Compulsion Games just released their new adventure, platformer game Contrast. I had the chance to play through the game and what follows are my thoughts on the game. Before I took a look at the game I was a little leery of reviewing yet another platformer game, but there was something about this game that really struck my interest. So I decided to dive in, and I’m glad I did!
Gameplay takes place in a dark surreal like 1920’s world. You play as Dawn, an imaginary friend of Didi, an eight year old little girl who is trying to make sense of her family’s complex situation. Her father has gotten himself in to some trouble and needs some cash fast before his debt collectors lose faith in him. A circus becomes his only hope in order to pay off his debts. The problem is that he is not very good at getting things done, and somehow manages to fail at everything he sets out to do. Didi knows that she needs to help him. However, she quickly finds out that helping is much harder than she thought and that she really needs to depend on Dawn. The story also adds some interesting twists that you wont see coming.
When I started up the game I was pleasantly surprised by the jazzy music leading me in to the games main menu. Unfortunately, that’s where it stops as there isn’t very much music throughout the rest of the game.
Visually the game is a true work of art. The games creators depict a dark and gray 1920’s world with splashes of neon lighting that really capture the imagination. It has all the elements of a dark animation. This goes well with the games use of light and shadows. Light is important in this game, as the vast majority of movements are done via shadows.
Game controls are relatively straightforward. You use your classic w, a, s, d or arrow keys for movement and the mouse for looking around, “shifting” and dashing. There are a small amount of other keys that are used as well, but in the end I found myself using my game controller instead. Overall I found movement to be fluid and button action items to be naturally placed.
The games central mechanics stem from Dawn being able to instantly jump from a 3D to 2D atmosphere. She does this by jumping on to any wall that is properly illuminated, and then becomes a shadow. Now she can go places where Didi can’t, and the real platforming madness begins. This is one of the best features of the game. Being able to shift seamlessly between 2D and 3D environments really adds value to the games amusement factor. There are also a number of puzzles that add a nice layer of complexity. While they aren’t extremely difficult, there are some that will definitely leave you scratching your head.
While the overall gameplay is fluid, the game is not without its issues. The game is rather short, most people could probably complete it in just a few hours. During the game there were several times where I found myself the victim of some pretty nasty glitches. Yes, glitches are found in all games, however if they interfere with some of the gameplay mechanics they are worth noting. There were more glitches/ bugs in this game then I would like to see, but they weren’t something that would prevent me from purchasing it.
Contrast is a great game, that is visually appealing to the eyes. It will appeal to platform gamers while still giving a nice 3D experience that others enjoy. It will definitely leave you wanting more. The game also has a storyline that is uniquely threaded into the gameplay. Contrast is something that you will want to add to your game collection. You can download the game via Steam or check it out on the PSN (for PS4 players) and Xbox 360.