Review: Déraciné (PSVR)

Review: Déraciné (PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Required
  • DualShock 4 None
  • Move Required (2)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Déraciné
Format: PSN (10.04 GB)
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: SIE Japan Studio / FromSoftware
Original MSRP: $29.99 (US), £24.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Déraciné is a word that refers to a person who is out-of-place. In the context of the game Déraciné, the player is out-of-place, existing alongside but directly in the world of the characters, only able to interact with the world in small, but impactful ways.

The game takes place in what seems to be an orphanage. You, the player, are awakened as a faerie by the wishes of a young girl there. She strongly believes in faeries and wants you to show her, and eventually the other five orphans, that you exist and can help them.

Review: Déraciné (PSVR)Review: Déraciné (PSVR)

Déraciné feels like an amalgamation of a point-and-click adventure game and a walking simulator put together into a VR experience. As faeries exist outside of time, you are walking around a snapshot of a moment in time. Most of the game is about moving around these snapshots, learning the story through memories or current events.

However, at certain points you can interact with the environment by picking up items and moving them around. Advancing through the chapters of the game involves finding and solving these interaction puzzles to prompt the characters in different ways or change the outcome of certain events.

As with a lot of point-and-click adventures of yore, Déraciné can occasionally get a little obtuse. The solutions themselves aren’t too hard to figure out and the game throws a number of hints at you if you’re interacting with everything. But a couple times I had trouble finding the items I needed because they were slightly hidden in someone’s pocket or I didn’t see a place above or below me I could move to when I first explored an area.

The game can also get slightly tedious at times due to movement and the game’s chapter structure. Movement is done by looking at specific move points and pressing a button. In some hallways, the game won’t show more than one move point, so you have to click four or five times to move down said hallway. The chapter structure is laborious because, due to plot reasons I won’t spoil here, some chapters are essentially repeated a few times.

Review: Déraciné (PSVR)Review: Déraciné (PSVR)

Despite the tedious parts, I really enjoyed Déraciné. The story is increasingly engrossing as it progresses, with some nice subtle hints early on that blossom into interesting stories. With the final, true ending currently eluding me, I want to jump back into the game already and unravel the last mystery it has for me.

Visuals:
Déraciné definitely makes the most of the PS4’s hardware. Setting the atmosphere of the game is key to an exploration/puzzle based game and the world here definitely feels fully realized. Within the first couple chapters, I was pretty familiar with the layout of the school and learned to navigate it pretty well, which is a testament to how real it feels.

Characters and effects also look pretty good, especially given the limitations of the system. Characters can sometimes get uncomfortably close during interactions, which is as much a testament to the graphics being good enough to feel like an invasion my personal space as it is a complaint about the game’s design.

Some of the usual VR issues occasionally cropped up for me, such as immersion-breaking shimmering edges or occasionally seeing through seems in geometry, but they weren’t too bad. The game didn’t get me VR sick despite playing for a good three to four hours in one sitting for one of my sessions.

Audio:
As with FromSoftware’s other titles, like Bloodborne, the audio design is fantastic for setting a mood. The main parts of the soundtrack consist of a violin piece that’s somber enough for the setting while not being overbearing. And during key parts of the game, the music will change out for more tense or creepy music or sometimes cutting the music entirely as the mood demands.

Voice acting is pretty good overall as well, though since some of the lines are being presented out of context via memories they can occasionally sound a little forced or cheesy. During emotional scenes, most of the actors come across believably though with enough gravitas to sell the game’s story.

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

Review: Déraciné (PSVR)Review: Déraciné (PSVR)

Conclusion:
Déraciné is a strange and unique game from a studio known for action heavy games like Dark Souls and Armored Core. But at the same time, the DNA of the studio and director Hidetaka Miyazaki is unmistakable.

The “open to interpretation” story and moody settings are mainstays of the Souls series and Déraciné uses both as well to good effect despite the vastly different genre of game. It’s always great to see a beloved studio like FromSoftware try something different and for it to work out as well as this game does.

The occasionally frustrating parts, such as movement or repetitious story sections don’t mire the fantastic and engaging story that the game tells. Learning about the characters and the world, and trying to piece together the story as the game presents new and different fragments are fun, and I’d definitely recommend Déraciné to VR and walking-simulator fans out there. The player may be out-of-place in Déraciné, but the game fills a great place in the PS4’s lineup.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

A longtime PlayStation fan who enjoys JRPGs and rhythm games when he’s not tweeting about his parrot.

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