The announcement of State of Mind has created quite a stir in the ranks of fans of Daedalic. The guys of Hamburg they are famous for being among those who best embodied the style of the old point and click within a market that no longer looks favorably on this kind of experience. After the huge success of the series Deponia (with a last chapter actually quite tired), a couple of years ago they managed to surprise everyone again with the splendid Silence, spiritual sequel of A Whispered World, which will turn ten in 2019. After the parenthesis dedicated to the license of Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, the German team has decided to embark body and soul on a profoundly different adventure that, in some way, wants to wring the eye to more noble titles, such as those of Quantic Dream. You then switch to the view in third person and to a completely three-dimensional world, as well as fully voiced. The biggest mistake that could be made in approaching State of Mind, is precisely that of combining it with productions with a substantially higher budget. For this reason, analyzing Daedalic's latest effort is a thorny task. We will try to be as impartial as possible, focusing on some critical issues that, net of the awareness of the productive dimension, fail to raise the title to a great exponent of an extremely appreciated genre and which has replaced precisely what made the Teutonic house famous.
La State of Mind storyline starts from an incredibly current and abused assumption during this year, especially as regards the television sector. What would happen if, out of the blue, you wanted to transport all the collective consciousness of the people, within a single and enormous virtual world. Goodbye to disease, no more problems, easy erasing of negative memories and virtualization of the body you have always wanted. Although at first glance it may seem idyllic, there is always a price to pay and the need to submit to a system that, like it or not, always has bosses and managers who want to enrich themselves with their technological prodigy. Already in this way we have told you perhaps more than we should, but in the course of ten hours necessary to conclude the title, there will be a way to be surprised on more than one occasion, thanks to a rich and never banal script. The protagonist, Richard Nolan, will be joined by a series of other characters, some more successful than others, but all worthy of being told in a large picture that sees the fate of humanity at stake (and we are talking about the very essence of the term). The campaign is managed through a series of scenes, interspersed with (sometimes too long) uploads, and set in a good amount of different scenarios. Throughout the story we will also have the opportunity to impersonate four other individuals, who will always be useful to deepen and carry on Richard's stories. If you are a lover of the genre cyberpunk e dystopoeia, State of Mind could easily turn out to be one of the best narrative experiences of the genre within the gaming world. Too bad the problems all come together when it comes to the gameplay naked and raw.
Let's be clear: State of Mind is not a disaster. On the contrary, it is a title that flows quite smoothly and that will almost never become frustrating. Unfortunately this is not attributable solely and exclusively to a great design, which should somehow make up for the limited budget. The biggest problem in the game lies in his own static. We are now used to titles of this kind that put us in front of a myriad of interactions and possible crossroads. State of Mind on the contrary is the modern reinterpretation of a graphic adventure, in all respects. Forget large areas to explore to find particular interactions; long multiple choice dialogues with which to direct the discussion in one direction or another. Certainly there are choices that will have important repercussions on the plot (basically a couple during the second half of the campaign) and that will lead to seeing one of the three different endings available. These choices, however, come as a result of an incredibly long series of short in-depth scenes (some even rather superfluous) that will require you to interact with what will be marked on the screen even tens of meters away, through enormous narratively justified triangles. from augmented reality grafts that all citizens possess. There Berlin of 2048 of State of Mind is alive and also well characterized but will never really manage to enter your heart, due to a too driven gameplay and that when you let it go to drift "action", pays the duty of a production not worthy of the great titles of recent years. One cannot but praise the German team's willingness to try to make a leap in quality, but at the same time it cannot be denied that the company has succeeded. in the middle, often leaving a bad taste in the mouth. The adventure resumes during a second part certainly more varied in situations and settings, trying to include some small puzzle and search for material, but all elements so bland as to leave indifferent and never fully satisfied, at the service of a narrative that advances with ever greater speed and ends when perhaps the title really began to pull out its claws from the point of view of game design. There remains the awareness, on the part of Daedalic, of being on the right path to have its say even in the genre of adventures in the third person, hoping that someone will notice the talent and decide to invest a few million more in the team.
The State of Mind trophies do not differ too much from the stylistic features of the genre. Basically everyone, whether it is the ten of bronze, the twenty-two of silver or the two of gold (there is also the coveted platinum, do not worry), are collected after completing a task of history. Leaving aside those inevitable and related to progression, all the others will be the opposite of each other, during those short and forgettable phases in which to choose whether or not to feed your child, or if you have managed to make him fall asleep. Nothing too difficult, just repeat the operations necessary to collect all the collectible.
What Daedalic has managed to find the right compromise between ambitions and possibilities, is the appearance technical e stylistic. Forget the models and facial animations of Detroit Forget also about the incredible performance capture of the Quantic Dream title and try to immerse yourself in a dystopian world that focuses on style low-poly all his innate inspiration. The world represented in State of Mind is unlikely and damn far from photorealism, but the choice to represent everything through models made with this technique also allows it to surprise and not disfigure. The texture they do not make a miracle cry and the animations are the most basic you can find on the market today, but the design of the world and its reinterpretation of a very close Berlin, allow the player to enjoy the right identification. The dubbing then it ranges from excellent to good and the ability to play the title fully subtitled in Spanish will make any of you who still don't chew English happy. The soundtrack is discreet, which never leaves you stunned, but is able to give you some good glimpses, especially during the excited final stages.
State of Mind is a half-won bet. We are happy that Daedalic has decided to accept the gauntlet of modern adventures, but we cannot say that all the choices dedicated to not disfiguring in front of the giants of the genre, have benefited the title. If the narrative side remains as always well-kept and inspired, the same cannot be said for a game design that fails to stand out in any of its characteristics and that condemns State of Mind to that limbo of missed opportunities. If you are a fan of the German team and the genre, the advice is to recover it, perhaps at a slightly discounted price, so as to say that you have also been part of this umpteenth race.
- Style is undeniable
- Longevity is higher than we would have expected
- Dubbing is great
- The narrative flows quickly and at the right pace ...
- ... apart from some broth heated in the middle
- The gameplay is so basic that it often leaves a bad taste in the mouth