Datura

Datura comes to PlayStation Network courtesy of Plastic Studios, a developer with their head stuck so far up their own ass that their face is now an intestinal blockage.  Their only other PSN title was artsy-fartsy crapfest Linger in Shadows, which actually was one of the top-selling titles on the platform.  Probably because it was cheap and most people who bought it were unaware that it wasn’t actually a game, but rather an artificially surreal, deplorably pretentious piece of rancid shit.  I guess the good news is that someone at Plastic pulled their melon out of their anus long enough to make something that kind or resembles a game.  The bad news: it still sucks, they still released it, and they’re actually charging money for it.

The idea is you’re this dude that’s fucking dead and.. oh sorry.  Hold on.

SPOILER ALERT: The dude is fucking dead.  Do not continue reading if you don’t want to know that.

The idea is you’re this dude that’s fucking dead and progressing through some sort of afterlife.  So basically, it aims to be a spiritually enlightening quest of discovery.   Gee, where have I heard that one before?  Ah, but this is totally different from Journey.  Journey had a coherent narrative and felt like it was making an honest attempt to connect to players on a spiritual level.  Datura plays out like a series of random acid trips that someone kept notes on.  Having played Linger in Shadows, I’m guessing that’s not too far from the truth.  Hell, the game opens with a dude on a bad trip (courtesy of Datura, a fruit that causes delirium) being treated in an ambulance.  Using the move controller, you pull the heart monitors off your chest, at which point the EMT shocks you with paddles and then stabs you in the chest with a syringe.  I’m guessing this could very well have been the final fate of the lead producer of Linger in Shadows.  Since Plastic is a Polish-based company, I’m going to assume he had a hilarious name, like Maciej.

You unlock this door with the key to imagination. And drugs. Lots of drugs.

Once you’re out of the ambulance, you’re dropped in a forest where you have fumble your way around, looking for white trees to rub up against.  Doing so fills out a map.  Also, there are four fucking stupid mini-games for you to find.  Once you beat those, you have to make your way through a maze so ridiculously easy that Theseus could have navigated his way out using nostril hair, followed by four more minigames.  Those are then followed by a bullshit non-ending that should have been expected by this point, just because it completes that “you really pissed your money away with this purchase” feeling.

And what are the minigames?  Well, there’s one where you drive on a road, pantomiming driving with your ping-pong-ball-on-a-stick Move controller.  Because, you know, I guess nobody had ever thought to make a motion-controlled driving game before.  Oh, and you also get to climb up a ladder using gestures that are typically reserved for jerking off a 22-inch-circumference gherkin.  There’s a ball throwing minigame, a rifle shooting minigame, a minigame where you watch your best friend get blown away by a drunken farmer, and one where you chase your friend around a swimming pool.  What the fuck?  Is this really supposed to be an art house indie game or just the Betty Ford Clinic version of Wii Play?

The Lawnmower Meh

I honestly can’t recommend Datura to anyone.  Even if you have some kind of crazy Brewster’s Millions bet going, Datura isn’t worth it.  As far as Plastic Studios, Sony needs to tell them “make a coherent game or we’re cutting your funding.”  Tough love is what they need, because empty platitudes using buzzwords like “bold” and “artistic” isn’t helping them get any better.  Honestly, I don’t see anything good ever coming out this studio, so Sony should just cut them loose.  Let them do whatever it is the Polish normally do for work.  I hear they make really good screen doors for submarines.

Datura was developed by Plastic Studios

$7.99 ($9.99 for non PS+ members) asked “how do you get a Polish game developer out of a tree?  Wave to them!” in the making of this review. 

My boyfriend noted “the trailer looks cool.”  THE TRAILER LIES!  DON’T BE FOOLED LIKE I WAS! 

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