review
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POSTED 11/5/12


DATURA

Sony
PS3/PSN/Move

Suddenly I stop, but I know it's too late. I'm lost in a forest all alone...

Well, except for a pig, a dog and some aggro red-shirted bloke. Oh, and the kid with the apple.

Where do we start? Basically the sort of thing we reckon David Lynch would concoct should he be able to program, Datura is a series of gnikcuf weird little minigame experiences plopped into the kind of rather leafy, woody hub world that you expect to see Smokey the Bear fretting over.

You start in the back of an ambulance, perhaps unwisely ripping off monitory paddy thingies from your chest, before getting the freaked-out-nurse-with-paddles treatment and drifting off to Weirdtown.

Whether you play with DualShock or Move, you’re instantly aware of peculiar controls. Whichever dominant hand you choose is played by Thing from The Addams Family, who’s obviously fallen on hard times, there not being many roles for disembodied hands save for the odd jewellery infomercial. You manoeuvre Thing to grab various bits and bobs. Well, in theory, as it doesn’t work particularly well. After 15 minutes wrestling with Move we reset and went DualShock. An improvement, but nothing we’d sticky-tape the adjective ‘vast’ in front of.

So, the forest. You traipse about – painfully slowly, even when stabbing the speed-up button repeatedly - encountering various outbreaks of odd. These usually involve a simple puzzle, or a fighting sequence. The latter being you against the controls. You also fondle white trees to psychically link and make maps (really), and go on various trippy head trips.

It’s certainly atmospheric, if not wilfully obscure. Kinda like any Radiohead album after OK Computer. Most encounters have different ways of playing out, which gives some life to a thing that takes a mere hour to complete – allowing for control wrestling. Again and again and again and again and again...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.