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MindJack Gamescom Preview

MindJack is a peculiar title to describe, while I was left feeling dazed and confused trying to wrap my mind around what was detailed in our viewing I shall try to endeavour to make this preview as clear as possible.

MindJack

The game had been described as a hybrid perpetual multi-player title set within a single-player environment, which basically means, there is no true multi-player mode, all the action is based in the single-player campaign with one side trying to progress through the storyline while the other is there to impede their progress where score is the ultimate decider on which side won. If side A wins a section then they continue in the story, on the flip side if side B succeeds in halting progress then side A will return to a previous checkpoint to try again.

Still with me? Good, then I shall continue onto the storyline of the game. MindJack is set in 2031, the Nerkas Corporation have invented the ultimate social lifestyle device in the form of a hard-wired headset, similar to a bluetooth earpiece. This device allows you to access all your social media, contacts, home life, everything from your mind, this made the Nerkas Corporation a hugely powerful and influential entity in the world. However not everything is as clear as it may seem with these devices, Nerkas has the ability to jack into people's minds using their devices, subliminally making them purchase Nerkas products or even more sinister, fully controlling them to do their bidding.

Bang Bang

This is where our protagonist comes into the fray, Jim Corbin a FIA agent, initially sent to track down a woman called Rebecca Weiss, though things quickly change for the worse as you discover the dirty secret of the Nerkas Corporation which thrusts you straight into the view of their mind controlled soldiers. Having obtained the same tech that Nerkas employs in their mind control techniques, this makes Jim and Rebecca immune to being controlled themselves, however this opens the door for our heroes to ‘Mind Slave' enemy troops or civilians in the area to help their cause. Now bare with me as this is where things get a little confusing again.

Shiny

During co-op you can have up-to four players on your side and if you're playing on Corbin's team you may ‘Mind Slave' two people each, so that's 12 entities on your side, additionally you may jump out of the body of your character and ‘Mind Hack' another troop/civilian and CPU controlled AI takes over your original body, this increases your potential team size to 16, though you may only Mind Hack someone who has previously has been mind slaved and you may only enslave someone who has taken a certain amount of damage. Now while you have the sheer number advantage on your side, the Nerkas team have the hardware advantage in terms of military equipment and armour to help balance out the numbers.

The actual gameplay as I mentioned before is a third-person affair with a cover system which seems to have become a staple element of the TPS diet, keeping your head down until you have an opportunity to return fire is key to survival here as the AI will actively flank and counter attack your efforts of solving your case. There will be a variety of weapons to utilise during your game time and right at the end of the demo we saw a giant bionically augmented gorilla being dropped into the battle, while we saw no action footage of the overgrown chimp, we were re-assured that it would be a susceptible mind slave target in the game.

Ook Oook

Using it's own proprietary game engine, the visuals were very crisp and clean, complementing the futuristic feel of the game admirably. From the transparent holographic like barriers used as cover to the digital effects displayed when going between bodies really adds to the whole theme of how civilisation is really becoming dependant on technology. While I came away feeling dazed and confused, I had a sense that MindJack is one of those sleeper hits when the game is launched so pencil this one into your calendars for October this year.

 

Wedgeh | 6th September, 2010

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