Datura Review
Datura Box Art
System: PS3
Dev: Plastic Group
Pub: Sony
Release: May 8, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Violence, Blood, Use of Tobacco

At least the game is nice too look at, especially the forested parts. The autumn leaves that swirl around the forest give an appropriately melancholy feel to the adventure, punctuated by occasional landmark or pretty white flower (at least in my forest of mostly good choices). Dense swarms of insects populate the scene; butterflies for "good" choices and flies for "bad" ones. The animations, although a bit stiff for human characters, are well-executed for objects and animals. The sound design is nothing remarkable, with a couple of atmospheric tracks and decent effects. The music feels a bit repetitive toward the end, as it doesn't seem to change tone even as the forest morphs in reaction to the player's choices.

Datura Screenshot

The entire Datura experience will take two or three hours at the most. Theoretically, the game can be replayed in order to see the difference between making good and bad choices if the player cares enough to do so. I didn't find the game or the choices gripping enough to care, but perhaps that's because I made the good choice for all but one flashback. Players who made mostly bad choices might be compelled to try again in order to see if they prefer the good outcome.

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Datura doesn't quite reach its goal of straddling the line between "experience" and "game." Those looking for a clever adventure game with motion-controlled puzzles should just skip this one and pick up Zack & Wiki for the Wii. Those looking for a journey of self-discovery will find Datura to be essentially shallow. I strongly recommend against getting the game if you don't have a Move controller, as that's definitely the way it's meant to be played. Even with the Move, though, most of what Datura attempts to do has been done better by other games.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
@BeckyCFreelance
Date: May 10, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Datura's world is beautifully and artistically crafted.
2.4
Control
Playing Datura with a DualShock controller is an exercise in frustration.
3.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound design isn't bad, but it's repetitive even for such a short game.
3.0
Play Value
Extremely short, and despite the existence of choices that shape the forest, Datura isn't gripping enough for a replay.
2.5
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • From Plastic Group, the creator of the innovative Linger in Shadows, Datura is a new form of interactive play taking inspiration from the world of film narrative to immerse players in a gaming experience never seen before.
  • Navigate your way through a mysterious forest by controlling your character's hand using the PlayStation Move motion controller or DualShock 3 wireless controller.
  • Datura's experimental narrative and unique style of interaction enable players to experience the world with more than just their eyes, creating the illusion that you can actually touch trees, faces, and other objects.
  • As you travel through the game, you will find yourself confronted with a series of choices, and while some may be clear, others are much more ambiguous. It is through this element of choice that Datura explores the aspects of consequence. What is right, and what is wrong? That is for you to decide...


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