Sunday , 19 May 2024
Meta Quest GamesReviews

Dyschronia: Chronos Alternate Episode One Review

Being a fan of what MyDearest bring to the VR space, I was really looking forward to Dyschronia when it was announced. I have now had the chance to play through Episode One of the planned three episodes, but was my excitement worth it?

Story

In Episode One you start being introduced as training to be a supervisor of the Augmented Dreaming that has been built by the city creator Professor Albert Rumford. After getting your Supervisor role the Professor is murdered – and the case is handed to you as your first ever case. The question is can you solve the case, and calm peoples tensions in Augmented Dreaming many of who have never witnessed a crime never mind a murder in their lifetime?

Gameplay

This opens up the multifaceted elements of gameplay they have introduced in Dyschronia. The game would fall under a story-driven visual novel, detective and puzzle game. Which is a great amount of elements, and seems to be something MyDearest is improving in every release they do in the Chronos series.

As you are investigating the case, a lot of the gameplay elements are built around the investigation element of the case. This will see you visiting places around the city, talking to people, investigating the reconstructed crime scenes and using your powers as a variant to help solve parts of the puzzles and gather more evidence.

So, I mentioned being a variant – you are one of three, that have been involved in experiments by the Professor over your childhood. Hal who you play can pick up items and recall a memory attached to that item and also in some cases alter the actions in that memory. These skills come in mighty handy when investigating the crime scenes looking for evidence.

Outside of the investigation and your variant skills, you might get some puzzles to complete in the rooms to move on with your investigation and find some more clues to help you build your case.

As aforementioned you also have a duty to make sure people in Augmented Dreaming are also counselled if they are full or tension around the murder of the Professor. The ones that need counselling will be highlighted in red rather than the blue. You will need to activate the session with them and it plays out like a game of ‘Simon Says’ with you following the inputs shown in analyse segment of the counselling. Now, doing this will unlock lore and information about the world of Dyschronia as a reward for completing these.

There is one more element to the gameplay near the end, which I really thought was fantastic. But, I do not want to talk about this and ruin it for people – as experiencing this part of the game was so great.

These are the main elements of the gameplay that they provided in Episode One, and I was so pleased to see so many elements being adding to the visual novel style MyDearest do so well.

Presentation

The team have continued with the similar character design they have used in the whole Chronos series – but, this is not a bad thing as it works so well and looks so nice in VR. As, you would want in a visual novel there is a range of characters that you will interacting with as part of the main story, with them all looking different in their own way.

Again something that I think is special about playing games like this is the presence it gives you in each scene, having the 3D characters in front of you – with the big difference in Dyschronia, being having the ability to walk around each scene. All the character models are created really well, as well as the environments being nice to look around and being built up and busy where needed – and the design of the Augmented Dreaming world being beautiful.

They have again brought back the regionalised audio, meaning you do not always need to read the conversations. However, in the cases you are taking to people outside of the main characters in the story, this is not spoken audio and will require you to read them.

With the game being so heavy on dialogue it is very important that the voice acting is done well, as this could make or break a visual novel. This was an area I knew I would not have any complaints in, as this is something MyDearest have always delivered on and Dyschronia was no exception to this.

The overall presentation is another area the team have made improvements in with every game they released – and Dyschronia has again moved this forward and it looks and sounds great on the Meta Quest 2.

Comfort/Controls

With the improvements in the interactivity of the game, this is no longer a static experience like the rest of the Chronos games. However, MyDearest have shown an understanding of VR and made every comfort option available in their settings to help negate motion sickness. With the addition of a button based crouch system making it possible to play the game either seated or standing.

The controls are easy to pick up, with the grab buttons picking items up, the trigger on the controls either giving you more information on things you are touching or launching into the memories. Then pressing the analogues to crouch, and the buttons on the controllers to bring up the investigation information, your inventory or switching into Augmented Dreaming mode.

Longevity

When it was announced that the Dyschronia was being released in three separate episodes, I was worried that the gameplay time would take a hit per episode. However, my first play-through of it took me just over six-hours – and I did not do all of the counselling needed to unlock all the lore, did not find all the collectible coins hidden around the world and don’t think I experienced every memory I could. I feel if I was to do everything it could easily make it around ten-hours for this episode alone.

Reviewed using Meta Quest 2

quest-2-review

For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a review code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press code does not affect my judgement of the product.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The team at MyDearest have done it again with Dyschronia, and taken what they have learnt from their previous games and brought more to VR visual novels again. Keeping a great storyline and bringing more gameplay elements into the genre with each one being implemented into Virtual Reality so well. Add to this that full locomotion is now in the game rather than being a more static point-and-click bringing another element that has been missing from the genre. With Episode One clocking in at over six-hours without completing all tasks in the game – I can see people getting plenty of playtime out of the Dyschronia by either returning for another play-through or trying to do everything at once. I love what MyDearest are doing and the improvements they make with every release, so Episode Two cannot come quick enough.

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