Transient - Review
A small Turkish studio Stormling Studios, which gave us the projects Conarium and Darkness Within, decided to try their hand at cyberpunk, combining fashionable stylistics with history in the spirit of Lovecraft's works.
The events of Transient take place in a distant post-apocalyptic future, when the remnants of humanity live after an unknown catastrophe in isolated cities. These megacities are controlled by artificial intelligence, and people stay in isolated apartments, from where they go to virtual worlds, where they communicate with others in cyberspace.
The main character of the story, Randolph Carter, along with friends from the ODIN hacker cell, decides to rob the biolab of a large corporation, but suddenly loses his memory and soon learns that part of his team has died, and the survivors are hiding from the authorities. Taking up the investigation, he finds records of his own memories left by his friend Alice, which lead to unexpected discoveries.
Transient combines the spirit of cyberpunk, recalling the Observer game in terms of investigations and the use of implants. The main character can scan the environment for anomalies with the help of OVI-an implant that sharpens perception. In addition, he is able to analyze the crime scene, finding evidence, go into the subconscious and dive into cyberspace to hack servers. The latter is made in the form of a mini-game, where you have to bypass the protective emitters moving along the lines on a large board, and collect pieces of information. In case of detection, you will have to guess the correct password by selecting letters from several options.
You will also have to solve simple logic puzzles in Transient and take part in two retro games that refer to the classic worlds of System Shock and Alone in the Dark. Separately, there is the task of mixing different herbs to sharpen the feelings of the main character, who is one of the best hackers in the city.
The game actively moves the hero between virtual spaces, sends him to distant worlds similar to fragments of Lovecraft's works, and feeds him with technical failures, which are expressed in damage to the screen in the manner of the SOMA project.
But with a good plot and a lot of locations, Transient does not go beyond a completely standard walking simulator. You boldly step from point to point, perform tasks without variability or non-linearity, and also engage in pixel hunting for the sake of activating another skillfully hidden trigger. Well, sometimes watch out for pre-written scenes. The only thing that really disappoints is the ending, which leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
Visually, Transient looks pretty. The environment is well designed, there are photorealistic rooms and pleasant visual effects. However, graphics of this level have long been not uncommon in modern works. At the same time, the game loads the video card quite actively, forcing the RTX 3080 to buzz at maximum power.
Transient is a pretty enough game that equally mixes the style of cyberpunk like Observer and quirky worlds in the spirit of Lovecraft. But it still lacks a more coherent plot, more interesting puzzles and more motivation for the main character to investigate the events of the recent past. Well, mini-games and references to retro classics with a short duration seem superfluous here. Otherwise, it is quite an interesting and unusual project that should appeal to all fans of non-standard adventures, cyberpunk, Lovecraft and unusual narratives.