Have you ever wanted to live in a society devoid of violence and crime? Well Dyschronia: Cronos Alternate takes place in such a place. Astrum Close is a marine city where crime is almost nonexistent until its creator, Professor Albert Rumford, is mysteriously murdered. You play inspector Hal Scion with a mysterious background that you will need to uncover while trying to solve this murder simultaneously.
Dyschronia is an anime-styled murder mystery game with elements of exploration, discovery and time manipulation. In order to solve the murder of Professor Alber Rumford, you will need to bounce back and forward between the real and dream worlds and points in time to interview the citizens of Astrum Close and find clues that help you track down the killer. Elements of the game remind me of the movie ‘Minority Report’ where crimes would be prevented before they happened by using a technology that showed the future. In this game, the authorities use dreams and counseling to prevent crimes or elemenate negative thoughts.
Dyschronia is the first VR game I have played that wasn’t focused on movement, shooting, or rhythm. Now there is nothing wrong with those genres of VR games, but I think that the development of the story game will be essential to the growth of VR. The puzzles in the game are pretty fun and utilize the time manipulation aspect well. There were times where I would step away from the game for a while and come back to no clear direction of what I was supposed to do. This was more of a problem early on in the game but became less of an issue once I started to get more in game objectives.
The Dyschronia experience lasts about 6-8 hours depending on your play cadence and I think that is perfect for VR. Izanagi games did a great job with the art style of the game. The various characters had great designs I won’t speak too much about graphics since this is a game that is running natively on the Meta Quest 2. The way the game looks to you could also differ depending on how the headset is placed on your head or how you have the eye spacing set on your Quest. At times, the real world environments could seem a little bare but the dream worlds brought a lot of character and color to the setting of Astrum Close.
If you are in the market for more content to experience on your VR headset, I think Dyschronia is a good choice for the price. With this being a game based around mystery and discovery, I can’t say that there is a ton of replayability. This is something that many VR games have a problem with so I wouldn’t hold that against Dyschronia here. This will be the first episode of three for this series and I look forward to whats to come. As a fan of anime and mystery, this was a great experience and I think it is worth a try. If you don’t own a VR headset or are not a fan of VR, the game will be available on the Nintendo Switch as well.
Dyschronia: Chronos Alternate is available on the Meta Quest right now for 19.99 USD and will be available for the Nintendo Switch in 2023.