TomChick - :60 Reviews - Comments - 06/23/04

The bad guys in Psi-Ops are the kinds of folks who keep barrels of explosive materials around their base, helpfully painted red and usually right next to some poor guard's post. Not to mention all the stamping crushing machinery, the giant marble ball corporate art, and the platforms without guard rails. It's an action hero's paradise, especially one with the power to throw things and light fires with his mind.

I'm really happy that these bad guys have a replenishing rack of pressurized coolant tanks right in front of their evil flame chick, because if those weren't there, I'd be toast. Literally. Unfortunately, I'm stuck on one of those boss battles now, which is the only thing that keeps Psi-Ops from being a non-stop massacre of hapless guards. It's a veritable buffet of Scanners style head-bursting, brain sucking, limb twitching, and immolation, with an occasional figure-out-the-trick boss battle to clear your palette.

There's even a fair bit of replay, not necessarily because of the unlockable content (which includes some interesting puzzles), but because the battles are so dynamic, with a variety of options, a fluid interface, and an entirely competent enemy AI.

But what's really surprising is how well Midway has built Psi-Ops around the clichés of crates, rag doll physics, and a middling shooter made more interesting with Force powers, this time minus the Star Wars hokum. They've tied things together with the whole mental powers schtick, including clever powers like looking into the next area like you could do with your bird in Mark of Kri. All that's missing is the power to kill a yak at 100 yards...with mind bullets.

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