What if you could be part of a city that could help prevent crimes before they even happened all through dreams? But with those dreams, a doorway opens to past memories where the opportunity to help find the truth is needed. But if something happened in your city where crime is supposed to be non-existent, how would you handle it? Do you think, if unsolved, the actions would continue, or would it be over? Thinking about the possibilities of the future has intrigued many to start thinking even more about the possibilities. But does developer MyDearest show us what it is like to investigate and rewind time in order to to be on the right track to the discovery of truth? Let’s find out with DYSCHRONIA: Chronos Alternate – Episode 1 for the Quest/2.
DYSCHRONIA: Chronos Alternate – Episode 1 is a fully interactive, futuristic sci-fi cinematic experience where advanced AI has made it impossible for crimes to be committed. But when the founder of the city is murdered, you will have to use unique investigative abilities to solve this impossible mystery. So before you dive in and solve the mystery like you were part of some meddling kids, there are a few things to know. First, find your favorite place to sit and get comfortable as you will want to find out what happens. Second, since there are a lot of narratives here, I will not show footage of the later parts nor will I tell too much of what happens as I do not want to spoil anything for anyone. Third, make sure your headset and controllers are charged. And finally, just have some fun. With all that said, let’s continue…
Yes, the game, as I mentioned, has a lot of narratives, but unlike the previous title of the Chronos universe, ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos, where it was more narrative than interaction, here, there is the narrative, but with more stealth, adventure, and interaction. When you first start, you are presented with the settings. So make sure you adjust everything that is best suited for you. But even with the settings menu, you are presented in this space that is almost like a portal. From the stars above to the cloud-like surface that acts as a pathway of time. You play as Hal Scion, who is an experiment, and who graduates to become a supervisor in the artificial Astrum Close City. But you start to learn that you have the ability, that when you touch certain objects, you can access the past and interfere with other people’s memories. The thing is, being subject to experimentation, you have no memory of what your life was like before. But as you progress, you start to remember what did happen.
One of the first characters you come across is your navigator robot and now a partner in crime is Lily. When you meet her, the world around you looks like it has been hit by fires as if the world was ending.
This also serves as part of the tutorial so you can learn how to maneuver in this world, which is pretty straightforward and very comfortable to move around. This is where you meet up with your friend, who also happens to be a supervisor, Ash Shepard. One thing about Ash, he knows the layout and tries to look for the best in people, he is someone who has everyone’s best interest (well, depending if he comes across some women and then he is focused on one thing) at heart. It is with that communication that things come both strange and familiar. One of the things that add to the change in the environment is being able to connect to the Augmented Dreaming and connecting with those in the dream state.
As we learn that there has been a murder, you set out to investigate what happened and how the city is supposed to have a lack of crime. With your ability called Memory Diving, you can go to the past and interfere with other’s memories, you have a bracelet on each arm. Your right bracelet lets you scan items, while the left bracelet suppresses your interference abilities. With your bracelets and your skills, it’s up to you to talk to a variety of characters and gather clues throughout the different sections of the city. And when I say talk, you will want to talk to every character possible, including Lily, in hopes to learn where you need to go next, finding & linking the clues, and trying to put everything together to try and solve this mystery. However, keep in mind that you will probably miss some clues and some of the choices you make may affect the story.
But as the story progresses over the few days, there is a more important matter the end of time as we know it will end in seven days. So not only do you have to try and find out the motive behind the murder but solving puzzles and interacting with objects, while interacting with the time loops, throws a lot at you and immerses you in its story of characters and mystery.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. The characters when you get close to them really pop with the anime style in Virtual Reality. Colors of the world, especially in connection with the Augmented Dreaming parts. This is the world I would love to visit and escape to. With the sound, I will say, the opening credits with the music hit me from nowhere and made me pay attention even more. It was a smart way of keeping the movement going and segway it into the story aspect of it all. From the voice acting to the music that is used, it really does immerse you in this visual novel of an experience.
There are a few things that I would like to see for episode 2. First, not all dialog can be heard all the time. It almost broke the immersion just for a second. It’s like if you go to a movie and then the sound goes out, but the movie is still playing. So I hope all dialog for the next episode can be heard. Second, even more, choices to choose from. Having choices that can alter the ending is always fun to have as it makes you want to see what happens if other choices are made. And finally, more interactions and time loops. I love being part of the story from moving around to interacting with the characters. Adding time loops added an interesting aspect to my time and I wanted more. I do hope that episodes 2 & 3 bring even more of this to the mix.
DYSCHRONIA: Chronos Alternate – Episode 1 continues the tradition that MyDearest has set by allowing these visual novels to be shown in their truest form and invites you along for the journey and for everyone to enjoy. At times when we are used to our normalcy. It’s great when we have the ability to escape into a story that is not our own but makes us feel like we are part of it and with everything going on in the world, couldn’t we all use a little more feeling like we are part of something?
DYSCHRONIA: Chronos Alternate – Episode 1 is out now for the Quest/2 on the Oculus Store. A review code was provided.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I need to see if I missed any clues.