Deliriant Review: Purple Haze

May 22nd, 2017 -

It’s not very often you look through the new week’s launch titles and see a game from a class of students. It’s even weirder to see that game self-published. However, that is the case with Manic Interactive’s debut title on PlayStation this week. Wearing its inspiration of Gone Home on its sleeve, can it live up to similar student built feats such as The Unfinished Swan?

Dining-Room

It’s kind of weird playing Deliriant, as it reminded me a lot of when I went to school for a similar field. I got into animation, but that involved the likes of modeling, lighting, texturing, etc. These types of games live and breathe based on the world created. Knowing it’s a student team that had a deadline of graduation – no delays allowed in this instance, makes it all the more difficult in being harsh. And yet, here they are on the PlayStation Store, so it’s only right they receive the critique they deserve.

The game starts off with you in a seemingly negative space, until you walk through a disembodied door. Once passing through, you are greeted with a house that may seem familiar. That’s the idea – you are supposed to have a sense of familiarity with the game world, while delving deep into the emotions held within. How does a woman deal with motherhood, for example? Going from being the most important person to yourself, to soon being second fiddle to those you created. How does a child see themselves, and how do they manage to accept who they are? Player allowing, there’s a lot of depth to the game, depending on how far you let your mind read into it.

Deliriant_5

Regrettably, that premise is plagued by some issues. Hopefully an isolated incident, but the opening of the game took a few tries before I could actually start playing. Reaction time from using the menu buttons to actual fulfillment was quite delayed, and the selection of objects seemed random at best in certain instances, as the highlight didn’t appear when it should have. The character you play as also moves extremely slow, but that does work to the game’s benefit in making sure you see everything it has to offer. An instance of this being beneficial is when you are examining a room and wondering why things are clipping, then seeing that the wall was actually pulsating in and out.

I’d like to say that was the end of the issues, but there is a big one that plagued the whole experience for me – the lighting. Amusingly, this was also my issue with the PC version of Gone Home. While that game had an issue with none of the lights turning on at all for me, this game’s lights turn on, but they are blown out where they are and do not diffuse to the rest of the room. Because of this, a lot of the items you can look at are not actually viewable. Picking up items appears to be sporadic in whether they zoom upon pickup, although you can manually zoom using the shoulder buttons. Another issue that pervaded the game was the textures not loading properly upon inspection. By this, I mean looking at an item with writing takes a few seconds before you can actually read it clearly as it needs to focus.

Deliriant_1

The themes and ideas presented in Deliriant are great, I just wish the technical aspects of the game were a bit more polished to let those flourish. Unless a patch is put out fixing the issues I ran into, I can’t recommend this at launch. For those worried about run time, it took me 25 minutes from start to finish interacting with everything in the game, but then again, you have to take into account that this is only $1, and was done with a hard deadline of graduation. That considered, it’s a pretty neat game, and the studio has a lot of promise. I’m eager to see what they create on their own terms.

ACQUIRE

Pros

  • Hidden Narrative
  • Altered Environments

Cons

  • Lighting
  • Technical Glitches

Deliriant was developed and published by Manic Interactive. The game launches on PS4 for $1 May 23rd, 2017. The game was provided to us for review on PS4. If you’d like to see more of Deliriant, check out the official site.

 

Here at FFoP we use a rating method that you may be unfamiliar with, so allow us to clarify. When we review a game, we see what sort of BRA fits. Buy, Rent, or Acquire is the rating we give out – we’ve boiled it down for simplicity. A Buy is worth the full retail value; a Rent is something you may want to try before you buy, or grab at a discount; an Acquire is something you can play, but we’d suggest borrowing it from someone, grabbing it in a game bundle, or some other means. If you want further clarification, please feel free to get in touch.

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