A disease can be deathly when there is no cure. But at a time where hope was needed the most and surely felt lost by death, there was one man who saved was able to make a difference and not only save those who survived but for future generations to come. But do Steel Minions portrayal that some called a hero, the education vaccine we need? Let’s find out with The Chantry for PlayStation VR.
But what is The Chantry about? The Chantry allows us to go back in time. A time where there were no electronics that there are today, but a time with its own technology and problems. The time was the 1700’s and the person of interest is one Dr. Edward Jenner. You may not recognize the name, but Dr. Edward Jenner is the father of immunology, is the one responsible for the cure of Smallpox. A disease that killed so many people.
I mean think about it, at first you may not show any symptoms and then you feel like you have the flu. Then soon after you start to develop these small spots on your tongue and mouth that would develop into sores that would break open and then a rash would start to form on your face and spreads to the rest of your body within 24 hours. Then bumps would form and be filled with this fluid, fever starts to hit, and then scabs would form over the bumps that would feel like small metal pellets under your skin. As time passed the scabs would fall off leaving you with these marks that would scar up and you would remain contagious until all the scabs would fall off. If it got to your eyes, you could possibly go blind.
Now that we have a more informed understanding about smallpox, let’s get into the experience. At the main menu, you have the option of starting a new game, credits and museum. So wanting to get into The Chantry, I had to start a new. When you first arrive you see this house that is almost hidden behind this fog of sorts. Approaching quicker the house seems familiar, but trying to remember everything is not as simple as you would have liked. You will need to find clues to help progress your memory all while taking you on the journey of this special time in history.
What I found really interesting is the house itself. The Jenner house is a real house that does exist in Berkeley England. The team of Steel Minions actually went there to capture the house with 3D scanning to recreate and allow us to experience it in Virtual Reality. And I must say the amount of detail Steel Minions has provided vs what the house looks and present it in the way of how it would have looked at the time is truly amazing.
You will be moving through the house in the form of clicking. But what Steel Minions have done is made everything very simple. You turn with the left or right thumbsticks or you can even use the L1 and R1 you desire. As you turn you will see circles with footprints, just look at the circle with the PlayStation VR headset and it will start to pulsate and you press any button to move yourself to that spot. As you move throughout the house you will be trying to find clues that will be represented by circles with a hand.
For example, if the room is marked Ridicule, you will need to find all the missing pieces in order to unlock that area. Luckily, Steel Minions again made it simple by just showing you a list of the things you will need. Keep in mind that when you pick up an item, you may need to rotate that item for it to reveal the name. Once you found an item of the list that is needed to unlock the area, a checkmark will appear next to that item. There are times when you may have to go to one end of an area and back again in order to get the item you may need. A couple of times I have to go up the stairs and back again. Honestly, it’s not that bad and after a while, you start to memorize where things might be located.
As far as sound goes, music is not really the focus. Being an educational experience, I already knew going in what to expect and that is why I appreciate learning what I did about Dr. Edward Jenner and the cure for smallpox. It was like going to a museum and going on an audio tour. The great thing is you don’t have to rush this, you go in and take your time and really appreciate the history that is being presented in Virtual Reality.
Graphically like I mentioned it is amazing what Steel Minions did here by capturing 3D scanning data of Dr. Edward Jenner’s house and made it look like how it would have been. From the moment I saw the house for my time inside and out, I got the feeling like I was there in that time.
My experience with The Chantry allowed me to really think about how terrible it must have been for humanity at that time in the world and what they must have gone through with their struggles with smallpox disease and it really made me stop and think that no matter how bad I may think I have it sometimes. That it is nothing compared to the headache, heartache, and the overall pain that the world experienced back then.
But it also made me think that even now with some of the diseases out there without a cure or even in the future of an outbreak that has yet to be discovered, that maybe there should be less fighting in the world against each other and more working together for the greater good. We all should have a common goal in life to be the best that we can be so that future generations can make the world a better place and less painful than we are leaving it.
The Chantry is out now in the EU PlayStation Store and should be coming to N. America soon. A review copy was provided. To learn more about Steel Minions (Sheffield Hallam Uni), please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to go back into the museum and just take my time and think.