Summary: " Datura " could only loosely be described as a game; it is more like a piece of interactive art. It conveys a message and emotion that I as the audience had as much a part in creating as the developer. Though for the price it may not offer much in terms of longevity, the two hours it lasts are worth experience at least twice to see each of the vignettes alternate outcomes.
Excerpt: Waking up in the back of an ambulance. Throwing potatoes at a pig. Taking a trip down a mine shaft and ending up on a water slide. Yes, these things are connected, at least in Datura, the latest PSN release from the surreal minds at Poland-based developer Plastic. While it feels more like an interactive thesis presentation for someone’s psychology degree than a game, Datura has a sense of foreboding and mystery that we couldn’t shake, even after its abrupt ending.
Pros: Being immersed in a surreal world, Solving a mystery piece by piece, The detailed sound design
Cons: The Move controls, The abrupt, “play me again” ending, Getting called pretentious for liking this game
Conclusion: Reasonably solid Move implementation will appeal to those desperate to try to justify a purchase of the hardware, but nobody else should bother with it. A couple of good ideas (like the way you have to move the controller up to glance at the map, a la Far Cry 2) don't warrant spending money on a tech demo. Even if you do get to saw a cop's arm off.
Excerpt: If you want your games to, well, make sense, then you should probably stay as far away from Datura as possible. The game begins with you in the back of an ambulance, ripping the EKG wires from your chest before moments later transporting you to an empty forest. This forest serves as the game's hub of sorts, a home to a small spattering of puzzles and interactive objects that trigger further surreal interludes like the one that opens the game.
Excerpt: What's going on? Where am I? Who's that? What am I supposed to do? What's that? How do I do that? What the hell is that?! Datura is a game of many questions, not quite as many answers, and even fewer satisfying ones. Plastic Studios' latest effort is here to take you on a strange journey, but will you want to join in?
Conclusion: As a family of plants, Datura has been used for centuries as a poison and hallucinogen. With effects such as being unable to differentiate reality from fantasy, it has often been used with the intention of bringing about some form of delirium. As it turns out, Datura (in video game form), the latest release from Polish developer Plastic, lives up to this description fairly well.
Excerpt: Datura is a PlayStation Network exclusive from Polish developer Plastic and Sony Santa Monica. Costing just R75, it’s a short-lived experience with little replay value but should appeal to people who enjoy PSN titles such as Flower and Journey that focus on having an emotional impact on the player rather than entertaining them with thrilling gameplay.
Conclusion: This very much makes Datura a game of two halves; on the one hand it’s imaginative, beautifully rendered, and strives for a rare degree of uniqueness. On the other, it’s an experience marred by mechanical shortcomings and over-ambition, with Move implementation that frustrates as much as it inspires awe.