Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy Review

Developer: Midway Publisher: Midway
Release Date: June 14, 2004 Also On: PS2 and Xbox

When you take an existing idea and rework it, you’re considered a revolutionist. Midway Games must have a revolutionist spirit in them. Due to their reforms, we will never see 3rd person shooters in the same way again. I challenge all developers to take a stand, drop their weapons, and turn to psi powers. Then again, maybe I’m just a recruiter for The Movement.

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Psi Ops does a serious job of contrasting itself with the competition. They have guns, we have guns and much more, should be Psi Ops’ motto. This isn’t your average military shooter romp, it’s full-blown military-themed action, with a conspiracy-based storyline, and a well-developed and implemented psychic ability system in place.

You are secret psi-operative Nick Scryer. Your goal is to infiltrate and ultimately destroy The Movement, a terrorist organization that uses psychic powers to extend its power. In the midst of a battle, Nick will lose his memory, of which it will be regained throughout the game in training levels, which will teach you to use your psi-powers.

The following powers are offered in Psi Ops: Telekinesis (pick up people/objects), Pyrokinesis (launch walls of fire), Mind Control (take control of enemies), Remote Viewing (ability to go through doors while “out of the body”), Mind Drain (regain psi-energy), and more.

The psi-powers are the heart and soul of the game. The hand-to-hand combat is bleak, and the gun-play, especially the arsenal, is not extensive by any means. Not that it matters, it’s the psi-powers that you want to use, not mortal weapons. The two most useful powers are evident: telekinesis and mind control.

Let’s run down some scenarios. Too many baddies for you to take out? Use telekinesis to throw an oil cylinder at them, exploding immediately, and dealing a deadly blow. Can’t reach a ledge? Get on top of a box, and then use telekinesis to “surf� to the ledge. Telekinesis can also be used as a weapon, more or less, by slamming enemies against walls, throwing them over rails, and simply throwing them for long distances. You can also grab ammo/health packs with telekinesis.

Here are some scenarios for Mind Control. You’re behind a gate, in which there’s a sniper, gunman, and enemy with a shotgun. Take control of one of the gunman to open the gate, run to the other side of the courtyard to kill one of the guards, then either let the sniper kill you, or explode by shooting an oil cylinder close-range. Then Mind Control the sniper, have him release the ladder leading to the roof, and have him jump off to his death.

While the two stars of the game are Mind Control and Telekinesis, the other powers play less affluent roles, but indeed, are somewhat useful. The only time I used Remote Viewing was to find a security code behind a locked door on a computer screen. Other than that, I preferred the action approach. Mind Drain obviously restores your psi-powers, so this is used quite often.

How long is Psi Ops going to last you? I clocked in at about ten odd hours, but the average gamer would beat it in about twelve. This, like Freedom Fighters, is a game that I would willingly play completely through a second time. That’s an accomplishment in and of itself that Midway should be proud of. Psi Ops is this summer’s hottest game.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 9
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 9.3
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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