Fractured Minds (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 05.12.2019

Review for Fractured Minds on PlayStation 4

Anyone who suffers from anxiety knows the effect it has. Fear, depression, and constant thinking become daily occurrences that refuse to let up, holding the sufferer down and back. A barrage of "what if's" constantly plague the victim, inevitably stopping them from doing anything they want, or even need to do. So for Emily Mitchell to not only conceive a game about anxiety, but to bring it to life, is incredibly brave and noble. Let's take a look at the interactive poem that is Fractured Minds.

Fractured Minds does not, thankfully, fit the traditional game mould. For one, it's incredibly short. A well-educated play-through clocked in at six and a half minutes. However, at the modest asking price of a dollar and forty-nine cents, this isn't a huge deal. Secondly, this experience is about being in the world Emily has conceived, and less about doing video game things like fighting or levelling-up.

When it comes to realizing the world, this was done very well. Between the exceptional music, the atmosphere, and the general gameplay flow, everything here works. Sure, there are no high-res textures or sweeping opuses to be found, but for what this is, everything shines. While the art isn't incredibly detailed, it's more than enough to paint you into the world, even if each location is only visited for a short period of time.

Screenshot for Fractured Minds on PlayStation 4

In terms of actually tackling the subject matter, this is brilliant. Between visual cues of failure and tension, the characters rapid breathing, and abrasive text on screen, this title encapsulates anxiety with precision and power. The way the text attacks your failures, and the way an ominous presence ties the levels together, is perfect. Trying to figure out the puzzles, while your character is breathing, is subtly filling every moment with palpable dread. It's genius.

In regards to any complaints, there are only a couple. Puzzles can be a little confusing to follow, particularly in chapters four and six. The puzzles are framed well enough, but it can take a bit of messing around to really grasp where the puzzle is supposed to be taking you. Chapter four is actually a personal favourite in terms of what the level is conveying, so it's by no means a bad level. The puzzles are just a bit too esoteric within the context of the game.

The only other complaint is a bit more frustrating. Every so often (this is especially happened during the first play-through of chapter five), a certain action will be completed and then the character gets stuck. They just stop responding to input and won't move. Now, this is usually remedied by jumping, though once or twice during chapter five it required allowing a fail state to occur to resolve. It wasn't a dead stop, by any means, but it was a noticeable wrinkle that just needs to be ironed out.

Screenshot for Fractured Minds on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Fractured Minds is a beautiful experience, and by no means should any complaints from this end diminish that. While it won't be everyone's kind of game, it is something anyone looking for something a little different should try out. Furthermore, if you suffer from anxiety, or even more important perhaps, know someone who does, this is a gorgeous realization of what it's like to suffer. In short, Emily Mitchell, keep making games, cause if this is any indication of what you can do, the industry definitely needs your voice.

Developer

Emily Mitchell

Publisher

Wired Productions

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 Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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