Xbox One Review: Illusion: A Tale of the Mind

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Illusion is a puzzle exploration game and features your character Emma who wakes up in a twisted world, who is helped by Topsy the Rabbit who you know nothing about. You journey through a man’s mind that is clearly distressed and full of disturbing, sometimes vibrant locations. Illusion shows this off well with it’s art direction, which is definitely it’s strongest hand. But what of the rest?

The puzzles themselves do tend to get repetitive and samey, for instance some will require you to manipulate objects to cast a shadow on the environment, but they do this a number of times and it quickly loses its appeal. It was an interesting puzzle at first, but to have to do variants of it feels lazy and the game could have easily benefited from some variety in this area.

The platforming itself is also a bit of a mixed bag, with some moments being frustrating, especially towards the end of the game. I can tell you there was some hair-pulling moments to be found. The voice-acting is a mixed bag too and at times feels unnecessary, it could have been a game like Limbo where the art style is simply enough to carry the plot, it feels like a missed opportunity.

Visually, the game isn’t the strongest but it’s art direction is a real highlight and definitely the best aspect of the entire experience. It’s a shame that the gameplay doesn’t live upto the environment that’s been produced for it.

The Verdict

Illusion: A Tale of the Mind is a game with strong art direction, but little else. It’s a real shame as I can see the potential lingering around the edges and just a bit of polish and variation would have made this a really great game instead of one that is just merely interesting.

Score: 6.0