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Hands-on: MindJack


The world of MindJack is an interesting one. It's the year 2031, and people have the technology, through the power of special cybernetic devices, to control daily objects with just a thought. However, it's not so simple as that, as these devices also enable players to shift between the minds of other AI controlled players. When a dastardly power hungry military organization tries to take over, what are the good agents of the world to do? Wildly jump between the minds of nearby NPC and use them to lay waste to the oncoming agents and genetically mutated gorillas.

Clearly something interesting is going on with this one. Certainly helps that Square Enix is publishing MindJack, and that this is the first major development project for Japanese development house Feelplus. They are entering a special market, the distinctly western third person shooter, and it's going to take a lot to make an impression, especially over here. However, with a gimmick that runs all the way through the game, there is certainly something to pay attention to.

MindJack (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
Developer: Feelplus
Publisher: Square Enix
To be released: October, 2010

As players enter the world of MindJack, they fill the shoes of Jim, an FIA agent who is on the hunt for the missing Rebecca. That's not the hard part. The hard part is dealing with the non-government organization, NERKAS, a bad military group doing all that they can to rule over the people. This is bad news bears, but thankfully for Jim and Rebecca, they have the power of hacking on their side. By weakening enemy soldiers, vehicles, or drones, they can “slave hack” these units to get them on their side. Even passing NPCs (thoughtfully holding a weapon, it seems) can be slaved hacked. With up to 3 “slaves” under your control, it's pretty easy to gain a small flank of soldiers on your side.

Much more interesting is how you can actually hack into separate units. Weaken an enemy soldier enough, and they will be susceptible to a hacking, whereupon you can leave Jim or Rebecca's body and take over. This is probably the best way to take control some of the better and more powerful weapons, and you'll gain control of some weird (and distinctly Japanese) characters. I don't remember the last I was running around as a mohawked muscleman with a rocket launcher and short shorts, but I did in MindJack. Thoughtful players will gain EX for spectacular kills, which can be applied to the “arts”, which is basically a tech tree to unlock new abilities.

What is the most exciting element of the game is that it is a perpetual multiplayer game. Almost taking a direction from Left 4 Dead, MindJack's 15 single player levels are also the multiplayer levels. The person who hosts the single player campaign will be playing through the game like normal. However, and I believe this can be turned off, up to five randoms or friends can join you in the game split across two teams. Blue team is the single player team, and they get to choose the stage, as well as all their hacking and slave abilities. Red team plays the opposing force, and they can hack jump into any of their troops at any time, without having to worry about weakening them. They also have access to the boss characters, which are...cybernetically enhanced apes and monkeys. Honestly pretty awesome, the cyber-silverback looked like a badass boss to take down.

Coming from MindJack, there's some really cool new ideas at play. The multiplayer/singleplayer crossover is all sorts of fun, and the whole hacking subsystem is chaotic and fun, on top of all the gun play. Feelplus really has a challenge in converting already established Western gamers. However, they have a special and unique game on hand, and if they follow through with all of their promises, this could be a great multiplayer game.

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Ben Perlee
Ben Perlee   gamer profile

So, yeah. Sup. How you be? I be good. I like the videogames. They are pretty cool. You played the Rock Band? I like the Rock Band. I sing "Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis on expert. It's prett... more + disclosures



Filed under... #japan #Previews #PS3 #Shooters #Square Enix #Xbox 360



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