Mindjack Updated Hands-On
We hack into the mind of a robotic gorilla and attempt to pound our way through a mall.
With the release of Mindjack right around the corner, Square Enix stopped by to give us one final look at the game. One of the biggest concerns during this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo demo was that the extra sticky cover mechanic and controls made it tough to maneuver and shoot. It's good to know that the game feels quite different and much better from when we last tried it. It's smoother, but because we were limited to a demo, we still had to spend some time getting used to the controls while avoiding other online players.
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This single/multiplayer hybrid that we previewed a while back follows a federal agent who has been assigned to protect a woman named Rebecca. It's roughly 30 years into the future, where the technology involving a headset enables the military to hack into the minds of civilians or anyone wearing a headset. We're not really quite sure how this affects the current state of things because we haven't experienced much of the story, but we do know that it allows us to jump into multiple hosts--human or machine.
Mindjack is a third-person shooter with a cover mechanic and the ability to charge toward your next safe spot; it's similar to what you'd find in Gears of War. Instead of curb stomping your opponents when they're down, you can hack into their minds and bring them on your team. By pushing down on both analog sticks at any time, you can leave your body and float around to find and latch onto another host. Your body is then taken over by the AI and generally kept safe until you decide to return.
While you can play the game offline and go through the campaign completely on your own, the draw of the game is that you can have other people in your game--playing with or against you. Players can choose to play through their own campaign and move the story forward or jump into a multiplayer session where they enter another player's campaign to help or just grief that player.
There's no limit as to what you can hack into, as long as it's another human or robot creature that moves. We were able to jump into a mechanical gorilla and use its giant forearms to pound the ground or punch. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the fact that it was a burly, unwieldy creature and we were in the confines of a mall made it much more effective to jump into another person's body and use his or her gun. The premise of Mindjack is certainly interesting--like Geist on the GameCube--and the online integration reminds us of Demon's Souls, which was a creative way of incorporating multiplayer.
For a quick demo of the game, watch our latest demo on Today on the Spot. We'll be able to provide more details on the game once we review Mindjack when it comes out on January 18.
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