From the collaboration between Ubisoft Montreal and SpectreVision, the studio boasting among its founders Elijah Wood, comes a first-person graphic adventure that promises to be the ultimate thriller experience in VR. Compatible with PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, Transference catapults the player into a digital framework created by the mind of a human being, in this case Walter, a patient suffering from post traumatic disorders related to some events in the family environment.
One of the peculiarities of the game is that everything is presented as a real experiment (dating back to 2003) where we players are the “testers” who reliving Walter’s digitized memories should help scientists gather essential data to improve this technology so that it can release to the public.
A technology that does not miss the opportunity to remember how safe it is .
Journey through time
Wearing the viewer and taking the Oculus Touch we find ourselves in those that are probably Walter’s clothes in the hallway of his home.
A kid, his son, speaks to us a few feet away telling us that this is not our place, and clicking on the light switch catapulted us about ten years later in the same place. We understand at this point that the switches can serve to make these temporal shifts, but we still have no clue as to what our goal is and what are the playing mechanics, so let’s start exploring.
The motion system is very similar to that of Resident Evil VII VR, with the moving camera and analog useful for movement; the Oculus Touch, replaced by “screen” by two digital hands, do their job well enough to handle and get information from many objects (not all) scattered around the house.
We notice a couple of keys (which must be useful, no?) And a staircase leading to the basement where there is definitely someone, not exactly in a good mood.
We do not have time to go down that a cannon rifle cancels our face, restarting us from the corridor. Better change “air”.
“Turn on the light” and go back in time, where the basement door is locked, but this does not seem to be anywhere.
This is where the most interesting Transference mechanics come into play. We go back in time, we take the key with one hand and with the other we crush the switch : ten years back, but with the keys still in our hand. The simplest of puzzles introduces us to a world of tremendous potential, where you need to take advantage of both time lines to find what Walter’s mind is looking for.
Harmless simulation or …
Including this dynamic, we begin a ping-pong timing that becomes ever more fulfilling as we realize that we are moving toward the exit of Walter’s maze, while an increasingly disturbed aesthetic performance combined with various sound effects transmits us the same anxiety as the protagonist of those sensations must have tried, making us feel so distracted .
Transference plays with memories and subconscious mind of Walter as much as with ours; the sensation is that we may find ourselves victims of the experiment tester , but to relive these memories first and foremost makes them a bit of ours, and with them the consequences that they have caused.
It takes fifteen minutes to get completely absorbed into this world to get caught up to find out more, wanting to continue to solve this intricate maze almost as if to wipe Walter’s trauma, as if we were able to change something that is already happened .
An experience that did not make the VR viewer suffer even for a second and indeed made it indispensable: from the official website we read that the game will also be available for Xbox One and this (unless surprising revelations) means it can be played without a viewer, a choice that we find incomprehensible in the face of a perfect title for virtual reality.
In any case, Transference gives the idea of being a title to play on any platform possible, even just for the unedited experience it is able to offer. There is nothing but waiting for the spring 2018.