The art direction of Contrast is a major strong point for the game. From the moment you boot into the title you’ll be enchanted by your slender and sensuous main character Dawn and get the feeling of calm yet deep emotions from your character as well as see the influence on this condition by her surroundings. Each set piece is beautifully crafted and the game’s scenes are visually impactful in a way that maintains the mysterious, somber, and surreal experience this game offers.
In Contrast, you take the role of Dawn. Dawn is Didi’s ‘imaginary friend’. Didi is an intelligent and charming little girl with a troubled family and though her mother and father (as well as other characters in the game’s plot) are presented as shadow people, Dawn is certainly an actual Shadow Person. For those who are unaware, a Shadow Person is a creature whose existence is thought to be a myth though others claim otherwise. Reports of sightings in regards to this phenomenon span from ancient times to modern day and they are rarely seen beyond through the corner of a person’s eye. This type of being exists in the darkness and is one with the shadows, rarely taking a physical 3D form. Dawn is capable of being both a 3D human being (specializing in acrobatics) as well as a Shadow Person who can navigate otherwise impossible situations by walking inside a 2D world created by the black void cast by objects blocking light.
Gameplay in Contrast consists of shifting in and out of the darkness to walk among the shadows (and shadow people). You’ll also gain other abilities along the way such as the strength to destroy barriers and more like jumping through shadows, without crossing back into the 3D world. Contrast’s many puzzles sometimes boggle the mind, but a patient and careful moment of stopping and watching the landscape will often remedy the brain block players can perceive while navigating the game.
The Story of Contrast is told through cut-scenes between the levels of puzzles which will challenge even the best riddle solvers. The game’s overall length is perhaps a bit shy of what might be expected, but the flow of the plot is well put together and maintains momentum of interest up until the ending.
At times the controls when in 3D can be a bit too loose, but this doesn’t become game-breaking and is a minor complaint at best. In fact it’d be better to sometimes run around too quickly rather than be too slow, right? Overall, the controls of the game are basic enough to avoid confusion and get the job done.
The same way the player is navigating through the shadows to solve the puzzles presented by the gameplay of Contrast, Didi is struggling to make it through the darkness surrounding her life while looking for a solution to her humble family’s problems. The character’s in Contrast are its strong point. Voice acting is very good and the music helps to paint the picture alongside the beautiful visuals. The positives of the game easily outweigh the negatives, though it’s not a perfect release by any means.
Engine Performance: There were times when the game froze during loading and progress was lost. Object Collision is also problematic.
Final Verdict: Overall the types of things players find themselves doing in Contrast make this game fall completely into the Puzzle genre with some platforming mixed in and dash of inspiration from the Action genre for spice. If you’re not big on this then you’d do best to steer clear, but be warned you’ll be missing out. Contrast is a relaxing and enchanting experience that is rewarding to play. Slightly more time polishing the controls, object collision, and a way for people who get frustrated with a level to do something else or receive something like a hint would have propelled Contrast to a more universally loved position, but we’re happy with what Contrast is too. This game gets a 7 out of 10 from RealGamerNewz and wins our RGN Bronze Game Rating.
Overall Score: 7/10
RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Developer: Compulsion Games
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Available On: PS4 | PS3 | 360 | PC
Played On: Sony PlayStation 4
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20131120 and was last modified on 20131120 .