ADD Gamers – Game Review
By: Luke Harris
Game: Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conpsiracy
Wanna get Psi-cho?
Letter Grade: B+
+ MIND BULLETS!
+ Great graphics and lighting.
+ Satisfyingly violent.
+ Wreak HAVOK.
+ Psi-powers rule!
+ Hard for all the right reasons
+ Even Training mode is hours of fun.
+/- Insanely hard boss fights.
- Make the damn sequel!
- Enemy spawning?
- Needs more enemy variety.
- Incoherent plot.
Midway has always been a master of arcade games. From Smash T.V. to Mortal Kombat, these guys know how to make games, and make them fun. Psi-Ops is the very overlooked 3rd person action game that takes its action to the max. With more psychic abilities than and ways to kill people than ever before, Midway shows it’s true colors. And I like what I see.
You play as Nick Scryer, an operative with psychic abilities. You lose your memory early in the game, and through the course of the story, you slowly regain it back. With the “help” of a non-psychic operative name Sara, yes, a girl, you progress through the game by sneaking, shooting, solving puzzles, or killing everything in your sight. The story is paper thin, but that paper is wadded up into a ball ten feet thick, so it’s kind of hard to explain. But it’s there, and it’ll unfold in time.
The game itself is played through the third person. You can always see Nick and around him. You use the sticks to move and change the camera angle, typical. You have your weak little pistol at all times, and can switch through one large gun whenever you find one you like. I personally like the assault rifle. You can perform melee attacks, but only while standing still, and they look very goofy. But of course, this isn’t about shooting or punching. It’s all about the psychic powers.
These are included but not limited to: Astral Projection, creating fire, possession, and many others. These will be used not just to kill your enemies in brutal and sometime funny manners, but to solve puzzles and get to your destination alive. And these are all carried out very nicely through Havoc, the ingenious physics system. Everything reacts to amazing hit detection. Things have their own weight and mass, and do different things to enemies if you pick them up and throw them. You can also pick most enemies up and throw the enemies at objects. Whichever tickles your fantasy. You can stand on an object, levitate it, and fly across the room. You could also hold a guy up in the air, shoot him with your gun, then throw him into an explosive barrel, causing an enemy to get a face full of flaming debris. Did I mention this game was violent?
Speaking of enemies, they’re not all that interesting. There’s about 4 different kinds of guards, all armed differently. Some scientists that can punch you if they aren’t running away. Some super soldiers that are immune to most of your Psi-powers. And some really annoying spider…crab…squid…ghost…things. That’s about it. They all look the same, and worse yet, they respawn. Not as in they come back after death if you leave the room. I mean, you kill all the enemies in the room, rotate the camera, and an enemy will appear behind you about fifty feet back. Where there were no windows or doors, and no way they could have been there before. I thought enemy spawning was so 1996… The A.I. isn’t too bad, but it’s no Metal Gear Solid. They’ll press an alarm, but they will never stop coming until you manually turn it off. Gets annoying when enemies three rooms down telepathically know where you are, simply because another enemy saw you.
The game inevitably ends with a cliffhanger, and here we are, 3 years later, with no sequel. Not even talk or rumor about a next-gen cousin. Come on…I want more…!
All in all, this was a very fun game. It had a couple of frustrating moments and puzzles. Not to mention the incredibly hard bosses. But it was quite a rush, and it’s good to know that Havok is still wreaking itself to this day.