Contrast Review: An Adventure Through the Shadows

So the big question readers are asking themselves, should I buy this game? Do you like Portal? Because if so Contrast is a game you should seriously consider and I can say with confidence will provide hours of entertainment. That brings me to my only issue with the game; the length. According to Steam, the game took me just over 3 hours. Now I should caveat that by saying I generally whip through games pretty quickly compared to the average gamer. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the hell out of those 3 hours and similar to the original Portal series I never found myself bored with the puzzles. Each puzzle required you to master a new ability or expand on previous abilities, but never to the point where I became frustrated with it.

Get ready to be immersed in this gorgeous game.

As for the gameplay, its overall quite good. There was a couple areas I got stuck and I do not mean I couldn’t solve the puzzle, but I was clipping into some walls or objects. Although, a lot of this can be accounted for me doing some of the puzzles “wrong”, but still getting the same end result. Like I said before, anyone who has played games like Portal will know exactly what I am talking about. The controls are very reminiscent of older Tomb Raiders or Resident Evils where the camera angel is sometimes the biggest challenge.

Unlike most puzzle/problem solving-based games, I never really found the game to become repetitive. For example, the Puzzler Trophies in the Batman Arkham City series. The entire crux of the gameplay is based off the idea that you can move around in the actual world and use your shadow and the shadow of objects to advance throughout the game. I loved the idea when I saw it at PAX and as I hoped it was executed well.

Puzzle solving via the shadows.

As for the story, you play as Dawn, an extremely skinny acrobatic-like shadow walker who is there to help Didi unite her mother and father. For the sake of spoilers I will leave it at that. The story is told throughout the game through a combination of clips, in-game conversations and even as projected scenes on the wall to get you through the puzzles.

The atmosphere was clean, gorgeous, immersive, and most importantly was incorporated very well into the gameplay. I know, I know, every review talks about the immersive atmosphere and blah blah blah, which I normally hate because it is irrelevant to the gameplay, but in Contrast it isn’t!

Atmosphere; the defining aspect of the game

While the game is rated Teen it should be suitable for pretty much all audiences. I for one was actually hoping for a little bit of a darker story, as I felt the atmosphere could of easily pulled it off, but regardless from beginning to end Contrast was a great game.

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