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October 15, 2008
Linger In Shadows - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Can anyone spot the teddy bear?
The first time we heard about Linger In Shadows it was when the game appeared at the OFLC and was listed as a Sony game and slapped with a G rating... But this isn't really a game as the development team Plastic has re-iterated several times. This is instead 'interactive art' created from the demo scene.

Years ago I collected dozens of demos which showed what could be done with a fraction of the data storage space being used by other programs (and in particular games). Indeed this entire program is a download of just over 100MB in size.

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Probably the nicest image in the whole thing.
So what do you do here? Well upon starting the game (we're going to call it that - but it's not a game remember) you start to "Linger" in this video world. Actually you get to watch this world pass by. You can press X to pause the movie, press circle to turn on lights, triangle to free up the camera a little bit, wiggle the controller to make things shake, press L1 or R1 to rewind or fast forward and press the D-pad to make things rotate. Screen capture is available by pressing select. As an added bonus you can find an 'oldskool' demo by pressing L3 and R3 down together at the same time on the main menu.

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Nice pussy. But look closely, is it really that nice?
The real problem with this game/demo/interactive art is that it's so damn short. In fact the first time you watch the whole demo it's over in under 7 minutes - and that includes about 2 minutes 10 seconds of opening credits. So, working that out with a runtime of 7 minutes, and a cost of $5, it is as if you're paying the equivalent of approximately $85 to watch a 2 hour movie. That is not good value.

The interactivity is also pretty lame. You can't move anywhere within the game world, with being able to fast forward and rewind being the most exciting thing. You can even pause the game which then tell you when to press which button. It's not a game, it's not really too interactive either and you would have seen everything within a couple of play throughs.

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Linger in Shadows on PS3...
Don't get me wrong, I love the demo scene, but this isn't one of the best works to come from it. These demo coders prided themselves on not only providing stunning compression of data and programming but also proving what their system of choice was capable of. The problem with Linger in Shadows is that it doesn't really look that great. Sure, at times there are a lot of objects on screen, but the detail is lacking. The one redeeming feature is a great soundtrack which plays in the background, but the effects are limited.

So Linger In Shadows is 'interactive art' but that doesn't make it very good. In fact even at $5 it's a bit of a waste of money. It should have been free, or vastly expanded upon this 7 minute experience most of which has been seen before in the promotional video release some months ago.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSSadly, this isn't the great artwork I hoped to see.
SOUNDMusic is atmospheric, and the effects do the job. Nothing great.
GAMEPLAYIt's not a game, it's interactive art dammit! Problem is, interactivity really is very limited (or, as some may say, shit).
VALUEIf you have about 15 minutes to fill in, go ahead, spend $5.
OVERALLFor all the mystery and build up of excitement this turns out to be quite a dud release. Still, I welcome other very cheap experiments like this - but better.

Talk about Linger In Shadows in this forum topic now.