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"Mind Jack" Review - (PS3)

About.com Rating 1.5 Star Rating

By Laura Warner

MindJack Box Art (PS3)

MindJack (PS3)

© Square Enix

The Bottom Line

"Mind Jack" is a brilliant gameplay concept that just wasn’t effectively executed. If you can get through the ear screeching intro level and then get far enough through the tutorial to hack into other players game you can find some fun. It's mostly based on screwing with fellow gamers, and trying to hinder their advancement to the next mind numbing cut scene. That kind of vindictive enjoyment can only last for so long. "Mind Jack" might be worth renting for a few hours of torturing your fellow "hackers" but when held up against more solid third person shooters like "Gears of War" "Mind Jack" simply misses the mark.
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Pros

  • "Mind Jack" your way in and out of characters and machines alike
  • Hack in and out of other player’s main story lines
  • Fight with or against your fellow Hacker’s

Cons

  • Time spent as a "wanderer" is accompanied with terrible white noise
  • Cut-Scenes are frustrating and poorly scripted
  • The Graphics feel like they belong on a PS2 not the PS3
  • "Mind Jack's" basic gameplay mechanics are difficult and clunky

Description

  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Feel Plus
  • ESRB Rating: M for Mature
  • Genre: Third Person Shooter
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3

Guide Review - "Mind Jack" Review - (PS3)

"Mind Jack" was an attempt to innovate the third-person shooter genre with several unique features including the ability to jump in and out of characters and machines, as well as the choice to hack into other players games. However the innovation is poorly backed by clumsy basic gameplay controls, a vague and dull story presented through mind-numbing voice acting and an overall sound design that’s so annoying it will make you want to turn the volume off all together.

From the minute I started the game I wanted to shut it off because the added sound effect of white noise, which is persistent throughout much of the gameplay, was almost unbearable. Once I got through the tutorial and passed the initial white noise effect my ears were then serenaded by some of the worst dialog and voice acting I’ve played through in a long time. Add in with that graphics that would have been impressive back in 2000 on the PS2, but are beyond disappointing in 2011 on the PS3.

"Mind Jack" is both visually and audibly frustrating and makes it extremely hard to delve into the actual gameplay. Speaking of which, the gameplay itself can be frustrating as the shooting system is clunky and counter-intuitive. The pace of the game really demands you be able to be a sharp shooter, with no auto-targeting available.

Initial frustrations aside there are enjoyable moments to be found within the game itself. The ability to jump in and out of the main character to side characters, random NPCs and machines with guns is actually a good time. The AI does a decent job of keeping your main character, Jim, busy as you are in your "wanderer phase" and while you are blowing the enemy up with robot bombs. However playing through your storylines means dealing with those horrible cut scenes, so the most fun to be found in this game is leaving your main storyline behind and "Hacking" into other player’s main gameplay.

Hacking in and out of other people’s games is a very smooth and easy system. The biggest choice to be made is whether you want to be on the blue team (the good guys) or the red team (the bad guys). As the blue team you play along side the player whose game you hacked into, as the red team you are basically there to kill the host player until he is forced to restart the level.

Winning as the red team did leave me feeling a certain malicious sense of satisfaction, but after a while that wore off and the guilt of forcing the host to relive the level’s opening cut scene over and over again started to set in and take the enjoyment out of it.

Bottom line: very cool concept, very bad execution. Please note, future game developers, your reasoning doesn't matter, if a game is unpleasant to listen to, it will be shut off. Just like warning buzzers intentionally annoy, they also make you flee. Don't force us to flee from your game.

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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