Published on January 31st, 2011 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Release Date: January 27, 2011
ESRB Rating: M
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Feel Plus
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Platforms: Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, PC
There have been so many games this generation that implement the cover based third person shooter, but with titles such as Gears of War or even Uncharted, it would appear that this genre has already been mastered. Feelplus has developed that very game, but with a new twist on the genre. The title says it all. You can exit your own mind and take over the minds of others, even enemies to have them fight for you. This Bourne Conspiracy / Alpha Protocol based shooter may seem interesting on the back of the box art, but it’s the failure of implementing those mechanics is what leaves Mindjack a frustrating experience.
Mindjack is a Sci-Fi shooter set in 2031. The worlds parliament’s and law makers are crumbling under a corporate take over of the Governments. Agents and Military soldiers have the ability to take over the minds of others to work in their favor. The sad truth is this interesting point of the gameplay is never flushed out. We were left wondering where this ability or power had originated from. The games narrative never explains it and the cut scenes and playable flashbacks never explain the fall of parliament. The story may seem like a derivative from other stories, and full of holes, and your right, but it is a story that we have not seen a lot of, or told well enough to be considered “old”.
My first thought when playing through Mindjack was that I was playing an Alpha Protocol clone (with the exception of Dialogue trees). The game-play is very similar. It also resembles Gears of War in the way of Snap-to-cover, blind fire, jump rolls, and roadi-run. Unfortunately it was as if the team put the mechanics in the game and never went back to refine them. Sometimes the cover doesn’t work and blind firing is 50 – 50. Reaction time is extremely slow and which left me killed on more than one occasion. When I say killed, that in itself is an understatement. Much like Prince of Persia and other titles, you really can’t die unless everyone in your party is killed at the same time. When your health runs out, you leave the mind of the person you control, only to enter back into it in a matter of 10 seconds. Sound confusing. It is. The first time it happens will leave you as confused as I was.
Aside from being a shooter, Mindjack also allows you “Mind hack” other NPC’s in the game. Simply bring the NPC to their knees, press the action button over their body and “Voilà”. They will now fight for you and create a nice distraction for you to plan your next move. The hacked NPC will not last very long so continue to hack the minds of wounded NPC’s as much as you can. Exit your body at any time through the game by simply pressing both the left and right thumb-sticks and you will become a ghost. You can cycle through bodies to take over, and when you find the right person to encompass simply hit the action button to take that person over.
This becomes very aggravating throughout the game since it moves very slow and is disorienting. When you are in the middle of a fire fight, this becomes added stress when trying to take over an NPC. Every time you shoot, you will have to begin the process over again. Prepare to throw your controller.
(Kill this guy by killing his minions. Shooting him does nothing)
The games multiplayer does work well. You can bring up to six other players into your campaign to fight with you. You can also have other fight against you, but this does take away from campaign advancement. In games like that it turns into a gears of war style deathmatch. This is where the multiplayer is a bit broken. There isn’t specific game types like this to choose from. Instead players are entering others game campaigns, choosing sides and fight each other, instead of fighting to reach a campaign goal. When played right it does work very well, since the games campaign played through in single player features some of the worst AI, multiplayer NPC will play much better and create more of a challenge when playing.
At the end of each of the game’s missions, you will lose all of your weapons and ammo you had picked up in the previous mission. Each mission will have you start out with a grenade and a pistol. The boss battles are some of the worst I have seen, since a boss battle doesn’t play like a typical boss fight.
In other games you would fight the boss head on by memorization, or finding weak spots to aim for. In Mindjack you take out the NPC’s that each boss has with them and that will drop the boss. Leaving you as a gamer glaring at your TV wondering if that was it. Checkpoints are spread out at a inconsistent rate. Sure they are at the beginning of every mission, but some missions will have checkpoint early on and some late into a chapter. Never know when to plan for a checkpoint.
The Final Truth:
Mindjack was not a good game at all, but did show us some interesting things that could play very interesting in other games. Allowing six others to jump into your campaign and take over friends and enemies is a very cool mechanic and could work well in the right game. Overall Mindjack was a huge frustration than it was an experience. Asking for $60 for a title of this magnitude is a huge disappointment. The game could use a huge graphical overhaul, considering the game’s wallpapers offered on it’s official website are more detailed and lavish than the game itself. Mindjack is forgettable and it’s miss-steps are more present than any of the games overall potential. This will be one game that you wished you could press down the left and right thumbsticks to exit out of your mind!
[xrr label=”Rating: 4/10″ rating=4/10]
+ Multiplayer can be Cool
+ Ok plot line
– Poor game play mechnics
– spacious checkpoints
– Pointless Boss Battles
– Poor Graphics
– Horrible Voice overs