Editorials

Review: Transference

Transference is a collaboration between SpectreVision and Ubisoft Montreal that has created a Hollywood cinematic psychological thriller to be experienced on game consoles. Your nerves will be tested as you look to uncover the mystery that is concealed within a family’s apartment.

Transference focuses on Raymond Hayes, a scientist who has uploaded the consciousness of his wife and son into a computer simulation to conduct an experiment. However, this simulation quickly becomes corrupt as you explore it through the eyes of all three family members to determine what errors caused the corruption. Shifting between the three family members is achieved by flipping light switches and each perspective reveals various details about the individual such as the wife being a talented musician and the son maintains perfect grades in school as he aspires to be more like his hero. Each perspective also allows the individual to see specific items that relate to them instead of other family members. The amount of detail implemented creates a very immersive experience.

Transference gives you the option of experiencing it on PS VR and non-VR. While both offer a great experience, the PS VR playthrough was beyond terrifying at times and causes many emotions to surface. The lighting and music intensify every step that is made throughout the apartment as you never know what awaits around each corner. The most frightening VR moments occur when you stumble across a corrupted data monster that watches your every move and intervenes when you begin making a breakthrough with understanding the events that have unfolded with the family. Hearing the monster in the distance, doors shaking, dogs barking, and whispers, all make for an intense, but rewarding, immersive experience. The dark mysterious atmosphere is constructed the moment you take your first step towards the apartment complex and continues with each additional step made until the game’s conclusion.

An integral part of the Transference experience is the ability to interact with the items that are scattered throughout the environment. The apartment houses many items that belong to all members of the family that give us a better look into their lives and the struggles they face. Interacting with certain items will also reveal live-action videos of family members, which brings about the Hollywood cinematic presence within Transference. Uncovering elements hidden within objects also reveal key information that is required to solve puzzles.

There are several puzzles that need to be solved in order to progress the story. They vary from reading mailbox combinations to gain access to a door, placing magnetic letters on a door as a password to gain entry, and even stroking specific keys on a piano to light up bulbs. One of my favourite puzzles to solve came towards the end of Transference and first required you to retrieve a jar of sand from a bedroom to fill a sand hourglass that allows access to a corner with several clocks. Your task is to set the minute and hour hand to the required time by using a keen sense of observation of the examples that are set out on the other clocks around you. However, these clocks use Roman numerals, equations, and other means of telling time, so you must decipher them to acquire the correct information. I utilized BEDMAS to solve the order of operations in the equation and it revealed the information needed to solve the puzzle. The amount of detail here was very impressive and it gives players a choice with regards to solving the puzzle.

Transference offers a great, terrifying for some, experience that can be enjoyed within two to three hours. This shorter duration is another element credited to the creation of a Hollywood psychological thriller that is to be experienced firsthand. Every detail and game mechanic is finely crafted to create an immersive experience that will make you proceed cautiously throughout each room. Transference comes highly recommended and offers the best experience on VR. Just remember that monsters lurk in the darkness and watch your every move. Sleep tight.

You can follow me on Twitter at @DaveMolinski

[A copy of the game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]

The Good
  • Tense and terrifying moments
  • VR offers a memorable experience
  • Great puzzle variety
  • Attention to detail
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