I am here to jack your mind. Now before you say "jack what?" I am talking about MindJack, a game published by Square Enix and developed by Feel Plus. I was super hyped about this game when it was announced for, what I thought at the time, was an innovative idea. At any time, I can leave my body and jack someones feeble mind and use them to do my dirty work? Can I just hand you my $60 now? Now that I have finally got my grubby little hands on MindJack, I am quite saddened by what came of this at the time innovating idea. Wondering how this "Mind Jacking" got its start is hardly told to the player at all. In fact, the story is so non existent that I had no idea just what the main characters Jim and Rebecca are running from and why.
Well not totally true. At the beginning of the game, Jim is told by the voice in his clunky bluetooth device attached to his ear that he needs to follow a subject and observe. After observing for about 2 minutes, Jim sees the subject, Rebecca, talking to a man in the corner. As the voice in his ear told Jim to not make contact until he finds out what is going on and who the man was, he walks up to the man and snaps his neck! What the hell? After that, Jim and Rebecca start running. MindJack gives you no sense of the plot as well as why we should care about Jim and Rebecca.
Ok so the story is crap but what about the sweet sweet jacking you get to do? Well...that was also a let down. When enemies are brought down by what seems WAY too many bullets, you have a window of time to mind control the downed enemies to make them your allies. Once this is done, you will see a blue aura around them to differentiate them from the rest. There is a limit on how many things you can mind control at one time.
Yes I said things since you can also do this to machines. I still can't decide if this mechanic in the MindJack actually benefits the player in any way. Most of the time the things you control die so fast that it seems like a waste of time to try and control them in the first place. The "Mind Jacking" aspect of the game comes into play two different ways. The way that I always used was when I was knocked down to zero health. When you are brought down to no health, you get ejected from your body and float like an apparition in first person view as the action continues on. In this state, you can jack the mind of anyone you have control of, innocent bystanders, machines or even your partner.
I found the way you control moving around in this state clunky and disorienting. You can use the right and left bumpers to instantly cycle through the available bodies whose mind's you can jack although not knowing exactly where that particular person or machine is in relation to the battle going on makes it hard to choose just which mind to jack. No one wants to jump back into battle only to be cut down 2 seconds later due to poor location.
The biggest thing that irked me was the way MindJack handled your inventory. Every time you started a new section of the game, it would reset your loadout. What was the point of stockpiling grenades and ammo if you are going to just take it away from me? Another thing that was poorly implemented was the perks and rules that you acquire when leveling up. It took me until I was about 3 hours into the game to figure out that I had to back out to the main menu to equip the perks as well as set rules for the game. The perks are your standard fare of boosts such as accuracy, health, damage, etc. The rules change the way the game is played. From how easy the enemy A.I. is to other things that affect other players jumping in your game.
Yep, this game has multiplayer but not in the way most shooters have them. MindJack gives you the option to either host a game and have people randomly jump into your playthrough or you can join a game already in progress. You do have the option to turn off people jumping in your game, which is mostly recommended. Having to do a section of the game over 5 times in a row because of 3 people jumping into your game and dominating you is frustrating to say the least.
Although I am all for new and innovating ideas for games, sometimes you just have to say no. The overall story and mechanics of MindJack should have been given to a developer that could actually pull this off. Not saying Feel Plus is a bad developer, it's just that they couldn't completely make what they envisioned on paper to be an awesome idea. Unless you want to grief other players actually trying to beat the game, go and jack another game worth your time.