Weekend Question: Which lockpicking or hacking minigame are you good at?

PCG Jody

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Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week the question is: Which lockpicking or hacking minigame are you good at?

Have you ever unlocked a chest or hacked a computer in a game and thought, just for a second, "I'm so good at this I should do it in real life"? Can you pick a lock in Oblivion blindfolded? Did you master the hacking in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, or Mass Effect 2, or Prey? Did you actually understand the hacking game in Alpha Protocol? Because I sure as hell didn't.
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I got pretty good at the lockpicking from Skyrim and Fallout, as I would (try to) lockpick every locked door or container I encountered for the XP points. Also the hacking mini game from Fallout 3 and New Vegas (they were the same, right?)

I also beat Hacker Evolution. I don't remember if I was good at it, but good enough to beat the game.

I have no memory of the hacking minigame of Mass Effect. The only other minigame that comes to mind is from the Assassin's Creed series, but I always just kinda messed around with those until it worked.
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Jul 13, 2020
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I'm Bioshock pipe hacking expert!
But I vaguely remember that Obscure 2 had some really out of the left field hacking minigame where you have to guess password out of anagrams that made no sense.
I might be wrong, it's been a while I've played it.
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The Fallout lockpicking is pretty easy. Plus, you can woo women that way (remember the NPC in 4 who was always so impressed if she saw you pick a lock?).

The hacking in Fallout, on the other hand, kills me because I'm not willing to go through each of those words to find the best starting spot, which makes it kind of random. I just don't have enough patience to think, "hmm, there are 3 words out of 40 where 'T' is the third letter..."
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I got pretty good at the "find the match block of gibberish text before the time runs out" hacking method in Mass Effect 2. Way better than ME1's Frogger-like minigame. Though I was decent in that one, too. I also really liked the lockpick minigame in Oblivion with the tumblers. (By comparison, I hated the trial-and-error required in Skyrim, though that got easy too as you progressed.) I don't think any of them ever made me think the skill would translate to real life, however. Especially not the Mass Effect ones.
The only fun locking picking Simulator I liked was Tom Clancy - Splinter Cell games.

Hacking.... I can't remember any good hacking one . The mass effect hacking simulators were annoying. GTA 5 was worse. Really can't think of any good hacking simulators


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I wouldn't say I'm good or bad at it, but as soon as I saw this question the sound effects and music from the PREY lockpicking game popped into my head. All it involved was getting a little "bitstream" to a target inside a little maze with red walled objects stunning and slowing down your progress.

I really did like the Skyrim lockpicking game, it felt the most authentic... if that makes sense.


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