review
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POSTED 5/1/14


CONTRAST

Compulsion Games
PS4/PSN (also on PS3/PSN, Xbox 360/XBLA, PC)

There’s no limitation to what this beat can do, you better get the feeling before the night is through...

What? Contrast isn’t based on the 2 Unlimited album track of the same moniker?! Oh well, at least it gave us a starting para.

Contrast is actually a 3D/2D puzzle-infused platformer. The bulk is in 3D, but the big twisty thing is that your character, an impossibly leggy, acrobatic burlesque chick named Dawn, can add or subtract a dimension from her being at whim, as long as there are shadows to play in. This allows access to otherwise inaccessible places, and is kinda necessary to complete the three relatively short ‘acts’ offered.

Set in a stylish 1920s Parisienne art deco/film noir clash, Dawn is the imaginary friend of one eight-year-old Didi, who bears more than a passing resemblance to BioShock’s Elizabeth smooshed through a Tim Burton mincer. Her father’s noir cliché and dead ringer for the original Night and the City’s Harry Fabian, and her mother is Jessica Rabbit. That doesn’t necessarily matter much, but we wanted to mention the Jessica Rabbit thing. What does matter is that other than Dawn and Didi, everybody’s a shadow. Hopefully Cliff Richard has enough savings to cover his suddenly huge payroll...

As Dawn you’ll schlep about while Didi barks repetitive orders, as she endeavours to get her parents back together by whatever means are necessary. Luckily as an imaginary friend you’re pretty handy at accomplishing real world kinda stuff.

While boasting an interesting art style, Contrast’s collision of Sideway: New York with Limbo and most every 3D platformer ever is often messy and frustrating. Controls can infuriate, especially the 3D/2D flip, puzzles veer from challenging to just plain ‘WTF?’ and – and – and – well, we just found it more chore than fun.

It’s not good, it’s just drawn that way.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.