Set in a distant yet reachable future, mankind is in a bad way… Illness, poverty and machines are abundant. Security drones and humanoid robots fill the streets where humans once stood, crime is hard to avoid and nobody is what they seem, perhaps this is why the virtual world is an escape for some and a life for others.
The Voice of The Oppressors?
The Voice is the biggest news station around, filtering out the truth from the oppressors and crime syndicates. ‘Richard Nolan’, is our protagonist in this story. He wakes from what seems like a drugged state and is greeted by Simon, the House robot he despises, a gift from his wife it seems.
Simon urges Richard to cloud call the doctor (think video calls with holograms), which he eventually does. After speaking to the Doctor, Richard learns he was in an accident. As the player, you must choose a characters role, much like a choose ones own adventure book.
For example, if players choose one character to be their wife, the other person could be a sister or a close friend. Players may choose that the child shown to you is your neighbours son and not your own, players choose to start shapes their path entirely.
Flashback to Another World
The visuals in this game are simple yet stunning, players have a realistic looking environment to run around in but the characters are simplified polygons. The art style feels similar to the art style of ‘Another World’ and ‘Flashback’ (just less flat). The future Cyborg world is a lot like ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Deus Ex’ games where robots / cyborgs are either feared or hated. All in all making a fantastic universe.
Gameplay has players running around collecting clues from characters or little bits of information you find in notes or new articles. Although Richard is a journalist by choice, his mind is fragmented. His family (if you allowed him one) are missing, he needs to find out whats going on. Though this game is basically an interactive story, there are some action elements such as having to blind some drones to proceed.
Get a Grip
The story is gripping and interesting enough to keep you wanting more. Players get to know the characters and how they would react and why. There is a further five characters to play other than Richard, either through game progression or the players decision making. There seems to be different scenarios based on ones choices, which adds even more layers to this fantastic story. Perhaps a few play through’s would be on the cards to experience these possible outcomes. From what has been played so far during this review, this game is pretty big. Theres no sense of urgency, It’s a nice stable story to pick up in little bursts like a good thick book!
The soundtrack in State of Mind feels fresh and engaging, none of this mundane boring and repetitive rubbish. The environmental FX fit precisely with the futuristic setting, dark undertones of State of Mind come to life in perfect synchronisation with its matching gameplay. For example, if a dark alley looks lonely, it feels lonely due to the sound accompanying the atmosphere. Such audio cues like hearing flowing traffic above without having to look up because you know its there are just as important as the visual aspect in any game.
Overall Score: 8.8 / 10
During my review, I’ve had countless hours of fun with State of Mind, the Developers are now on my preferred list! I plan on playing some of their other titles just because this was an amazing experience. I like the graphics and how it is presented just because it feels right, if they were presented in another way I don’t think it would work as well.
What grabs me the most other than being sci fi style, is how the story works. Players make the choices, players choose who your wife is etc. Being able to go back and have a different story the second time round is extremely exciting, more games need this. Sure, players have different endings based on your choices in games such as ‘KOTOR’, but they don’t all offer the choice family, friends and enemies.
Formats: Available on all platforms (Nintendo Switch Reviewed)
Price: £39.99 (eShop)
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Release Date: 15th August 2018
Pegi Rating: 18+
Review copy provided by publisher