Excerpt: On one hand, Datura is a bold and fascinating take on interactive storytelling, and should be praised for breaking new ground. It also makes inventive use of motion controls, in the way that most gamers expected them to be used when they were first introduced. On the other hand, it is very short, very linear and very confusing, and it doesn’t really live up to its full potential. As it stands, Datura is just a peek at a full game that could have been a masterpiece.
Pros: Interesting narrative, creative events, great motion controls
Cons: Too short, can be obtuse, doesn’t live up to its promises
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.
Excerpt: Plastic, the developers behind Datura, have their roots in the demoscene, where digital, whacked-out audio-visual hallucinations mark a group’s talent. Like Plastic’s earlier PSN art-piece, Linger in Shadows, Datura hints at the unusual at every turn. This game takes a different approach, however, adhering to a skeletal structure that resembles a typical adventure game.
Conclusion: The Short Version: Datura comes over as something of a glorified tech demo. It looks gorgeous, and the visual and aural aesthetics do a good job of creating atmosphere, but there's little to actually enjoy. Overly simplistic puzzles, obvious Move mechanics, and moral set-pieces with little impact sadly serve up something functional, but all too easy to forget.