Video Game Review

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Platform: Xbox, PS2
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Players: 1
  • Genre: Action
  • Publisher: Midway
  • Developer: Midway
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: A
  • Sound: B-
  • Gameplay: A-
  • Replay: B+
  • Fun Factor: A
  • Reviewer’s Wild Card: A


What's in your mind?

By James Stevenson     July 20, 2004

© Midway

Midway has really been coming into its own over the past few releases with killer games like NBA BALLERS, THE SUFFERING, and now PSI-OPS: THE MINDGATE CONSPIRACY. In each case, the game could've turned out to be run of the mill at best, but innovation and excellent execution have made the titles killer, and PSI-OPS is no exception.

Imagine if Al-Qaeda members had psychic powers. Yeah, that'd suck. Essentially, that's the basis of THE MINDGATE CONSPIRACY. A terrorist organization called "The Movement" (creative eh? The great minds of a terrorist organization) has been using psychic powers and it's up to you to stop them.

The gameplay itself seems very typical at the beginning of the game as you use stealth along with guns and melee attacks. From this portion of the game, it seems like there isn't too much to the game. Once you start learning to use your psychic attacks again, the fun picks up.

The environments are filled with lots of objects to use against enemies. These include boxes, debris, and other enemy bodies. Using telekinesis allows you to throw objects, or even pick up enemies and shoot them, pick up a box you're standing on to float across a gap, and many other uses. That telekinesis is only one of many powers in the game adds to the selling points.

Some of


the other powers include the ever popular pyrokinesis that allows you to send a blast of fire out at enemies. This is by far one of my favorite powers to use in the game. Another goodie is mind control, which does what it says, allow you to control enemies. This is great for that French bastard at the top of the castle who won't open the gate to let you see the grail. Of course, that situation is never in the game (Monty Python folks), but sometimes the enemy behind the door is the only guy who can open it.

There is also the ability to jump out of your body and explore areas up ahead, drain the psychic energy from bad guys (important as using your power drains yours). The ability of choice is prevalent in the game as you can choose which powers to use and when. This is what makes the game a lot of fun as different people will play in very different ways and it makes the levels worth playing again, if only to try a new strategy.

The game looks great and outshines many of the PlayStation 2 games on the market. The character models look good and the levels are all well-designed. The fire effects in the game are also nice, and considering how much I like pyrokinesis, I saw them a lot. The physics engine makes everything look better as it is very lifelike.

There is nothing too notable about the music, sound effects, or voice work. It's all adequate, and nothing is too stellar. This is a decent part of the package, but with the psychic powers, who is going to notice the sound?

PSI-OPS: THE MINDGATE CONSPIRACY is one of those summer sleepers. If you enjoy a great action game, this one is right up your alley.

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