Decarnation from Atelier QBD and Shiro Unlimited brings us a horror narrative adventure on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Decarnation review!
Decarnation from Atelier QBD and Shiro Unlimited brings us a horror narrative adventure on Nintendo Switch. It’s a journey that has been inspired by the work of David Lynch and Junji Ito, to name some influences. The story takes place in 1990s Paris, and it places you in the role of Gloria. She’s a struggling cabaret dancer at The Black Swan who is in great need of a break. She decides to take on a job that leads her down a path that is quite unexpected. After posing nude for a handful of days, it’s time for her to visit the exhibit to see the statue that has been created in her image. Joined by her girlfriend Joy, she visits the gallery where her bronze statue is being displayed.
After walking through the museum and examining the different paintings, sculptures, and other works of art, she finally makes it to the room where the bronze statue is displayed. It’s there that she, unfortunately, witnesses something so gross it makes her run away: someone is groping the statue and having too much fun while doing it. This makes her want to leave the museum, but not before another visitor makes a misogynist comment about the statue. Feeling defeated, she makes her way to her gig at the cabaret. It’s from that moment forward that things take a turn for the bizarre.
You’ll control your character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad to walk around each area as you interact with objects or other characters by pressing the A button. Sometimes you’ll have to press up, down, left, or right on the left analog stick or the D-Pad to perform some actions. You will get a taste of this early in the game when Gloria needs to get going for the big reveal of the statue she posed for by taking a shower, toweling off, and getting ready.
I can’t talk too much about the twists and turns you’ll experience after the first handful of segments in Decarnation since doing so could end up spoiling things and affecting your enjoyment of the game. What I will mention is that there will be some mini-games for you to complete at different times… but I won’t be able to talk about all of them since that would also take this review into spoiler territory. I will say that the first one you run into is a rhythm game that asks you to press up, down, left, and right in time with the beat as notes move from left to right and reach a marker at the center of the screen.
Along with its story and use of horror themes in this psychological thriller, another highlight of Decarnation is its soundtrack. Along with compositions from Corentin Brasart, Alt 236, and AL9000, there are also ten pieces from none other than Akira Yamaoka. As a fan, I was thrilled to learn of this because his work certainly features some of my favorite songs in gaming. You’ve probably more familiar with his work on the Silent Hill series, but he also worked on music for several other games at Konami before joining SUDA51 at Grasshopper Manufacture, which makes sense since he had previously stated that No More Heroes was his favorite game.
Decarnation brings us a new horror narrative adventure on Nintendo Switch. It’s been inspired by the works of David Lynch and Junji Ito, which, as expected, means it’s not going to be for everyone due to the themes and topics at hand – sexual harassment, violence, and more, as well as a dash of Stockholm Syndrome – as well as the many gory and gruesome scenes you’ll experience and the weird characters you’ll run into. But if psychological horror – and horror in general – are your thing, then you’re going to enjoy your time with Decarnation. The game is out on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 price tag.
This Decarnation review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Shiro Unlimited.