State of Mind

 

 

Genre:    Adventure 

Developer:   Daedalic Entertainment

Publisher:   Daedalic Entertainment  

Released:   August 15, 2018              

Requirements (minimum):

  • OS: Vista and later, 32- or 64-bit 
  • Processor: 2.8 GHz dual core or higher
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Geforce 560 or AMD Radeon HD 7770 with 2 GB VRAM
  • Storage: 23 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • DirectX: Version 11

 

 

By flotsam

 

State of Mind

Daedalic Entertainment

While there are probably a few too many threads sewn into its dystopian/utopian cyber-punk tapestry, there is an awful lot to like about the final result.

Richard Nolan is a journalist in 2048 Berlin, a city which despite its obvious technological advancements is teetering on the brink. Outspoken and opinionated professionally, he finds himself on the edge of a personal precipice; there was an accident he can't really remember, and his wife and son have disappeared. Finding out what has happened to them is the catalyst for what follows.

Suffice to say, things aren't as they seem. Reality in particular.

While the plot gets a little overburdened by those threads mentioned previously, it raises a range of futuristic themes as well as some distinctly human ones. Transhumanism and fidelity for example. Ethical considerations come up as well. I thought the fact that it didn't ultimately hang together coherently was secondary to its telling, and the way I responded to, or was provoked to think about, the issues it raised.

Daedalic does like to tell a story, and here the telling is paramount. There are things to do in the game, but they won't tend to hold you up for very long. Only a few could be called puzzles, and those aren't hard. They were enjoyable though, the train and the environmental manipulation at the end in particular. The (not infrequent) mild mini-games feel more like giving you something to do, and finding items or interacting with the environment is telegraphed by the little green triangle hovering over the objective. You don't choose to use inventory items, rather having the necessary item will generate the capacity to use it. True, there are red herrings, and at times you need to have examined something (in your inventory or elsewhere) in order to trigger the way forward, but overall the trail of breadcrumbs is there to be followed.

You may not warm to the polygonal characters, but I thought they fitted (and reflected) the world rather well. I doubt though that you won't admire the cinematic look, sound and feel of the whole thing.

The characterisation is excellent. Richard is a flawed creature, and you may not like him. You may in fact not like many of the characters. But you may also decide it's the dislikable blemishes that make them real. All are very well voiced, with the gruffness of Richard probably being the comparative low.

Throughout the game you get to play characters other than Richard. There are times when you can switch between them just cos, and others where you need to switch, and then work together co-operatively to move forward. It added depth rather than just variety. You also get to do other stuff, including controlling drones, hacking cameras and driving trains.

You make some pretty big plot choices at the end. The ones I made didn't surprise me, but the nature of one of the choices did.

Throughout, it will remind you of a lot of other things, generally in a good way. There is nothing really new, but I didn't think that was a negative. Plus there are ducts. What good sci-fi outing doesn't involve ducts.

State of Mind plays in the third person, the camera over the shoulder of the character you are playing. You move the character around with the W A S D keys, steering with the mouse (so A, S and D are in fact redundant). Point and click to explore the world. It saves automatically, indicated by a white triangle, and as far as I recall was always in conjunction with a load screen. These are fairly regular and short. My playtime clocked in at just on 12 hours, and I enjoyed every one of them.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz

RAM: 32GB GDDR5

Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB

 

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December 2018

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