If you were hoping to get some clarification on what Transference, the upcoming game from the Elijah Wood-fronted studio SpectreVision, is exactly, then this pre-release demo probably won't satisfy your needs. What we have here is a 15 minute teaser that dives into a weird and wondrous world to set up the events of the main game hitting next month, as well as a hint of gameplay that bends reality around you.
To kick things off, a video pitch from the Brain Data Analysis Research Division introduces the scenario you're about to explore. Told from the perspective of Ted Walter, you'll explore a digital environment formed by his brain data that depicts a harrowing event in his life. It's this moment that leads to him being diagnosed with post traumatic distress disorder. As the video concludes, you're placed in Walter's shoes and the demo begins.
Told from a first-person perspective, available in both PlayStation VR and non-VR, you'll explore a few rooms of a house as happenings begin to unfold. With the living room, kitchen, and basement accessible, you'll rummage through belongings and objects, all while reality shape shifts around you. Pieces of furniture suspend in mid-air, turn upside down and stick to the ceiling, and even disappear completely. Furthermore, the demo consistently turns the lights off on you, which in turn takes you back to a different time, switching between the years 1993 and 2002.
Progress is based around finding a key, placing objects in specific places, and watching the events around you unfold. All of these tell us more about the character of Ted Walter, with antidepressant pills to be found in the kitchen, a history in the army uncovered in the living room, and ignored voicemails on the telephone. It's definitely an unsettling experience that attempts to mess with your own mind just as much as it ruined Walters, but in terms of translating into a full game, the facts we can glean from the quarter of an hour stretch aren't so concrete either.
The self contained experience is worth a playthrough if you're interested in the full game, but perhaps the only definitive truths we can take away are that Transference is a first-person game that puts exploration at the fore front with a focus on obtaining objects in order to progress. The excitement will of course come from the weird goings on found within the digital environments we'll explore, and if this demo is anything to go by, we'll be having some odd and eccentric encounters. This is one game that is still very much shrouded in mystery, but perhaps that's exactly what SpectreVision are going for. Check back with us next month for a review of the full experience.
What did you make of Transference's demo? Post your thoughts in the comments below.