MindJack Review

By on February 4, 2011

Get ready to lose some grey cells.


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First Impressions
My reaction is

I believe that our readers have the right to be warned when they’re going to play a bad game. Like the PEGI rating system, I believe that some games should be slapped with a large sticker that says “This game causes severe mental anguish – avoid at all costs”. And I firmly believe the first recipient of this sticker should be the joke that is Mindjack.

I’m not about to insult your intelligence by trying to narrate the half-baked storyline, but for some unexplainable reason the future introduces us to the novel concept of hacking into someone’s mind and controlling their body. While this idea does add a novel twist to the game, it turns out to be one of its biggest flaws. When you hack ‘out’ of your protagonist’s body, you’re transferred to this hazy ethereal zone, where you can zoom around and possess other bodies in the vicinity. You can also possess your enemies, but you stupidly have to wound them until they are unconscious, and only then can you hack them. You can also choose to Mind Hack wounded enemies from a short distance which puts them under your control, but thanks to the ignorant AI, these friendly units will parade straight into battle and die.

Take out the mind-hacking part of the game, and you’re really just left with a very poor third person shooter. The gun mechanics are a complete joke, and targeting your enemies is just down to stupid luck. Most of the time I was happily shooting at walls rather than enemies thanks to the crippling targeting system and uncomfortable controls. The cover system is also ridiculous, causing you to stick to your environment at the most awkward times. You can’t crouch unless hiding behind cover, which is in itself ridiculous, and there’s a vault-over-cover action that is akin to pulling off a ballet sequence from Black Swan. It’s just one hideous hurdle after another, which makes for brutally painful gameplay.

Mindjack does have some sort of multiplayer option available, where you ‘hack’ into another player’s single player mission and control the enemies in the level. It’s a slightly better experience when you’re sabotaging someone else’s game, so there is some fun to be had here after all. But it isn’t barely enough to redeem the game, so you’re left wondering what in the world Square Enix was thinking by churning out this game. The checkpoints in this game are ridiculous, and you have to replay large portions of a level again should you die – a situation that can happen quite often if your protagonist and companion are killed.

Further crippling the game is the voice acting that sounds so robotic half the time that it sounds like it’s been read by a text-to-speech program. The cutscenes are often long and boring as well, but at least you can quickly tap the Start button to skip them. Oh, and did I mention you can’t pause the game? Yup – even if you bring up the ‘pause’ menu, the game keeps on going in the background, so the only other option you have is to turn the game off – this is often a great idea.

Mindjack is a poorly planned and even poorly executed game that can cause some permanent mental problems if played for longer than fifteen minutes. This is an easy candidate for the discount gaming bin, and one to be avoided at all costs.


The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
2
A disturbingly bad game that fumbles with the controls at every turn.
GRAPHICS
3
There is some detailing in the levels, but character models are far from perfect.
SOUND
2
Laughable voiceovers that will make you cringe in fear.
VALUE
1
Multiplayer mode can be a distraction, if you can find anyone else playing this ridiculous game.
FUN FACTOR
2
About as fun as making tea.
OVERALL
3
A laughable game that should have never seen the light of day.

About

A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys hurling fireballs and tinkering with the latest gadgets. Follow him on Twitter as @theregos

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