If you ever have seen Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, there is a scene on the boat ride allows us to see Willy Wonka almost like a different person while he tests his guests? For some reason, this scene has really stuck with me. The images that play are a form of psychoanalysis and see if anything from their past would come up. Could it be a way for Willy Wonka to test everyone, including himself? But as the movie progressed and we get to the end, we finally get some answers…
So Willy Wonka really didn’t want to go on and try to run the factory. Did he, in fact, have more going on then meets the eye at the Wonka Factory that he felt the need to get out? We really never got a chance to see all of the rooms in the factory. Some doors were locked, while some were like puzzles that only Willy Wonka knew the answers to. So what really happened to Willy Wonka after he left and Charlie took over? Was the whole Golden Ticket more of a cover-up then what was to be let on? These are some of the questions I honestly have thought of and left wondering about and it wasn’t until Aspyr came out with something so intriguing that my questions turned into more of a what if then I would have ever imagined with Torn for the PlayStation VR.
Before I begin, I just want to say that the very beginning from being out in the ocean and even before actually hitting start, the music is done beautifully and matches the journey and equally pulls you in as the story all the way to the end.
In Torn, you play as a reporter named Katerine Patterson who just appears in these woods and on this trail. No reason is given to why you are here, but you are here for a purpose of sorts. From the moment the story starts, the graphics are really well done. If you just close your eyes and for a moment, just listen to the wind blow through the leaves of the trees and the birds chirping. You can almost feel the wind hitting you and if the story is just starting and can give you that type of feeling, you have plenty to look forward to. As you approach the mansion, I really love how the music adds to the focal point to the point that I just stood there and soaked in the view.
So what does one do when you are out in the woods on a trail and stumble upon a mansion…you investigate. Using both Move controllers you will use the Move button to walk, but if you hold down the Trigger button and the Move button will allow you to move a little quicker. As you enter the closer to the mansion you start there are some questions that instantly come up. Who is the owner? What happened? You could really have the story of the year here, but should you search further? These are all valid questions and all will be answered.
But once you enter, even more, questions start to arise. A machine like you have never seen before becomes the center as Katherine even starts to question herself. As you move up the elevator you start to see objects that have not been touched for over 60 years still have a homeliness to them. When you stumble upon the music room is when things start to get interesting. The piano, for example, starts to almost bounce with life. This is where you meet your new found partner who happens to be this spec of light and will lead you to a gravity tool that will allow you to pick up objects.
As you move through you will notice certain objects will move. They can be anything from a book to a pan. When you see it, you will use your gravity gun to pick it up to release more light specs that will then fly into a room barramator which is a machine that almost resembles an old-time gumball machine. Once you have enough specs collected, you will be instructed to pull the lever and you are then transported outside of a bigger machine and what appears to be the ocean and this is where we meet Talbon.
But with anything this strange, would you believe what you just witnessed?
So as we learn that Talbon needs keys to help unlock something bigger. But those specs of lights that you collected happens to be pieces of Talbon’s memory scattered throughout the mansion. But how do you get these keys you might be asking? Well, it seems that Talbon didn’t want to take any chances and has a very odd secure way of making sure things are not easily located. With your gravity tool in your hand, each room will have objects that some will have these circuits outlined on the floor, wall, and ceiling. It is your job to use the light on the gravity tool to find the correct to see the outlines and then find the correct piece and use the gravity tool to pick up, put in the correct space, rotate if necessary to then help power up the machines.
But keep in mind that your gravity tool is a powerful one. Objects that are moved can sometimes make it difficult for you to move. If this happens, just feel free to pick up the object and move it out of your way. Once you have all the circuits completed from the room and enough memories collected, you will then be instructed to go back and release those memories to Talbon who will then begin to remember what happened to him and his wife. Torn is one of those magical stories that draws you in. Each time Talbon has you to leave to go get more memories and the keys, you almost want to rush through it and get back, just to hear more of what happened. As Talbon remembers, the visuals of his memory start to come alive and it’s here is where I almost didn’t want to continue. Not because I didn’t want to find out what happened, but the music along with the visuals almost made this one of my favorite escapes.
But as you start to dig deeper into the story, things start to get crazier than you signed up for. You wonder if you were drawn to this house by accident or more of a purpose.
Graphically and immersively, Torn is a really beautiful story that was built for Virtual Reality. Everything is really detailed and has you wanting to try and pick up everything just to see if it is interactive. Soundwise the music compliments the story. Intense moments have the music that pulls you in.
I want to talk about the controls for a moment. At the very beginning, I am not sure what was going on. If I took off the PlayStation VR headset, I would be behind a wall or stuck in a door that I would have to lean forward to get out of. There is not a way to recenter. If you press the options button, it brings you back to the menu with choices of continue, new game, options and extra. Extras just give you the credits. As far as the locomotion movement, you have blink, dash, walk. I had it set to walk with the box checked for camera-facing wedge and home forward. Also, when you have the gravity tool in one hand and get it close to the other hand, it is easy to have the gravity tool switch hands. So if you keep your hands apart this should not happen too often.
From the main menu, you can press options to adjust the sensor height which does help. I was sitting and maybe that was the problem because even at the sensor height calibration it does have the person standing, but not everyone stands or sits when they play. But what did help was by me moving the camera from top fo the T.V. and moving the chair all the way back. This is the only problem I really had and this can easily be corrected with an update. If not, just keep in mind that you may have to make some adjustments to really enjoy what Torn has to offer and is well worth the adjustments.
Torn has a lot going for it and if you love sci-fi you do not want to miss this one. I am not going to spoil the ending but after my playthrough, it kind of makes a little more sense of the boat ride, the golden tickets to help find a replacement, and possibly the hidden meaning of why he wants us to travel into the world of his creation.
If you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to go back in.