What is the difference between a video game and a movie? Well, the common answer is that there are a lot of differences between the two because of gameplay, length, story, characters, and more. Created by SpectreVision, a company founded by actor Elijah Wood, Transference tries to bring the two mediums together to create an interactive horror simulation with the length of a movie. It’s a great concept that other video games have succeeded in doing in terms of creating something like a television show (Quantic Dream), but it does not work in the terms of just a regular movie. The game is around an hour to two hours long in length, it feels rushed in terms of story and gameplay and is overall a confusing jumbled mess of bright lights, loud noises, and weirdly specific puzzles.
The story of this game is about a troubled family and the husband/father being a crazy idiotic scientist that creates a simulation that takes the brain data from each family member and reconstructs it into a nightmare-fueled level. The only way to get out is for each family member to come to terms with their broken lives and repair them by finding evidence and secrets throughout each level to end that particular simulation. The problem with this story and what I had with most of the game, is that it was very difficult to be able to understand what was actually going on. You’re thrust into this game with tons of dialogue and not a clue about how or where it’s coming from, and the game expects you to just remember everything in a short amount of time so that you can figure out puzzles and move on to the next area. Overall the game felt like something that would have worked better if it had an extra one or two hours to sort out the things it wanted to say and say them properly. Critic and fan reception of this game has been quite mixed for the most part, arguing the same points I made above. But, a few other points that were brought up was the fact that it costs 25 USD which many people find overpriced, and that the game is very buggy when playing in VR. The reason why the VR argument is brought up so much in the reviews for this game is that the game is made for VR and only later made playable without a VR headset. So the main functionality and reason why the game was made, isn’t even properly playable.
For all the bad things I mentioned above, there are however some good things about the game that can’t be understated. The voice acting was very well done and believable, the graphics for the game are fairly decent, the game runs fine for the most part, and last but not least it’s not a terrible game in terms of horror. There is no way that this is the best in the business and this game absolutely could have been better, but it’s not bottom of the barrel either.
Overall I would recommend giving this game a shot if you are looking to play something quick or if you just want another VR game to play in the very limited library that there is. Make sure it’s on sale though and buy it for a quick 5-10 dollars so you don’t feel like you just overpaid for an experience you may or may not enjoy. This game is a solid 6.5/10.
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