Daedalic Entertainment (studio)
14 August 2018 (released)
16 August 2018
God isn’t the future a bleak place. I mean, no one ever speaks or creates a half decent looking future where nothing is truly bad but things seems okay overall. Nope, we need to have corruption, poverty and now even our memories aren’t safe! Well that’s what State of Mind looks at.
State of Mind is a mind bending mystery that asks some pretty important question. What is the human mind capable of? Can our brains be hardwired for profitable gain and/or punishment? All of these questions and more are asked within what is meant to be an engaging plot while being presented with very pleasing aesthetics.
So to break it down, State of Mind centres on two very different men who have something in common. Both Richard Nolan and Adam Newman share some similarities as they’re both loving fathers who are involved in a freak accident, which soon turns their worlds upset down. Within the first few hours there are quite a few subplots and themes already being executed, including a spell of amnesia, the questionable use of technology and of course the impact of traumatic events within an unstable environment.
There are some interesting ideas taking place with Richard facing horrid family troubles while trying to recover fragments of his memory. While Adam who lives in pure bliss with his wife and son seems to be the one person who could help Richard recover his memory. The big dynamic to State of Mind’s story is the father/son relationship and how fragile it can be.
I won’t go further into detail but the heart of the story and the most captivating aspect is a mystery involving not only Richard’s memory loss but his missing wife and Son. Soon enough our fathers communicate and throughout the narrative there’s some good dynamics and twists which occur, without feeling too hammy or forced.
I will admit that the voice acting really did put me off at some stages and the slow pacing during key moments can easily kill the flow. What is clear problem is the lack of impact from conversation choices and I can see many gamers comparing this to a much grander experience, such as Detroit: Become Human. The interactions, conversations and exploration are limited, with only a handful of actions making a slight dent into the story.
Puzzles are another feature in terms of gameplay but often enough these are overly simple and lack any real engagement. There’s no sense of pressure or stress to make them feel vital, nor are they wholesome in lateral substance. They’re just there to break up the walking, talking and even more walking.
But a major highlight for State of Mind is its captivating visuals. The low rendered polygon look actually is quite beautiful and rather refreshing from all the pixel art and high quality, photo-realistic games I’ve seen recently. Even on low settings this is a truly wonderful looking game and I could just observe it for long periods of time, just marvelling at the beauty.
State of Mind is an interesting game that’s a perfect fit for any fans of compelling sci-fi driven narratives. Visually it’s a striking game that oozes atmosphere and charm but lacks depth in its gameplay, focusing more on linearity and naff voice acting. While there are multiple endings to unlock, it’s tough to replay this while knowing what you do, differing from each play-though feels as though it’s having no effect. This is a decent title to check out for your story fix.
++ Compelling mystery
++ Beautiful art style
- Lack any meaningful gameplay
- Choices lack any depth
A Steam copy of State of Mind was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review