Developer: Compulsion Games
Release: November 2013
Like many others after unboxing and hooking up their shiney new PS4, they snagged every PS+ deal they could because whatever they bought with it, probably isn’t enough. For me, it also provide the illusion that there’s more stuff actually out worth playing that isn’t a shooter.
Getting to it, Contrast is an interesting action-adventure game with an intriguing story I don’t wish to spoil, needless to say, you are an interesting girl with strange shadow powers and must shift into the shadows around you in order to complete platform-based puzzles. These puzzles are interesting, they often involve the manipulation of real-world items in order to change the shadows cast so you can progress towards a goal. I find the concept a nice change on the usual action-platform puzzle mold. It’s also very cool to see.
Trouble starts when you actually start playing the game. Several times I fell through the terrain, got stuck in the terrain, and the jumping mechanics aren’t very friendly to work with which made a few key areas of the game a right pain to deal with. Sometimes she wouldn’t shift into a shadow after a jump, so I’d often fall to my physical death because I pushed the button and she didn’t shift. Fortunately, there is no penalty for dying so once you acquire a collectable or object in an annoying-to-reach-spot, you can simply jump to your death and respawn at the start of the area and continue on your way. I abused this many times to simplify existence.
I sat down from start-to-finish and managed to 100% clear this game in just a few hours. If you’re trophy hunting, there are a few that require additional playthroughs, but that’s just a matter of selecting the appropriate chapter to replay and knock it out. They aren’t very difficult at all, so it’s an easy gamercard boost if you’re the type that cares. I knew 360 people who played children’s games just to boost their score.
Anyway, I’m really on the fence with this one. The controls drove me a bit crazy and would have caused me to abandon this game were it not for the interesting story, but I’m not sure I could honestly recommend it to someone as something worth playing. It’s something worth seeing, but I had such trouble falling through scenery, getting stuck in walls and other objects, and not shifting when I press the designated key when able, that it doesn’t really even seem worth it. Having completed it, it’s not something I wish to experience ever again.