What if you could enter a mind? What if once you entered the mind what you knew was generated for you in a reality that is not known, but reimagined of how one reality could become the normality? What if you were the one being tested as the subject? These were some of the questions I had in what I experienced. But do Developers Spectrevision and Ubisoft Montreal and Publisher Ubisoft allow us to enter one’s mind…to become the experiment of a psychological thriller? Let’s find out with Transference for the PlayStation VR.
I want to put this warning up first. If you are sensitive to any jump scares, to sensitive issues, language, flashes, be warned as Transference does contain them all. But if you can handle any or all of the above, then please enter this mind of an experiment.
There was a show called LOST and in that show, there was a particular scene where Karl is getting brainwashed by being subjected to a video and essentially being brainwashed but was it more of a selfishness and controllable act or was it for the greater good?
But what if we took what we thought we knew and flipped into something mind-blowing? What if the next step or really the next phase of the Dharma Initiative was not basically forcing until you had no choice to watch, but instead changes the world around you and in a way of brainwashing allows you to be the willing subject where you agreed and allowed to have your brain to be entered and explored, and your reality becomes an alternate virtual reality almost into two parts? If you knew what you were getting yourself into, would you still allow yourself to become the victim or would you allow certain fears to come out and be experienced only to be witnessed by the unknown?
I am going to put this out now. I am not going to spoil the experience in any way. That would not be fair to you or anyone and Transference is something that does need to be explored. It has to have your undivided attention and you have to have its attention.
Transference is an estimable cinematic experience. A scientist named Raymond Hayes who has found a way to tune in with the brain. But the interesting part is, you are being tested. You are the one. But the story of Transference is so much more. Told from different perspectives of the Hayes family in this generated experiment of sorts. Everyone has issues and here certain issues may be relatable to some while those issues may hit home or awoken more than others.
But once you start to understand the perspectives of Raymond, Katherine and Benjamin you start to see the struggles each one has as they are trying to fit in and hold on to what they love all while almost giving up something for the right thing of that love. The way the blame is formulated and hearing the voices all around you is powerful and makes you sit back for a moment to ponder about your own life all while trying to move forward at the same time as to hold on to what you have. Transference became this almost power struggle within myself as some of the issues that are being discussed at this same level calmness that has been dragging me down that I have tried to keep hidden all these years from growing up.
At certain points of Transference, I had to stop. There were things that were said that almost flipped the switch of the memories I had that I tried to bury. You see when having this visual experience that is brought out and surrounds you like Transference does, it somehow can trigger an existence of judgment that may have been given to you that you never asked for as you were being pulled apart and used as a bargaining tool rather than a child.
One thing you will be doing in Transference a lot is looking at different objects. But not only will you need to pay attention to some of these objects as they will help solve a puzzle, but the audio as well. Certain things are said in certain ways. You may come up to a light switch that once is flipped on or off, my turn what room you knew was there a minute ago, replaced with a different perspective. It’s almost like you have to know when to turn it on or off in order to proceed. The way the flipping of the switch allows for things to appear and disappear as if it is light vs dark is done brilliantly.
Parts of scenes may have missing pieces that have to be found in order to complete the scene. Luckily, it tells you what is missing, but this may result in you have to backtrack and also flipping a switch in order to get the correct object from the correct parallel. I mentioned jump scares earlier. But once the pieces of the puzzle start to come together, the individual problems of the Hayes family starts to take a toll. Feelings of regret, remorse, self-harm to even blame start to almost form its own identity and when that identity starts to have almost a life of its own in Virtual Reality, it is something that I have almost on a certain level, never experienced like it before.
Yes, Transference can be played in non-VR, but if you want the experience, if you want to have this amazing cinematic blend of an experience, it needs to be done in VR.
Let’s talk about the sound in Transference. This may be one of the best 3D sounding experiences I have ever had. The way the voices are around you and not knowing if they are coming are going. Points as if someone is trapped with only wanting to be able to be helped that will then be lead by the screaming of fear of the self-criticizing whispers of the family. When you have this type of sound surrounding you with its ambient almost haunting in a way is truly extraordinary.
Visually speaking, this is almost on another level. The way the FMV (Full Motion Video) is used is remarkable. Having images played on monitors or laptops and sometimes multiple ones is a welcomed approach. The way the walls of a room seem partially generated and then watch then become whole right in front of you heighten the experience.
If one thing that Transference shows us is that sometimes when our focus becomes the object that we are holding to the work that we are doing, the ones around us can become our past. Even though we may think that what we are doing is the utmost importance, it can never replace the ones that matter the most. And as short and as fast life is, maybe the ones around us should become more important than the work that we do and the object that we are holding.
Transference is out now. A review copy was provided. To learn more about Spectrevision, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook. To learn more about Ubisoft Montreal, please visit their site and make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Ubisoft, please visit their site and make sure to 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 to Transference and find the missing video files.