Review: The Deer God (PS4/PSV)

Formats:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita
  • Xbox One
  • Wii U
  • PC, Mac, Linux
  • iOS, Android

Format/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro, Vita
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
  • PlayStation TV Compatible No
  • Cross-Buy Yes
  • Cross-Save No
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: The Deer God
Format: PSN (PS4 423 MB) (PSV 244 MB)
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Level 77 Pty Ltd
Developer: Crescent Moon Games / Blowfish Studios
Original MSRP: $9.99 (US), €9.99 (EU), £7.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 7
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

The Deer God has a simple premise. A hunter is killed as he takes aim on a deer and a Deer God reincarnates him in the form of a deer, I guess so he can learn from his actions.

Gameplay:
After being born as I deer I’m off, not even a thanks mom, and I’m running and jumping away. I quickly meet an old deer who teaches me how to double jump. Something tells me this game is not imitating real life. Again, without a thank you or even a nod of appreciation, I double jump over a stone wall and I’m gone, running and double jumping away.

It’s a good thing I learned the double jump, as the terrain is fraught with danger. I can already do a small dashing coup de tête, or as the English call it, a headbutt. I didn’t need some old deer to teach me that, but I did need an on-screen prompt to tell me.

It didn’t feel right, coup de têting (that’s probably how it’s spelled) all over the place, so I avoided all of the other animals who seemed to have a vile dislike for me regardless. Maybe they knew I was a man in deer’s clothing, in the spiritual sense, of course, I didn’t copy that horrible scene from Freddy got Fingered, I was reincarnated.

I then met a strange old man who wanted my help and asked me to meet him in his cabin, which is weird enough as I’m a deer. At least he didn’t offer me any sweeties.

Almost every creature I encountered either threw things or charged at me. Aside from some bunnies, beavers, and a cow the world seemed against me. Birds swooped to attack, alligators snapped their large jaws, and even bees swarmed around.

The environment also seems unpleasant with pits full of spikes, forest fires, bogs, and leaping fireballs. Yes, this game is definitely not mimicking real life. You will also encounter stone blocks that need to be pushed onto glowing beams of light, usually to open a door or something beneficial for the player.

I thought I was doing the right thing as I tried to communicate with another deer. It was fine all of the times prior to this incident. They never spoke back because well, they are deer, but everything seemed okay. It turns out the game didn’t think so and the screen lit up with a bright white and there was the Deer God again. Something was mentioned about not learning anything and I was turned into a porcupine.

It turns out porcupines can’t jump, well in this game anyway. This did not help matters as I was stuck in a small grassy area with a cabin in the middle and a both a small and quite large boulder on either side. The log cabin had the old man inside. I’m not quite sure how he got there so fast but it turns out he did think I was a small child. Awkward.

… plays the same on the PlayStation 4 and Vita …
Apart from going into the cabin and talking to the old man, who had nothing more to say after I found his lost monocle in the bushes, I could not leave the area and was well and truly stuck between a rock and well, a slightly bigger rock.

I had to start the game again and decided to move over to the Vita as the game plays well on the handheld system, it was a mobile phone game after all. It wasn’t long before my progress was hampered again, although this time it was my fault. I had pushed a block off the small ledge and then realized I needed that very same block left untouched, I couldn’t get enough height to reach the only way out of the area.

After a couple of deaths, I was treated to another appearance of the Deer God, who told me I had one life remaining, I accidentally died moments later but was able to carry on. Dear God, did the Deer God just lie to me? I promptly ran off the next cliff, let myself get mauled by a boar, bitten to death by some snakes, and a few others. I had loads of lives. The God lied.

I met a few other people and things and had some quests to perform for most of them. Sadly it became a little too tedious for my liking, and when I died for absolutely no reason, I gave up and quit the game.

The Deer God plays the same on the PlayStation 4 and Vita. The game is simple enough to control and as you would expect, apart from having to press the down directional button to interact and continue any on-screen text. Many of you would agree that it’s strange choice of input but nothing to fret over in the grand scheme of things.

Visuals:
The Deer God looks nice, and it’s almost identical on the PlayStation 4 and Vita, apart from some frequent screen tearing on the portable version. There are a few pleasant scenes as you run through a wide variety of seasons and types of terrain.

There’s a day and night cycle which shows off some of the subtle effects nicely. No matter which system you’re playing on, the pixelated graphics can make it difficult to see a few enemies and platforms. There were two occasions where I could run behind a part of the level but thankfully there were no ill consequences.

… a strange and tedious game …
The procedurally generated map goes on forever, at least that’s how it seems. You will see repetition in the design but there has been some attempt to vary the landscape. One such instance has a train barreling through the area. I found it strange that my poor defenseless deer died each time it entered the tunnel at the end of the track.

Audio:
There is a small smattering of speech but most of the narrative is handled by on-screen text. The music is a little strange but still nice and at times quite playful.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
What can I say about The Deer God, apart from it being a strange and tedious game. The idea is okay and the graphics aren’t bad but it just wasn’t my kind of game. Too many weird things going on and a couple of bugs spoiled any kind of fun struggling to come through. I’m sure a few others will find it more enjoyable and the price isn’t that bad.

Score:
6.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built-in screen capture feature and the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

PS Vita Screenshots

PS4 Screenshots

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

If you send a friend request please add ‘PS Nation’ in the subject area.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook