From Software’s New PS4 Exclusive, Deracine, Is Baffling

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In addition to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the developer of Dark Souls and Bloodborne, From Software, announced another new game at E3 2018. This one, Deracine, is exclusive to PS4 and PSVR, and many–including myself–were confused after watching its reveal trailer. In the search for answers, I went and played around 40 minutes of the VR game at E3. I’m still confused.

You play a spirit “summoned by a young girl in a secluded boarding school.” At first, it’s not clear what exactly to do, but with the help of a Sony Japan Studio developer I worked out that you have the power to talk to students at the school and interact with a limited number of the objects contained in the old house you find yourself in. Every object and being in the world is frozen in time until you touch them, at which point they will briefly spring to action, providing you with a sprinkling of exposition.

The concept of life is seemingly a running theme in Deracine; another power you yield is the ability to breathe life into dead objects. My first task was to revive a wilted flower, though for what purpose isn’t clear. The rest of the demo centers around the girl’s desire–and therefore my task–to poison a fellow student’s soup using four herbs scattered around the building. Obtaining those herbs requires some light puzzle solving, such as carrying keys from one area to another to open a lockbox or finding missing characters whose belongings are useful to progress.

Deracine is seemingly a slow-paced point-and-click adventure, though at this early stage it’s almost impossible to tell if that will be the case for the rest of the campaign, or what other elements it will introduce. This is a From Software game, after all.

Even with a developer next to me, I was forever wondering about what this ethereal, aged school was, who the girl was, who I was, and what I was doing. Given the developer’s history, my guess is that’s very much intentional. Let’s hope we find out more about Deracine’s world when the game launches for PSVR later this year.