|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Dev: Feelplus Inc.|
|Pub: Square Enix|
|Release: January 18th, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
The one facet that you would hope to be redeeming, the mind hacking, is yet another huge disappointment. You can take control of enemy targets so long as they are only injured and not killed, and are in close enough range. It can be a decent tactic when fighting a large group of enemies, and particularly useful for flanking, but has a big drawback when changing characters. When you switch roles, you become a disembodied entity known as a Wanderer. During this phase you can either float around to your next mind hacking target or simply do a quick jump from one to the next with a button press.
However, the controls in this instance become slow and awkward during the heat of battle, ruining the fluidity of the game even more. You can easily lose track of your position due to the overhead camera angle before a hack, and the AI flaws don't make things any easier. Trying to pin down a constantly moving target just makes the whole thing even more awkward. Not to mention that both main characters go into the default AI control and can die at the drop of a hat. Also, much like the inventory resetting mentioned earlier, the same goes for any successfully hacked AI. They simply die once the battle is over, or go back to a cowering fetal position if it was a civilian. So, any hope for building a small squad is all but crushed.
The multiplayer component is a bit strange, and can be even more frustrating than playing alone. There is no local co-op, which should have been an obvious choice, but there is online co-op and competitive multiplayer for up to six players. The entirety of multiplayer exists within the campaign, playing as either a companion or enemy to the host. You begin the session as a Wanderer and need to mind hack into a target in order to participate. There is almost no difference between multiplayer and the campaign in terms of gameplay, but for those who are joining a host's session it can get repetitive and slow-paced when all you do is hack in and out of bodies. It gets even more tiresome once the game resets (yet again) your character after a fight, leaving you as a floating Wanderer to travel ahead to the next section.
There are so many things wrong with this game, it's almost hard to keep track. The poorly executed gameplay, the outdated graphics, the lifeless voice acting, the endless loading screens and broken pacing, the sad excuse for a leveling system that's too bad to even detail; it reads like a laundry list on how to make a bad game. Almost like it was a tutorial. Mindjack is the epitome of the idiom "Looks good on paper." and it will never be anything more.
CCC Freelance Writer