State of Mind – Review
Follow Genre: Action/adventure, indie
Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

State of Mind – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Visually interesting
Bad: Voice acting is all over the place
User Score
7.6
(5 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.6/10 (5 votes cast)

People tend to have quite some criticism about how things are currently evolving, from problems with privacy on various ‘social media’ to religious zealotry, to political corruption. These are just short term however, sometimes developers take a stab at predicting where things are going if A.I. start taking over our lives in a more subtle manner, when things like personal bots are an acceptable feature in everyone’s life. Not everyone is so gung ho about the idea and that’s what State of Mind is all about.

Story

The story of State of Mind is two-part, at one side you’ll see the story of Richard Nolan while on the other side you’ll play as Adam Newman. The game plays out with you living lives of both of them while you try to figure out exactly what is going awry with both your lives and the world around you. State of Mind has this way of immediately making the player feel uneasy with the writing tipping the player off some things aren’t to be taken at face value. The way it’s written sometimes makes you feel like the people you are talking to are all in on a grand scheme and they are just testing you to see how you’d react, playing along just enough for you to keep your guard down, while still keeping control over the situation. If this is intentional, then massive kudos to the writers because it’s very hard to make someone feel that way, but once the game has the player in this headlock there’s little you can do to escape it. Apart from finishing the game, of course.

State of Mind is that grey area where showing meets telling and there’s just enough interaction with the world around you to not make it feel like you are rushed down a corridor of set pieces working down a list until you get to the climax of the game.

Graphics

State of Mind is a very visually interesting game. Deus Ex comes to mind with the whole ‘triangular’ cel-shaded looks. Like Deus Ex it’s a very futuristic game, but where that game was graphically very polished, State of Mind goes for a more polygonated look and it’s more in line with its story where it seems like if struck, the characters would burst into a million pieces, fracturing them into oblivion, shattered like their memories of the events that started up the game.

The movement of the characters is very fluid, which at first is strange because you’d expect something more clunky from what amounts to a large group of triangles walking around but the developers clearly put a lot of work and effort into making the animations as subtle and human as possible.

Sound

What’ll strike you immediately, if you’ve played The Witcher at least, is that the voice of Richard Nolan is extremely familiar. Dough Cockle is behind the helm of that voice, who is also known as Geralt, Butcher of Blaviken, the main protagonist of The Witcher. Which is awesome in and of its own, but also speaks volumes on the breadth of the capability of said voice actor. It’s like he can only voice middle aged grumpy gruff men. Sure if you do one thing well enough it’ll pay the bills. This however gives State of Mind the ‘Misty Effect’ where the player might not be able to sympathise with Richard because he comes across as bitter and smug, much like Geralt. Giving Richard Nolan little if any redeeming qualities.

The other voice acting is a bit all over the place. There are parts where the game really shines, but there are also parts where it falls flat on its face. Early on in the game for example where you receive a phone call from someone who’s obviously freaked out sounds like they are going over a shopping list. On the other side of the spectrum is the interaction between father and son, which is often endearing because it sounds so genuine.

Gameplay

State of Mind is an action/adventure game, although the majority of the game consists of talking and interaction with items and characters. W,A,S,D moves you around, Q is pressed for interacting with items if you are in your inventory. The mouse is used by right mouse button to interact with over world items or scenery while the scroll button is clicked for examinations.

The game is quite linear in that events happen as you are guided through them. There’s little to no deviation or whatever little free roaming elements there are, are more restricted to building the world and developing the characters further. This is both a merit and a demerit. It’s good because it keeps the game flowing and propels the story further at a quicker pace than an open world would, but at the same time it makes it so the game can be over quite quickly. Though amount of hours spent on playing a game from start to finish isn’t always a way of measuring fun. Portal was a very short game yet you can’t mention it to any gamer worth their salt and they’ll have either heard of it or played through it and they’ll know it’s a fun experience. On the other hand: Ride to Hell: Retribution is known to be a stinker of a game for quite a lot more hours. Quality over quantity should be what you’re looking for.

Conclusion

State of Mind is a very interesting game, from the voice acting with its highs and lows and the visual effects. It’s not a triple A game that’s heavily marketed, but if you let it, the game should sneak onto your radar if you are looking for something that’s more story based over actual button mashing action. The intrigue will grab you by the throat immediately and the suspense of what is actually going on will keep you playing until the end. One of those game you should and could take the time to finish in one sitting.

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Rating: 7.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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State of Mind - Review, 7.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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