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I love questioning reality, actual freedom, living in simulation, human mind and so on. State of Mind is my game definitely as it has all the elements, but does it question these topics deeply enough to satisfy ultimate needs curiosity? What is the message of it and does it deliver? Does the gameplay flow and storytelling compel?
After all these months I finally bought myself State of Mind which trailer caught my interest long ago. I knew of this game long time now, but being honest I didn’t want to pay full price of fourty bucks, as I thought it would be very short indie game. That kind of impression it had on me. So, is this game worth of full price or should you grab it on sale?
State of Mind doesn’t tell the story very well in the beginning, the story is coming alive as you play. Even the simplest things might be behind curtains, or left for player’s perception.
The game start off with a man, Richard Nolan, who is woken up in a hospital, in Berlin, after having a car accident. It’s year 2048 and all the cars are autonomous and they’re should be flawless, so this car crash is a huge deal. He finds out his wife and son are gone from home and you need to find out where they are. You’re famous columnist in the news agency and people often recognizes you and they’ve opinions about you and your writings. The whole world’s biggest cities are bombed by terrorists who try to stop overprotective goverment and robots they’re put out to work, and therefore leaving many people out of job. There is also a big company that scans people’s minds to be uploaded to a utopia and therefore live forever in perfect world with perfect lifes, and back to “empty bodies” to live in our reality, too.
Then you play with other character, Adam, who have similarities to Richard, but his life seem to be little bit more in tracks. These two are the main characters that are played with, but there are six different characters to be played with, what I personally think is too many and that’s why the plot might be difficult to follow. Soon it becomes to known that the whole life around Adam aren’t real, or it’s real, but only to them. Player needs to discover what is going on, who is behind this, what is the truth, what’s real and what’s not — what is the reality?
Gameplay & Controls
State of Mind is very simplistic with the gameplay and controls. Mostly it was running from place to place and talking with people and making choices what to answer or how to act with others. Then comes all the futuristic technology player can use such as hologram phone, computers, solving puzzles (that were easy), collect things or interact with environment. Controls, though, were kinda clunky when moving around.
What player needs to do is to collect fragments of memory from Adam’s reality to Richard’s to help him get his life together. Getting those fragments are not that easy to obtain, player needs to do many things to get them. Talking and to people, making choices, interacting with the environment, hack to different systems or do puzzles. The choices are very limited and mostly positive and negative reaction can be chosen, which makes this kinda bland as I would’ve liked more diverse choices.
Technically State of Mind is flawless, only notable thing is the loading screens that pops up little too often and therefore breaking the flow and excitement of the gameplay when something intriguing happened. What I must say about the gameplay that it’s kinda slow. Everything happens and unfolds little by little and you can’t be hurry when playing this.
I loved and hated at the same time how State of Mind looked like graphically. Everything was made of huge polygons or triangural shapes. Everything was clean, straight, polished and simple. There was barely any round shapes. I liked many things of the environment and art it includes. But, everything being big and bold the small things get lost and one was the faces of the characters. Their emotions was impossible to see as their faces was made of huge blocks. Still, I must give my points to the art director of this game for going such a unique way.
State of Mind have the most satisfying background music what I know, because some of the places where player are, the music can be chosen. I mostly chose some easy going piano because it just soothes my mind and soul… and make me more focus on the story and all the happenings. Player can also play futuristic piano that actually plays very well and sounds good.
What comes to voice acting, its OK. What I loved about was the main character’s actor who seem to be Geralt from Witcher – series. He has very lovely voice I have to admit, but his voice might sound very monotonic when listen him for hours.
I don’t know why they made the famous inventor look like Steve Jobs?
I don’t know what to call games that don’t offer any difficulty levels. Is there even word for it? Well, State of Mind doesn’t have any options for that and I don’t think it even needs any. The puzzles are relevantly easy and I don’t think player get’s lost in the game either as the areas are very precise where player can go. Maybe the hardest thing is to understand the plot and all the concpiracy and conception of realit(ies)y.
The minuses are the loading screen that came on the screen all the time, the clunky controls, absence of diverse choices, at times bad storytelling which might lead to plotholes. Also, the story and how it tells two persons apart and their realities might confuse players and everything that happens might not go inside everyone’s conception. State of Mind isn’t for dummies at all, as the story is little bit complicated and questions matters that aren’t even in our proven facts, but more of hypothetical, but the same time it’s easy to explain to someone with few sentences what the whole plot was.
I like this game, but still the re-playability value is low as many don’t want to listen same long things all over again just to see a little different scene what happens if they choose other option. This futuristic–reality bending–dystopia–with highly sophisticated AI–and android robots is highly used idea lately (e.g. Detroit: Become Human) and mostly they don’t add anything new to the idea, and I hope these kind of games don’t come out too often.
Being 39,95€ on PS Store is lot of money and that’s why I didn’t buy it on launch and I waited the price to drop in half until I bought physical copy online. It was good decision, since I wouldn’t pay full price of this. It’s not that short game as I thought, this was about 10–hour journey instead of couple hours as I originally thought. It’s more of the re-playability that kills this (kind of) game and the complex storytelling that makes it only more so.
There all I have to say about this and I can recommend it at least once to play. It’s not the most detailed top notch graphics or awesome gameplay, but the story and the message of it that many should hear, because in our reality, all of it might happen in the future.