State of Mind (PlayStation 4) Review

By Michael Keener 23.12.2018

Review for State of Mind on PlayStation 4

There has been a surge of interest by both developers and consumers for video games that take place in futuristic technology-reliant societies. Earlier this year gamers were introduced to the great story telling of Detroit: Become Human, and not too far from now the world will be blessed with the highly anticipated Cyberpunk: 2077. Every day the real world sees unbelievable advances in technologies, so somewhere in the back of everyone's mind the fear of not knowing when it will cross the line and become humanity's downfall is an unsettling thought. State of Mind doesn't take advantage of that in order to deliver any kind of a backstory to the dystopian world that takes place in a 2048 vision of Berlin, Germany, but what it does is thrust the player into the mysterious story via a couple different characters' perspectives.

The game opens up to scenes of the broken societal structures; homeless on the sidewalks and dark alleys, members of the middle class being ordered around by a robotic military, and political protests over the war for resources flooding the streets. It's a world that looks like it should be a million times better than it is due to the technological advances like expeditions and settlements to Mars, completely self-driving cars, holographic phone calls, and robotic butlers or nannies. The problem is that it seems the peak of happiness for most citizens has long passed. The main protagonist of the story, Richard Nolan, who works as a journalist for a company known as The Voice, is arguably the perfect bundle of hatred towards this evolved world. Years of work and poor relationship choices have formed him into a rude and short tempered character, something that is quickly realised by the player as his wife has left with their son, and his mistress is blowing up his cell phone. Richard begins the game having just been in a dramatic car accident that leaves him in dangerous condition. He is rushed to a hospital within an ambulance that is equipped to help doctors isolate his issues. Once stabilised and recovered, the doctors give him a couple of tests that act as a tutorial for the player, and will get him back up and running. It's here where the awkward controls immediately become apparent.

Screenshot for State of Mind on PlayStation 4

This plays as a glorified point-and-click adventure; walking around and interacting with various points of interest will progress the story as well as explore side plots. The reason it is so awkward though is the turn radius for the characters is extremely wide - not wide enough to prevent functionality, but the lack of responsiveness does get annoying quickly. When playing third-person games such as Fortnite and Watchdogs (granted, these have almost nothing in common outside of being third-person) the responsiveness of the characters is expected in order to feel completely immersed. On a positive note the game never requires any skilled gameplay on the player's part outside of cut-scene button sequences, puzzle solving, and menu navigations, so this weird walking and turning doesn't actually interrupt or cause issues.

It would have been nice to receive a more diverse selection of puzzles though, especially for a title heavily focused on storytelling. The main puzzle most will run into involves an almost jigsaw type of matching squares. The character can spin in a complete circle and there will be several separate pieces. While blurry and in motion, the matching pieces must all be selected to complete an environmental scene. This is used to recreate memories. There is a nice change of pace when a drone is used to navigate an area looking for clues, but asides from these small examples there are very few moments of genuine challenge or a call for effort.

Screenshot for State of Mind on PlayStation 4

While the puzzles may lack difficulty, they do serve a purpose. Richard is completely depressed and disconnected as a human being. As mentioned earlier, he has burned his relationship to the ground and runs into troubles with his job. He is on the complete negative side of the spectrum for emotions. As progression occurs it becomes apparent his conscience has been grabbed and transformed into a virtual world where the second main character calls home. The one known as Adam has the same misfortune of being in a dramatic car accident, but his family (who resembles Richard's wife and son perfectly without the negative relationships) is still at home when he returns from the hospital.

Going into more details regarding Adam will be a spoiler for sure, and it's complicated to articulate in writing. The general purpose though is a major Yin and Yang of one character as he works to find answers to a barrage of questionable circumstances. There is a collision between reality and virtually harnessed consciousness that delivers on the science fiction plot that is so sought after. The only downside is that it takes a bit of sitting through bland plot points to get to.

Screenshot for State of Mind on PlayStation 4

State of Mind is a quality title that does not come without a few negative aspects. The dystopian world is beautifully realised, and the European touch of it taking place in Germany and catering the environment accordingly makes it feel immersive as a whole. The graphics are unique and while it may take a moment to adjust to the almost blocky style character designs, they do a great job allowing a sense of realism to take over.

Characters are built long in stature and the robotic beings, which play such a key part of the atmosphere blend into the cast as human-like, with only subtle, yet recognisable flaws; all of which are intentional to show just how interwoven they all are. The story of Richard Nolan was hard to feel invested in due to his obscure standards for loyalty, friendships, acceptance, and basic interaction with others. There's a good science fiction plot to be found, but there are negatives to get past before the story can be realised.

Screenshot for State of Mind on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

State of Mind offers a very good, "hard" sci-fi tale that deals with the theme of futurism, and, most importantly, consciousness. Some flaws do exist, like the many dull plot sections, and
the simplistic, unimpressive puzzle-solving, but, as a whole, this will please most fans of narrative-driven adventure titles.

Developer

Daedalic

Publisher

Daedalic Entertainment

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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