Transference (Xbox One) Review

By Albert Lichi 20.01.2019

Review for Transference on Xbox One

"Walking sims," or "first-person adventure games," go hand in hand with virtual reality. To develop a title like this is relatively low effort, and the increasing popularity of VR means that the thirsty VR enthusiasts will take notice. Once in a while, such walking sims get a non-VR version released, and this is when the integrity of the adventure game itself can be scrutinized without the enhanced immersion. Such is the case with the Xbox One release of Transference. A sci-fi horror story, or a domestic drama? Gets transferred to Spectrevision and Ubisoft's joint of Transference.

There is no ignoring the fact that Transference is meant to be played in VR. From the player character's extremely slow walking speed that cannot be increased, to the emphasis on simplistic puzzles and shockingly short story; this was clearly something that was mean to be experienced with a headset. The very fibre of Transference emphasizes VR as a core theme since the narrative uses it as a meta-narrative device. The idea is that the world is meant to be some kind of simulation, albeit a glitched and corrupt artifice that is based on the interpretation of three personalities.

This in itself is a novel and original idea which makes for a great setting in a first-person adventure game with lots of puzzles. It is just too bad that this rail-roads players and offers almost no exploration or experimentation. Exploring the remnants of a virtual world on the verge of a complete breakdown is not the rip-roaring good time one would hope it would be. Expect a very pedestrian apartment that sometimes has intentional visual bugs and lots of head-ache inducing chromatic aberration. This optical distortion gets overused to a point where the intended effect is lost and just makes everything seem quaint.

Screenshot for Transference on Xbox One

Even when compared to some other bottom of the barrel walking sims like Don't Knock Twice, Transference more closely resembles something from last generation. Ever since P.T. set the standard for domestic horror settings, nobody has been able to meet it, and, sadly, Spectrevision misses the mark. There is an attempt to make the world feel photo-realistic, even going so far as casting human actors for some live-action footage that is peppered throughout many in-game monitors. The effect won't trick anyone, especially since Transference doesn't even commit to this, and features 3D model versions of the three family members, anyway.

Gameplay-wise, this is as standard as 3D first-person adventures go. There is a lot of walking around some house looking for objects and examining items or reading letters. The only gimmick is being able to switch to different pallet swap versions of the apartment that represents each of the family member's psyche. There is little attempt at subtlety as really obvious phrases are scribbled on walls which will make eyes roll so much that they'll see the back of a skull. After it is all done, and the befuddlement from the uninteresting story fades into frustration from being burned by this title; there is no reason to ever return. Transference is a VR experience first. Without VR it is a very mundane, and by-the-numbers first-person adventure game that can be finished in less than an hour.

Screenshot for Transference on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Transference is wasted on Xbox One, since it does not support VR. It is not only unbelievably short, it is lacking in content and substance. It is a perfect example of a "one and done" kind of game where you never look back after completing it, and then forget all about it. It might get brought up later in life, but even then, memories of playing it will be foggy at best. Half-remembered dreams are more memorable than Transference.

Developer

SpectreVision

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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