It’s a shame that Mindjack didn’t become a better game. We of course suspected as much already, as a Square Enix game that falls in your mailbox before there’s been much written about it is never a good sign.
The concept seems more than interesting though, and reminds a bit to the decent PC game Messiah that was released about ten years ago. You can “take over” enemies and colleagues by performing a “mindjack” and next to this feature you get all the standard stuff that’s present in most third person shooters these days like a cover mechanism, melee attacks, and so on. However, we also get a simple story that has the ambition to be more, but gets completely shattered by the awful voice acting and the typical “unexpected” plot twists.
Although there seem to be elements present to make this game one to check out, it isn’t. Only those with a ton of patience who tend to give a game a chance until the very last minute will see that it does get better after some time. And that’s mostly due to the fact that after a while you start getting bothered less and less with the flawed animations, stupid AI and many mistakes like bullets that stick where they shouldn’t stick. One of the most important shortcomings is with the controls which are clumsy and slow, something that doesn’t get helped by the shake and stiff graphics. Cursing guaranteed and only you getting used to it will help.
The reason to give this game a chance lays in the previously mentioned possibility to approach friends, foes and even innocent bystanders, get in their brain and then take them over like puppets. You can even choose to brainwash them and let them go off on their own. Only too bad that there’s little more you can do with that feature. Often your friends are stupid, out of ammo or die quickly. The result is that you’ll start using this feature only very late in the game as only then you really need it as you can use them as cannon fodder and a distraction. Also beware when you head off with your brainwaves as even if you’re kicking ass 25 meters away, it’s still game over if the two protagonists die.
An equally fascinating feature could have been that you’re able to slip into the skin of another player during the singleplayer campaign. It’s possible that suddenly one of your boring standard opponents gets taken over by a real human which completely turns the situation around. Usually making things more difficult. A good thing in theory but there aren’t so many people online and those that are only have one thing in mind: make your life miserable or act as a clown. Luckily you can turn off this option, or decide to do the same with other people. Which I do have to admit is kinda fun!
If the mindjacking itself would have been worked out a bit tighter and more varied this shooter could have been a lot better. Now it stays with a half-ass worked out idea and even then we’re being mild. Mindjack never becomes more than an average action spectacle for those that game really a lot of just want to have every third person action title in their collection. If you find it in the bargain bin you may have fun with it for a couple of hours, but otherwise there’s plenty of better options available in stores.