Run for cover as another ‘non-gaming’ experience has been unleashed on the PlayStation Network Store. This time it’s a musical oddity in the form of .detuned; will this succeed where Linger In The Shadows failed?
This time around .detuned is a different beast to Linger in The Shadows and is less of a gaming experience than the aforementioned piece of interactive art. Instead it focuses on music and onscreen visuals. To some it’s nothing more than a fancy PS3 visual equaliser that accompanies any tunes you have on your hard drive. This comparison is not warranted, as whereas the default PS3 planet Earth visuals will happily carry on without player involvement; .detuned requires you to always be on hand.
The demo mode allows you to see what is actually possible through the use of the SIXAXIS functions. The visuals take place within a room and it is here that a man resides on a chair, surrounded by strange blue creatures. You can influence the man but not his strange companions who jump around regardless. If you leave the controller then he will remain stationary while the blue things please themselves. This is a huge flaw in .detuned as sometimes you just want to kick back and listen to music. Here was an opportunity to let the PS3 entertain visually and keep you guessing with the retuning your favourite tracks, as the game also messes up the audio.
The only link with an actual gaming experience is the fact that you can perform specific moves via button combinations. These can involve disfiguring the character or allowing him to jump up and move around the screen. Do these a couple of times and you’ve acquired most of the trophies linked to .detuned, whilst the novelty has worn off very quickly.
The most annoying aspect is that within this release there is an experience wanting to break out, but the lack of design and modes restricts any enjoyment. It feels like a demo and nothing more. There is no ability to record or playback your visual accompaniment or edit previous work. This also applies to the messed up audio tracks. Perhaps copyright issues are to blame yet we would have liked the ability to listen to our own favourite tunes remixed by our PS3 and even downloaded onto a portable player. It could have extended the experience beyond the confines of the console and provided some unique results.
You cannot criticise for Sony for trying something new by supporting this endeavour, but sadly .detuned only scratches the surface of what may have been possible. Even if its just over £2 for this experience, Gamestyle cannot recommend it to anyone other than those seeking PS3 trophies. Sony could have adopted a far more forward thinking approach and released this as a free demo, with more features to be added in a later finalised version. While .detuned may have its roots in the demoscene it is a very confined and restricted experience.
3 / 10