Review – State of Mind
State of Mind is a narrative driven adventure game set in a futuristic Berlin and a VR world known as City 5. Earth is running low on resources, robots are taking peoples’ jobs and crime is running rampant, so people begin to embrace a virtual world that is perfect in every way.
Waking up after a car crash, you play as Richard Nolan, a journalist who hates the advancements in technology. His memory is fragmented and his wife is missing. On the search for his family, Richard finds himself in the center of a worldwide conspiracy that would change the world forever.
Throughout the roughly 8-10 hour story will be spending most of that time playing as Richard, but the game will let you control a handful of other characters as well. It’s interesting to see someone else’s side to the story from people with different ideals.
The voice cast does their job well, for the most part. Richard can come off as a jerk, often being aggressive to people who are trying to help, but he can also be sympathetic as well. To me, this makes the world much more believable. Nobody is perfect and despite Richard’s attitude to others I still wanted to solve his struggle. The other characters you play as are well acted as well. Some side characters do stumble a bit though.
The soundtrack is pretty good as well. It’s not particularly memorable, but it does its job to enhance the experience suitably.
State of Mind is a story about Trans-humanism and it asks some interesting (albeit not entirely original) questions. Can living in a VR world be considered living? This is one of the central questions and it’s interesting to see the ideals of the characters clash.
Much of the gameplay is walking around and talking to a varied cast of characters while trying to unravel the story. The areas you spend most of the time interacting in are incredibly small but there’s at least a decent amount of variety. You go from the city streets of Berlin to the virtual City 5 to secret underground labs. I wish a few of the areas were just a little bit bigger with more NPCs to talk to.
The puzzles are simple. Often times too simple. Some of them have you linking together different news articles to piece together some evidence. Richard will often remark when you are on the right track, giving away a bit of the solution too quickly. There’s a couple of interesting puzzles such as searching a room to find the right combination of chemicals to knock someone out, but these moments don’t come very often.
State of Mind isn’t the most exciting game to play. In the early stages I was quite bored to be honest. But in the second half it gets much more exciting thanks to the fast moving story. The plot twists are pretty well foreshadowed and hit hard thanks to the nicely done sound design and camera work.
Unfortunately State of Mind feels like it’s been cut short. There were just too many plotlines left open by the end. The multiple endings don’t vary much from one another so there isn’t much reason to jump back in after the credits roll.
Visually, State of Mind is incredibly distinctive with its unique low polygon approach to the character models that works to enhance the experience. The way Berlin and City 5 are presented is excellent. To contrast each other the real world is always presented at night, dark and depressing, while the world of City 5 is brightly lit, presenting the utopia it’s supposed to be.
Performance was pretty good throughout, holding 60fps with no drops. There were however 2 sequences that seemed to run at 30fps for no apparent reasons. They were brief moments but worth mentioning nonetheless.
If you are looking for an interesting new sci-fi story I can fully recommend State of Mind, but if you are looking for something more this might not be for you.
A great distinctive visual style that will make it stand out from the crowd.
The puzzles can often be too easy but exploring the world can be nice.
Great voice acting and a pretty good soundtrack as well.
Whilst the story is engaging, State of Mind can often feel boring.
Final Verdict: 6.5
Reviewed on PC.
State of Mind is available now on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch.
A copy of State of Mind was provided by the publisher.