To say I have been looking forward to State of Mind since hearing about its release would be a massive understatement, I’m genuinely a fan of the whole Cyberpunk genre so it instantly drew my attention. I’ve even decided to re-watch the show Fringe as it ties in very well to this game.
The base premise of State of Mind centres around a man, Richard Nolan, who is searching for his wife and son. They literally just disappear without a trace one cold morning after an accident involving a taxi. He remembers it happening but not much else about the traumatic event. The game starts in an apartment room with Richard trying to find out what has happened and you soon learn that he works at The Voice, which is a major newspaper in Berlin, as a journalist.
Richard is the main character in the game, you play most of it as him but there are a number of other playable characters. I won’t be focusing on them here to save some of the mystique around the story. Early doors you also find out that Richard isn’t a fan of technology as he gets drawn into a story of intrigue and transhumanism. This potentially is a concept that some people haven’t heard of before but a good example is the seminal 90’s film The Lawnmower Man and the more recent movie Transcendence, which stars Johnny Depp.
The main gameplay mechanic behind State of Mind is to travel around the different locations and environments in a bid to unearth clues that will help piece together what has happened and prove if those returning memories are factually accurate. The game is set in a near future Cyberpunk world so although there are clear advances in technology the most fantastical thing in the game seems to be a flying car, bar one exception which I won’t reveal due to it being a massive spoiler and again I don’t want to give that away right now.
The art design in the game is absolutely fantastic, the angular low poly look given to the characters really helps in bringing to the forefront their emotions. Visual keys are used to great success so you can instantly tell by the way someone is standing or the sharpness of the lines that they are protruding with. State of Mind is simply a piece of art and one that more people should search out, the gameplay is fantastic as is the story. Developer and publisher Daedalic Entertainment tend to make very specific types of games, I personally have been a fan of theirs since first discovering them with the point and click title Deponia. It seems that with each new game Daedalic release there is a slight shift away from their origins in point and click adventures. The team is maturing and growing as storytellers, which is a good thing for us all. Unfortunately, my little sidestep into the developers’ background still doesn’t answer if the game is good or not, so to that I answer absolutely! State of Mind will take you roughly between nine and ten hours for an initial playthrough but additionally, it has multiple endings to unlock. I still have a couple of Steam achievements to get revolving around the different outcomes.
In summary – if you like the Cyberpunk genre and great storytelling then I strongly recommend this little gem of a game. The art style is fantastic and needs to be seen by more people, it is something that simply should be enjoyed by all. It reminds me a lot of the excellent Deus Ex series of games with its similar overarching themes. I’m going to score State of Mind a solid 9 out of 10, if you like Telltale games or old school point and click adventures then this is definitely for you.
Beard Score: 9/10
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Format: Steam, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch