The demoscene makes its way to the PS3 in a title that will leave some thoroughly confused and others stroking their goatee as they write a detailed analysis on their Mac, pausing only to fix their beret. And other artist stereotypes.
Linger in Shadows is not a game. Let's just get that out of the way first. It is marketed as interactive 'art' of sorts, although it's more like an interactive tech demo in all fairness. Confused? Wait until you try it out.
This oddity comes from an underground culture of artists that create real time graphical videos (rather then pre-rendered FMV) that tries to utilise hardware to its fullest. Apparently it started in the crazy 80s, where demoscene artists would use their Commodore 64s and ZX Spectrums to make animations. These days they do it on toasters and washing machines and anything with computer chips in it.
The title has two modes, and some more information on the demoscene, although chances are if you bought it, you already know what the demoscene is. The two modes are 'Linger' and 'Watch', and both incorporate five small cutscenes and transitions which basically add up to a very short film.
In both modes, there are points where you can change the perspective of a variety of items/background elements. One bit may want you to twist around the controller, which in turn rotates a stone dog, or you can change the spin of a crazy shadow thing by pressing up or down on the D-Pad. You can pause the game by pressing X at any point, where you can find out which movements (if any) can be used at this particular point. You can also fast forward and rewind using R2 and L2 respectively, and take screenshots which will store on your hard drive with the select button.
The artistry looks good, if a bit random. Floating trees? Flying dogs? A stone octopus? For anyone who doesn't get the demoscene, Linger in Shadows will prove a complete mystery, even if there are some puzzle elements as outlined below.
In the Linger mode, you need to perform certain actions to move on to the next scene. It's not difficult, as the actions you need to perform do show up when you have paused playback. You may need to shake apart a scene to move onto the next, or see the scene unfold through a cat's eye. Did it come up that this title is confusing?
One of the things this title is good for is Trophy whores, erm, aficionados. There are sixteen Trophies to collect, and you can get most of them in the twenty or so minutes it takes to complete the Linger mode. The rest need to be sought out in the watch mode by looking in the right places.
Overall, it's an interesting idea, probably more so if you follow the demoscene. But if you a lack of appreciation for in-game artistry, the only reason to get it is if you want sixteen Trophies in thirty minutes.
-The Final Word-
Gamers need not apply. This one is for the arty folk out there. Add five points to the final score if you fit into that category.
|Platforms reviewed : PSN|