Review: Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy

October 15, 2006

Blow your mind
Midway/ Playstation 2, Xbox / Mature

Psi Ops is one of those great game concepts attached to a finished product that isn’t quite what it could be. The sheer joy of using powerful mental abilities may be enough for some fun but the rest of the game goes a bit sour as the story proceeds.

The game starts with a disturbing cinematic that shows our hero, Nick Scryer, having his mind erased. It then progresses to an attack on a government base in which Scryer is captured by the mysterious, Movement.

The game starts typically with a tutorial on basic control. Nick then starts to regain his mental powers slowly while learning to use them in flashbacks to his days training with Mindgate, the army’s Mental division. These mind power tutorials are generally fun but they are so spread out in the game as to frustrate gamers who have played five hours and still don’t possess all the cool mental abilities.

Nick’s powers include telekinesis, picking up things (and people) with his mind. Mind drain, draining psychic power from a victim until their head pops. Mind control, which is self-explanatory. Pyrokinesis, throwing fire at enemies. Remote viewing, leaving Nick’s body to see ahead to the next room, and finally aura view, the ability to see things not of this world which is the most useless of them all.

Gameplay consists of using these powers and a machine gun to mow down an endless wave of nondescript guards. Scattered between this is the occasional boss level which is generally a game of run around and don’t get hit.

All this killing would be boring without the superb rag doll physics. Throwing an enemy at the wall would not be fun if he didn’t crumble realistically. While it is fun at first to combine these powers into a wacky hodgepodge of death, the action stales after several hours, leaving the gamer board and wanting with no reason to finish the game. Most gamers would prefer to find a good playground area to play occasionally after a bad day.

The environments don’t help this stale feeling either, consisting of dank corridors and missile silos that all just look the some. The graphics are only par and the camera can be uncooperative. Ultimately this is a terrific rental game offering 2-3 hours of pure fun, or more if you enjoy playing one area over and over again. As a game to buy wait until it comes down in price.

8/10
By Zack Rovinsky

Psi Ops

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