hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Preview: Trying to make sense of Datura

5:00 PM on 03.15.2012 // Jordan Devore

Datura is one of those games that compels you to share your in-game experience with friends as if you're telling a grand story about some meaningful feat you accomplished. For me personally, it tends to be exploration-centric games like Fallout: New Vegas that evoke such a response.

While Plastic Studios' latest project for PlayStation 3 is no open-world game in that sense, it does allow the player to walk around freely while trying to understand their unsettling surroundings. I suppose you could call this a modern adventure game, or something to that effect.

One thing is for sure: Datura is f*cking weird.

Datura (PlayStation Network)
Developer: Plastic Studios
Publisher: Sony
Release: 2012

The centerpiece of the playable build shown off at the 2012 Game Developers Conference was a gloomy, leaf-filled forest. After a quick interactive scene in which you are strapped into the back of an ambulance and attempt to get your bearings, you are sent to this wooded area for reasons not yet made clear.

It's very possible that Datura will never fully explain itself, because it very much seems to be one of those open-to-interpretation games. I have nothing against them, but if you do, consider this your first and only warning.

The world is presented to you from a first-person perspective, hence my desire to lump this in with adventure games. Datura can be played with a standard gamepad, but its main emphasis is placed on the PlayStation Move. It allows you to more accurately control a floating on-screen hand to interact with objects in the environment, like a notebook fastened to a tree with a pen.

In some ways, using the Move was almost too precise, and in the process of getting used to the control scheme, there were some unintentionally hilarious moments in which my rogue hand went haywire. While this game doesn't beat you over the head with what to do or where to go, there are small prompts to show you how to pull off specific Move actions needed for the given situation. I appreciated that.

It's hard to say what the puzzles in Datura will be like in the full game. The ones presented to me were based more on interaction with something abstract rather than "solving" anything per se, but then again, this was presumably the very beginning and it's entirely possible they'll get increasingly complex.

The stand-out moment involved waking up an out-of-reach pig. There was a pile of potatoes nearby, so I started chucking them in the creature's general direction until one finally connected. This prompted the pig to start walking around the forest, eventually making its way to a tunnel guarded by overgrown roots.

I already knew something wasn't quite right with this animal, but when it cleared the path by nonchalantly walking through these roots, that pretty much confirmed my suspicions. Naturally, I crawled along the now-accessible path and then found myself driving a car.

So, I did what any reasonable person would do and attempted to avoid rubbing up against the guard rails until the aforementioned pig appeared in the middle of the road. Believe me when I say I tried my best to hit it, but somehow, I missed. And that was the end of the demo. I was told that hitting the pig would've flipped my car over. Needless to say, I'm really bummed out now.

Confused by all of this? Join the club. I was able to watch other people play Datura and they encountered different objects in the forest that I had totally overlooked, raising even more questions. I'm eager to play more and hopefully get answers. If you're not completely averse to artsy games, you should be too.

Photo Gallery: (12 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidJordan Tips
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it, but for the most part I like what I've seen of the new blog editor. My first blog post using it should go up tomorrow.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The demon threat is real.[img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #20 (Bonus) - Valak Mountain Night (Xenoblade Chronicles) [youtube][/youtube] This theme perfectly captures the essence of Valak Mountain. It feel serene and calm, as well as mountain-esque (lol).
Lawman avatarLawman
What does one do when MGS V has lost its luster and Persona 4: DAN is growing stale? Listen to Queens of the Stone Age, of course. And wonder; is Steins;Gate worth the asking price? I want it, but not sure if I $30 - $40 want it...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Been trying to get Tales Of Phantasia finished before Zestiria comes out... How i'm going to get through that game I have no clue... especially when Exist Archive comes out in December and I have to play that too... also i've still yet to finish Grandia 2
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Been in a bit of a rut this week and as such haven't really been satisfied with any of my games. Therefore, I'm going to start Destiny again on my new PS+ account. Any tips given the amount of updates it's had?
Bardley avatarBardley
Bought a used knockoff game console called the Power Kracker 2013, which claimed to have 76,000 games. The AC adapter was missing and someone had crammed an off-brand GameCube controller inside the box. I don't know what I expected.
Firuzi Gafrindashvili avatarFiruzi Gafrindashvili
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I actually love the quests in Novigrad where you write a play. It's a fun and lighthearted break from the tragedy of Baron and horror of Velen and the Crones.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I preordered Tales of Zestria and Disgaea 5 because they were £10 cheaper that way, WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ME HUH?
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Man, plague of shadows is gooood. It really fleshes out plague knight and the world by extension, and it has some fun story stuff. Plus plague knight plays differently enough to shovel knight to make whats old feel new again. Deep customization too.
nanashi avatarnanashi
You will be missed. 2001 - 2015 ATHF RIP. ... oh and uh, GET OUT OF MY FREAKING POOL!!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Freezing my ass off at a Penn State football game. Half of the hicks at this stadium probably didn't graduate high school, yet they're rooting for a college football team. I wish I was on my warm den playing MGS V.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
Gosh darn it, she's done it again! That Sapphire's a talented minx. [youtube][/youtube]
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Is renting games still a thing in America? I know there's only one UK company still doing rentals. And does it make you less tolerant of games? I definitely gave games less of a chance when I knew I could sling them back in the envelope and get a new one.
Termadoyle avatarTermadoyle
Probably the most awesome soundtrack in an indie game. And the game isn't so bad either. win/win situation tbqh.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -