Déraciné is one of the most mysterious titles for Playstation VR. What Déraciné is all about, what you do in this game, and whether the VR trip is worthwhile, you will learn in my test.
The venue is a boarding school in the early 20th century. Its inhabitants: six children and an old schoolmaster. The property with its numerous rooms is surrounded by nature and is beautifully captured. Those who explore it feel that they are traveling back in time to a bygone world and time full of innocence and magic.
Déraciné is French and means "uprooted". This attribution applies to the ghostly being, in whose role one hatches and which is simply called by the inhabitants of the boarding school "fairy". One is uprooted because one exists in another dimension and can intervene in the world of humans only in certain spatio-temporal key moments.
Time is frozen for the fairy: Nothing moves and the inhabitants stand there like statues. It's like falling into an old, yellowed photograph and looking around. If one approaches the human being or its phantoms, one can evoke thoughts by touching them which are going through their heads right now.
A perfect world
Through the house you move through teleportation, the points are given and generously distributed in the house. Places that allow for special interactions are highlighted. If you jump into these environments, you can turn around the object of interest at the push of a button and look at it from all sides or interact with it. This can be a human or an object.
This form of locomotion and appraisal seems somewhat unnatural, but allows you to get from point A to point B in seconds, and more importantly, to play Déraciné comfortably while seated. The detailed and lovingly designed world and characters can be so absorbed in peace.
The latter are drawn with much sympathy: The six children Yuliya, Herman, Rozsa, Nils, Lorinc and Marie have very different personalities and a sense of adventure, but never evil in mind. On the contrary, they want to help themselves.
Evil, it seems, does not exist in this world or stops at the gates of the boarding school. When it appears, it is in the form of disease and unleashed forces of nature.
Riddles drive the story forward – or slow it down
If you wanted to describe Déraciné's genre, then probably as a mixture of running simulator and adventure: Classic game mechanics take a back seat, it is instead about exploring a narrative microcosm in which little happens. Small puzzles drive the (minime) story.
To give an example: In the beginning you have to prove your existence to the children. For this you collect herbs, which has hidden the crowd in the house and then mix this in the lunch pot. After the "bitter" surprise, there is no longer any doubt for the children that their magical fingers were involved.
Later, the tasks become trickier. To solve them, you even have to travel through time. So you experience the house during different times of the year and times and gradually enters new areas of the house.
The solutions of the riddles are not always obvious and so it can happen that you wander around in the house for half an hour or more and try everything in vain. In these moments Déraciné frustrates immensely. Rather than sinking into the world, the title's tight-knit mechanical corset comes to the fore and the boundaries of game design become apparent. This tears a nasty from the experience.
Conclusion: good idea, lack of implementation
Déraciné is a strictly linear adventure: to complete it, one must perform a series of pre-programmed actions. As a result, the game turns out to be quite rigid and lifeless – as well as the world and the characters, of which one is near and at the same time infinitely distant as an interdimensional being.
The lead developer Hidetaka Miyazaki wanted to create a small, simple piece of art with Déraciné, which captivates players away from established game mechanics solely through his narrative and the interaction with digital figures. The result is however awkward and wooden. Miyazaki was not lacking in noble goals, but in the narrative and playful means of breathing life into his vision.
I can only recommend Déraciné with restrictions. Players with a lot of patience, a passion for the running simulator genre, the location and the art character of the title should take a closer look at Déraciné. Fans of games like Wilson's Heart, Here They Lie, and Transference might get their money's worth.
Déraciné is now available in the Playstation Store and costs 29.99 euros. The Move controllers are required.
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| Featured Image: Sony / From Software
Playstation VR: Raptured from the world – "Déraciné" in the test what was last modified: November 6th, 2018 by