security cameras, while the smartphone hacks electronic doors and computers. Hacking a security camera allows you to see different areas and where spectres may lurk. Out of the two, the smartphone does most of the heavy lifting.
Standing near a keypad or computer you wish to hack, you’ll wait for your smartphone to connect. Once it does, you must complete a random mini-game. There are many unique hacking mini-games in Midnight Heist. These mini-games range from memory games to translating the alphabet into numbers, matching patterns, and many more.
Sometimes, you still need the password for a computer, but by using your flashlight’s UV light function, you can search the room for an invisible password or clue nearby.
It’s a… G-G-Ghost!
Prison is the least of your problems in these heists. Ghosts stalk these dark offices and buildings, and none are happy that you’re there. If a ghost catches you, you instantly fail the contract, so it’s best to run or hide from them. The better option is to hide, but you can only do so inside lockers. While you can try to run, ghosts can lock doors ahead and behind you, which makes it easy to get cornered. There are some signs that a ghost is near, and with the help of a hacked camera, you may be lucky and avoid them.
Lights flicker or turn on and off, the computer and smartphone screen may go static, and your heartbeat becomes audible. Although you can turn lights on throughout, turning on too many at once can cause a power outage. That will leave you hunting for the power box to reactivate the power, putting you at a higher risk of being attacked.
Graphics & Audio
There is so much to enjoy about the visuals and audio in Midnight Heist. I like the design of the hideout: it feels very well put together. Most importantly, it’s the overall atmosphere I love. Having the computer and smartphone screens go static, lights flickering and hearing your heartbeat creep up brilliantly builds tension. Hearing the odd squish of footsteps across carpets and a distant door slam is excellent at making the hair on your neck stand up. Maybe the only addition I would like is some eerie voice lines from the ghosts.
The game’s length is up to the player and how much fun they can have with it. When I played, I barely got nearly three hours due to the fact that playing solo is quite harsh.
I was surprised when I played Midnight Heist, as I thought it was just another game taking a whack at the ghost-hunting style like so many others. The puzzles on the computers offer enough to be an obstacle but not too hard as to be a challenge. The lack of maps is disheartening since the two maps are more different entrances to the same building. I blame myself for playing Midnight Heist solo rather than with friends because it makes heists even more challenging. The game could offer better ways of surviving the ghost. For example, hiding in closets or behind desks to break the line of sight. The player could run away until it gives up the chase or some safe zone.
With a few more maps and ways to survive, Midnight Heist could be great down the line. That’s why I’m giving it the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.