From Software is having one heck of an E3. The studio announced its first partnership with Activision, “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice,” and Devolver Digital is bringing cult classic “Metal Wolf Chaos” to the West for the first time.
Unfortunately for “Bloodborne” fans, a sequel still hasn’t been announced. Instead, From Software’s partnership with Sony is going in a different direction.
“Déraciné” is a PlayStation VR title that features no scary monsters or giant bosses. Rather, it’s a delightfully sweet adventure in which players are a fairy that inhabits a rustic boarding school.
The title is a French word meaning “uprooted.” A Sony representative told Variety that it symbolizes displacement from their natural environment. This could refer to the children at the boarding school or the fairy in the real world.
“The fairy doesn’t have a name,” says the Sony representative demoing the game. “You are the fairy.”
The first two chapters serve has a gentle introduction to teleporting around the environment with Move controllers. Déraciné features light puzzle solving. In the first of two chapters available at E3 2018, players learn how to manipulate light orbs to learn more about the story.
“Déraciné” is what VR developers would label as a “comfortable” experience. The teleportation style of movement and slow pace mean that most players shouldn’t get ill when playing. This contrasts starkly with something like “RIGS” that features rapid movement and stomach-dropping falls.
As players glide through the boarding school setting, they’ll encounter a number of students who want desperately to believe in the supernatural. From Software isn’t giving away too much of the story right now beyond saying that the player’s role is to convince the children of the fairy’s existence.
No, you don’t get to be a poltergeist, but you will be causing mischief. The larger of the two chapters on display gives players access to most of the school and the grounds.
The goal is to help Yulya, a girl trying to convince the others’ of your presence. She wants to spike a stew that will “knock the others of their feet.” You’ll steal different herbs that five of the children have hidden.
Ghostly images—representing where the children have been—serve as gentle, narrative nudges in the right direction. You’ll chase a dog to a hiding spot, pickpocket a key, and eventually watch as the chef knocks himself unconscious after you’ve spiked his stew.
All of it feels whimsical. Because Déraciné is a From Software game, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the story will take a dark turn later (not unlike what many players experienced when playing “Gone Home”).
There’s nothing too challenging about the puzzles in the opening chapters, but From still has some polishing work to do on the hot spot movement. The teleportation zones are a little temperamental, but with months to go before release, this could be easily remedied.
“Déraciné” is a full game, and should take players about eight hours to complete.
You’ll need both a PlayStation VR and set of Move controllers in order to enjoy this decidedly uncharacteristic From Software outing.