Jahanzeb Khan
26 Jan, 2011

MindJack Preview

360 Preview | Mind Freak.
Upcoming cover shooter MindJack has already been released in North America, but in roughly two weeks time, Australians gamers will also be able to get their hands on this title. We were recently called over to test the multiplayer component of the game, as well as experience the interesting mind jacking mechanic that looks to distinguish the game from your typical cover shooter.

MindJack thanks place in a futuristic setting fueled by highly advanced and groundbreaking technology, but at the same time there is great instability in the global political environment. You play the role of a super-agent who has the power to hack into not just machines, vehicles and weapons, but even humans. The build we played showcased the very early stages of the game, and while we didn’t get to see much of the plot, we were able to get a solid feel for the core gameplay.

The hacking mechanic is put to good use. Basically, it allows you to hack into certain objects and effectively take over them, either directly or indirectly. By taking direct control of a civilian, enemy solider or vehicle, you pretty much become that ‘character’ and take full control, while your main character temporary goes under A.I control. Hacking doesn’t always require direct hands-on control, as you can choose to hack enemy soldiers and simply ‘recruit’ them as A.I bots. The mechanic works well enough and is similar to what they’re trying to in the upcoming PSP release The 3rd Birthday.

Giving a whole new meaning to the term 'Mind Games'.

Giving a whole new meaning to the term 'Mind Games'.
The interesting thing about MindJack is that it features a campaign that seamlessly combines single player with multiplayer. Sure, co-op campaigns have been done before, but MindJack has a much different approach. You can play the single player campaign as you normally would, and if you happen to be online, other players with the game can simply hop in and play an active role as an ally or foe. A similar system was implemented in Demon’s Souls, where anyone who had the game could jump in on your game and play an active role. It’s an interesting system that adds variety and an element of surprise to the campaign. The build we played demonstrated this feature quite well and there were no lag issues, with other players coming and going without any hindrance to the flow of the campaign.

Hacking and multiplayer options are interesting enough, but at the core, MindJack is a cover shooter. The shooting mechanic is similar to that of Gears of War. You can take cover behind objects, perform rolls and evasion maneuvers, shoot enemies with a traditional aim and shoot mechanic and peep out of corners to take a shot. The shooting system was serviceable based on our brief hands-on with the game, but the hacking and multiplayer seem to have been given far more emphasis over the actual bare-bones shooting.

Head shots are probably a bad idea if you intend to hack into your foes.

Head shots are probably a bad idea if you intend to hack into your foes.
The build we played took place inside an airport, where we basically ran from point A to point B, shooting enemies, triggering cut scenes and progressing on a scene by scene basis. It’s a structure that has become a staple of the genre. However, we did play the very early stages of the game, so the complete campaign will perhaps offer a much different experience.

MindJack has some interesting ideas in place that seem to overshadow the core shooting gameplay. The hacking system adds some interesting flair to traditional third-person shooter gameplay and the seamless integration of online multiplayer into the main campaign is sure to add some challenge and unpredictability. When MindJack arrives here in February, look forward to our full review.
MindJack has some interesting ideas in place and if the online elements work as smoothly in the final retail version, shooting fans can look forward to an interesting experience come February.

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1 Comment
3 years ago
Sounds like Square Enix has had a lot of fun creating this game. It seems to take in a lot of different ideas from different places. I'm not expecting a blockbuster game I think it's a bit of an experiment, however for what it is it looks like an interesting game to play. I might pick it up.
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