Even though MakeUseOf is famous for running with ‘what’s cool’ instead of ‘what’s new’, I guess we’re really late breaking this news, because Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy went adware mid-2008. Nevertheless, the coming holidays seemed a good enough reason to throw it (back) in the ring.
You can get the Psi Ops download for free if you live in the U.S or Europe.
Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy (US, EU)
Psi-Ops is a secret American government project, an organization intended to keep world peace with an exciting cocktail of arms and psychic powers. ‘The Order’ is an international terrorism group that has other plans ‘in mind’. With a brain wipe and change of appearance, Nick Scryer is set out to infiltrate the group.
After being freed from imprisonment by the mysterious Sara, Nick slowly regains his psychic powers. Not a day too late, because the whole world is going haywire and someone needed to pwn those antagonists.
Psi-Ops, although not winning Oscars for the story-line, is an incredible game. Despite earning several great reviews, with scores hoovering around 80 to 90 per cent, the game has gone largely unnoticed. Some of the bigger guys didn’t deem it worth a review, and the gaming public has scarcely heard the name. All in all, the game has hardly lived up to its potential. Those who have played it have nothing but praise and are still hoping on a sequel.
Four years after the initial release, Psi-Ops was released again as an ad-supported title for the United States and Europe.
Psi-Ops is a third-person shooter with a psychic powers. You can carry up to two guns, and the game offers a wealthy arsenal of weapons. However, the physical weapons become close to obsolete as the game progresses. To complete the later levels in the game, you will heavily need to rely on your psychic abilities.
This could hardly be brought up as a bother, though. As the story unfolds, you’ll learn telekinesis (moving objects with your mind), mind control, pyrokinesis (hint: it’s got to do with fire) and several other shows of awesomeness.
These psychic powers are very well integrated in the gameplay. The controls are intuitive enough, and the levels are designed to offer several ways of physics manipulation and achieving your objectives.
As you slowly regain your psychic abilities, you’ll be facing a number of rogue Psi operatives – each mastering a specific psychic domain. These ‘bosses’ are lined up one after another, and although the progression tends to get pretty linear, the game stays fun and interesting.
Although this might in fact be a point of cheer for the more hardcore gamer, the game gets much more difficult near the end. Combined with the check-point saves, this is a recipe that’ll have you playing some levels ‘just a few more tries times’.
Concluding, Psi-Ops is a very enjoyable game, even 5 years after its release. Its well implemented psychic storyline and physics make it one of the better ‘freebies’ that the gaming world has to offer. If not because it’s new, you should be playing it because you failed to recognize a great title in 2004. Live in the U.S. or Europe? Download it here, for free!