A glimpse into the future?
- Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
- Genre: Action / Adventure / Mystery / Thriller
- Release: Summer 2018
- Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
- Developer: Daedalic Entertainment
- Players: 1
Set in Berlin in the year 2048, the world is at its end. Lack of resources, illnesses caused by polluted air and water, crime on the rise, and war. Governments and companies promise remedies through technological progress. Drones and humanoid robots replace humans in the public sector, everything is interconnected, surveillance has become omnipresent. Not too far fetched if you think about it.
This realistic setting is the background of State of Mind’s story of transhumanism. Some humans have successfully uploaded their minds and freed their consciousness from the confines of a human body. But, what happens when there’s one you in the real world and one in the cyber world? That’s the question Richard Nolan asks when he suddenly wakes up after an accident with his wife and child missing and he realizes there’s another “him” running around.
We didn’t get a hands-on experience with State of Mind, but we were lucky enough to have the game demoed by the game’s writer himself, Martin Ganteföhr, who took us through various scenes of the game, explaining game mechanics, style choices, and more!
State of Mind is set in two different worlds; a dystopian Berlin in an Earth that is dying and where crime has increased, and a virtual utopian world where everyone is happy and everything is perfect (or so it seems). When Richard Nolan wakes up to his family missing after an accident and with bits of his memories gone, he knows he has hit rock bottom, and so does the player. When Richard finds out that his mind has been uploaded without his consent and that there is a cyber-version of him out there, it is the player’s duty to put Richard back together.
Richard suddenly starts getting mysterious calls from someone who claims what he knows about the world is not what it seems, which triggers Richard’s adventure into a cybernetic rabbit hole. This mystery man, the other Richard, doesn’t know he’s in a cybernetic world at first, but he does find out as the game progresses. Ganteföhr didn’t give out any spoilers, simply answering “That’s a good question, we’ll have to see...”, when asked if Richard and his cyber-self are indeed the same person, and, is the cyber person now a real person for all intents and purposes?
The controls for State of Mind are simple, you can interact with characters and objects by approaching hotspots, which will deploy options. You can speak with other characters, pickup objects and analyze them, as well as interact with all kinds of things, like art at a gallery. There are also puzzles throughout the game, a bit of stealth is involved, and we get to play as other characters at different parts of the story too!
State of Mind is a story-driven, dialogue-dependent adventure game in which Richard is a detective, so there is a lot of sleuthing, speaking to people, gathering of information and clues, and connecting all the bits to find out who exactly Richard is; who is this other self? where is his family? and, who is messing with his life?
State of Mind - Teaser Trailer 2018
State of Minds is very meta game which explores very philosophical and cerebral topics about transhumanism and what it means to be real. This is only enhanced by the perfectly calculated polygonal character design and world building that blurs the line between reality and “virtuality”, as Ganteföhr calls it.
The artistic choice to go with polygonal designs was not by accident as the characters look like they could fall apart at any minute, which suits them since the characters are, in many ways, broken people. The cyber-utopia is bright and “a bit creepy” according to the writer, and the real world looks dark and grey. It’s easy to see why people would rather live in a beautiful utopia, even if it means possibly losing their humanity. But, do they lose it? That is one of the many questions that we seek to find answers to in this unique adventure mystery game that should keep you entertained and immersed in its story for at least a good 15 hours.
Are you excited about State of Minds? Have you played other games like it? Chat us up in the comments below!