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Mindjack's 'Instant Multiplayer' explained in new video

[Additional reporting from GamesRadar staff]

Prepare to have your mind blown (controlled, fried, or otherwise hacked) as Square Enix demonstrates its innovate 'instant multiplayer' feature for its futuristic 3rd-person shooter, Mindjack.

A single player game with drop-in multiplayer elements? Proposterous! And yet... intriguing. If there's one constant in gaming, it's that players will always want to screw around with other players. Mindjack's 'instant multiplayer' allows anyone the ability to aid or hinder another player's progress, but we're guessing it will be used almost exclusively for the latter. But surely it might be fun to play the part of a good fairy and help a stranger out from time to time?

We got a chance to play a bit of the multiplayer in the office earlier this week, and while it appears at first to be a pretty standard third person cover shooter, the mindjacking element plays a big role in the gameplay strategy. First off, you can incapacitate enemies and instead of killing them, you can hack them by approaching their crumpled bodies and hitting square so that they fight on your side. You can also hack into NPCs and assume control of different characters whenever you want, which can grant you various advantages, like being able to completely change character class on the fly. Or, for example, if you see a group of people hanging out on the balcony of an apartment building, you can jack into one of them for a prime sniper vantage spot (of course, random bystanders all have guns). To change bodies, you just click in the analog sticks and then toggle among available bodies with L1 and R1.

Of course, another advantage of seamlessly integrated multiplayer is not having to deal with multiplayer lobbies at all. And if you don't want strangers griefing you all day, you can set your game to friends only. We're excited to see more of how this mechanic is used throughout the game, because it has to potential to add an unusually strategic aspect to a typically straightforward style of combat.

Mindjack is due out for the PS3 and Xbox 360 on January 18, 2011.

 

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