Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Datura Officially Announced, Exactly What You Remember

Remember all the way back in September when a game, affectionately known as the "Floating Hand Game", was first teased with a video and then two others?  No?  Because it was about six months ago?  Well, no worries, because I have ever-so-conveniently linked both the posts I made about the game so you can catch up on it again.  If you saw them or anything about this at all in the first place, of course.  If not, everything's cool because I'm going to reiterate with a little quick refresher about the game so we're all up to speed on it.  Mostly because I completely forgot about the game myself until I saw the Playstation Blog post while I was not-so-patiently waiting for the Store Update post.  Which took forever to go up, but it's up and I'm downloading my free MotorStorm RC, so all is well.

Datura was first shown off in a fairly artsy trailer that showed a disembodied hand stroking things in a forest while being controlled by a Playstation Move wand.  No really, that's pretty much the first taste of the game that anyone ever got, and only after did it start to make a little more sense.  The whole basis of the game is confusion, really, as it might in fact start you off in a forest that you have no idea how you got into, and then, in classic adventure game style, have you look around, solving puzzles so you can try and figure out just what's going on.  Touch and such things play a key element here and by running your imaginary hand along things you'll find clues and key items (perhaps even keys) that you'll use to further yourself along.  At least, I think that's the idea.

It's definitely something interesting as a concept, and as I've mentioned before, if the game has areas that you can actually move around in (with the use of the Navigation Wand/Dualshock 3) and explore, it'll catch my attention all the more.  We're really beginning to lack games that encourage and/or reward exploration like that, and it's really a shame since something that simple can be infinitely rewarding if you use it right.  Of course, there's a case to be made with the previous generations (specifically 16-bit to early CD Sprites) that they took that theory a little too literally and loosely, rendering you unable to do anything without pixel hunting or going to somewhere to arbitrarily set off an event flag.  Still, we're in the future now; I have faith that we can get back into it and do it right.  Regardless, they're likely going to make a comeback in some fashion thanks to the whole DoubleFine Kickstarter bringing them back into the limelight.

Something I do wonder about, however, is just what all to the game there's going to be aside from moving around, stroking things and being confused.  The two almost the exact same teasers show you driving, but I'm not sure if that's going to be a recurring thing or more just a "This is how you got here" type of thing as it seems, whether you hit the pig or not, you spin-out anyways.  I hope that matters in another way down the road since, while the possibility of things being different is cool, it's much cooler if it actually means something, which is something that Alpha Protocol taught us all in spades.  I think it's going to be hard to play other choice-based games in the future because I'll be micro-analyzing just how much impact they really had, and I'm not sure anyone else is going to take it to the level they tried, at least not for a little while.  Which is really a shame because it really really works.

So really, the only thing we've learned about Datura that we haven't known for a while is that it is actually called Datura and will release sometime this year.  It's going to be a PSN game, not a retail one, and will make extensive use of the Move wand.  With any luck, it'll almost require the Nav Wand or a Dualshock 3 for exploration rather than just being on-rails or gesture-based or something.  But seeing as 'mystery' is something of the core of the game itself, I doubt we'll find out a whole lot more until the game gets closer to release.  Honestly, that's fine by me since there is just entirely too much game around and about and until we hit a dry spot and I have time to catch up, I'm not sure I want to hear about any more -new- games.  ...aside from the ones being announced at the Vita Game Heaven event.  Mostly because now I'm really hoping for a new Phantasy Star game.

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