Do you know Tony De Lucia? Tony is a Frenchman who works in the 2Bad Games studio. The particularity of this independent studio that he created himself is that there is only one person working there. As you will have understood, Tony is a passionate autodidact in the world of video games. And after the games 2survivea top-down shooter released in 2019 and Brutal Ragea beat’em up released in 2020, Tony De Lucia offers us this year Broken Minda story-driven adventure game available since June 2022, on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4|5 and Nintendo Switch.
Broken Mind is arguably the studio’s most successful video game. The project started in 2017 and Tony took care of everything: from programming to modeling, script writing and graphics. Well almost everything, since he surrounded himself with a composer and a handful of actors to interpret the different characters. I explain everything to you, with the Broken Mind game review.
A Game By Tony DeLucia
The Story of Broken Mind
You play as police officer Franck Morgan. The game takes place in June 2019, in Aurora, a city located in Colorado. You are going to investigate the disappearance of a 15-year-old teenager named Laura Campbell, who was abducted while she was broadcasting a live video on Livescope, a fictional social network. This case will awaken in you memories that you would have preferred to have forgotten. Indeed, 5 years ago, Franck lost everything. His daughter Emily was killed by a psychopath and his wife blames him for not having been able to save her daughter.
Heartbroken and mind tormented by the death of his daughter, you set out to find the young girl. His phone was spotted a few kilometers away in the middle of the forest! Very soon, your memories will come to haunt you.
Hang on Laura, I’m coming!
Broken Mind shines with its narration and recalls without any measure, the first opus of Max Payne released in 1996, in which Max, who is also a policeman, lost his wife and child during a police intervention. Plus, with its flashbacks, hallucinations, and shifting perspective, the pacing is balanced enough to keep the interest going until the end.
Finally, the scene with Laura is for me, a nod to all slashers; I am obviously thinking of the introductory sequences of films like Scream.
Broken Mind is therefore a survival horror, inspired by teen movies, with a small dose of action. The game also offers four difficulty modes ranging from narrative, for players who want to enjoy the story without the fuss, to difficult where enemies fight better and resources are harder to find. And in case of death, automatic saves send us back to our last progress.
The list of controls is simple to remember; Franck moves with the left analog stick, and if necessary, he can crouch, dodge, punch and run. It will also be necessary to pay attention to its endurance gauge, materialized by a pair of lungs, which runs out a little quickly for my taste.
At first glance, Broken Mind uses the codes of FPS like Doom and Wolfenstein with its corridors and partitioned areas. But very quickly, we realize that the game also borrows modern mechanisms such as QTEs and action phases, in which your dexterity in handling the Joy-Con will be put to the test.
Frank Morgan is a policeman who will investigate. He has an inventory in which he can store the objects he finds and solve a few puzzles. The level is really not difficult, because each object finds a use not very far from the place where you found it, and the puzzles lack a bit of challenge to make them totally interesting.
Like the big studios, 2Bad Games even offers a little wink directly linked to Tony’s two previous titles. Besides, is this a sign to tell us that they are going to go out in clubs?
Tony De Lucia drew by hand and with the means at hand, all the decorations, all the textures, all the characters and all the objects of the game. The result is a cel-shaded 3D game with a multitude of objects in 2D. Inevitably, it will not please everyone, but the result has the merit of being coherent and recognizable. Anyway, you get used to it quickly while playing.
However, I’m not sure the game passes all visual accessibility tests. I had trouble reading some subtitles as shown in the example below.
The music is composed by Chris Hoole and accentuates the oppressive atmosphere of the game, especially thanks to very simple notes played on the piano.
Broken Mind benefits from a careful dubbing, unfortunately only in English. It is easy to understand that the studio had to make a choice and that economically speaking, the game could not be dubbed into several languages. Each character is therefore doubled by an actor who can accurately interpret all the emotions of the game: fear, anxiety and madness.
Broken Mind requires a few hours to go through the 10 chapters and discover the outcome of the Laura Campbell case. For my part, I took my time, doing a chapter every 2 to 3 days.
My opinion on Broken Mind on Nintendo Switch
I didn’t know Tony De Lucia and his studio 2Bad Games, but this Broken Mind makes me want to play his first two achievements. It must be recognized that the writing of the scenario has its small effect, with an adventure which alternates between fiction and reality, taking place in the present and in the dark past of Franck Morgan.
Finally, even if we may regret a short lifespan, we must admit that we never get bored, since the game often alternates gameplay phases. For less than 10 € on the Nintendo store, Broken Mind is a good surprise.
The strengths of Broken Mind
- – Music
- – Quality dubbing
- – The different gameplay phases
- – The references
Broken Mind Weaknesses
- – Slightly long loading times
- – Subtitles not always visible
- – Dubbing only in English