Top Critic Average
Despite these setbacks, Contrast crafts an amazing world and continuously invents clever new ways for you to interact with it. The story is fantastic, bolstered by strong voice performances and a jazzy soundtrack that nails the mood. Few games can consistently grab your attention and wow you with each passing moment like Contrast can.
The platforming segments are often very creative, just not as smooth or fluid as I would have liked. Thankfully these elements, while gamifying the experience, are not the highlights of this show. The very human interactions starring a variety of flawed people through the eyes of an innocent girl who is slowly having her views of the world stripped away and altered are what make Contrast stand out. As a game Contrast works, but has a few flaws. As a creative narrative, Contrast succeeds on almost every front.
Contrast is an intriguing and enjoyable title with a host of good gameplay ideas, fantastic visuals, beautiful music and an interesting and heartfelt story that succeeds in spite of its occasional technical problems and short length.
Despite some frustrating complications towards the end, Contrast has been one of the best titles I've played of the PS4's launch lineup. The noir jazz age setting is fantastic and the game's use of shadows and silhouettes for both platforming gameplay and telling the story of a struggling family is unlike anything else I've played. I only wish it lasted that little bit longer.
You've always got to look out for the attractive ones. Contrast is a bit of a hot mess -- kind of like the bumbling Johnny Fenris in its core. Rife with bugs and prone towards glitching in the worst possible ways, Compulsion Games' pretty little title can and will outrage. If you're willing to overlook the brokenness of its platforming, Contrast is dazzling in almost every other capacity.
Contrast is best when the story and the puzzles complement each other, like the platforming sections of the Lighthouse later in the game. Though short, Contrast can be replayed to get all the collectibles and is worth a look for the way the story and gameplay integrate, even if at times it's a little rough around the edges.
Contrast works as a bite size game, and Compulsion Games were clever enough to realise that. It's a neat little puzzle platformer with a very interesting premise. It doesn't amaze, but it does satisfy. If you've got a couple of hours to spare and looking for something a little taxing but won't strain your brain tissue too much.
Contrast is aptly named. Its disappointing instability contrasts sharply with its wonderful ambiance and concept, and you're left feeling somewhat unsatisfied. The adventure is moderately fulfilling, the story is worth hearing, and the atmosphere is captivating, but in the back of your mind, you know what it could've been.
Contrast is, again, many things: in more than one way, it's vibrant and dark. It's beautiful and surreal. It's heartwarming and compelling. But at the same time, it often feels like it could use just a little more polish, a little more expansion.
There really isn't a whole lot to Contrast throughout its roughly three hour tale. It's a perfect game to pick up on PlayStation Plus for free, but if you're a non-subscriber or you're musing on another platform, I'd wait for a sale. It does a nice job of weaving a sweet little tale of a young girl and her struggle to maintain her innocence in a (literal and figurative) dark and dreary world, but it's nothing special, and nothing you haven't really seen before.
The artistic style and theme of Contrast helps push it out there and sets it apart from other games of a similar budget. Technical issues do get in the way of the fun and sometimes hurt the puzzle solving process, but not to a degree that completely spoils the game. There is a lot here to work with, but it wasn't fully utilized. I think there is a lot of potential in the future for a second game which could definitely work out to be an impressive title.
There were also a few minor gameplay glitches in which I would get kicked out of shadow mode for what appeared to be no reason or stuck to objects in the world. I would find myself setting down boxes and then unable to move afterwards or stuck on invisible objects in the environment. This didn't happen throughout the whole game, but it occurred enough that it warranted mention. For the most part the shadow mode works pretty well. It is a fun and unique twist to your standard fare puzzle-platformer, but really only adds underutilized potential when the curtains prematurely fall.
The voice acting is decent, though. Some excellent performances really hammer home the setting and mood, matched by the theme tune, which is beautifully sung, and genuinely feels like a reward when the credits roll. There's not a huge amount to come back for, as there aren't many collectibles overall. However, some of them are rewards for solving optional puzzles, which is a nice touch.
I really, really wanted to like Contrast, and in many ways it is a beautiful game. The thing is, though, that however great a wow-factor devleopers can create in visuals, in compelling story, and in atmospheric music, this cannot and should not come at the expense of enjoyable, inventive and functional gameplay. Unfortunately for Contrast, too much time appears to have been spent on polishing the look of the game, and far too little on polishing the actual gameplay.
While I'm impressed that Compulsion Games fought to make a game that would appeal to both genders and I appreciate their effort, in the end, I had my issues with Contrast. It's an adequate game but fails to live up to its full potential. I recommend it to those who desire a more story -focused title or those who have a preteen son or daughter to play with, but not for players who want a thought-provoking, puzzle-driven adventure.
Pinch hitting for the highly anticipated 'DriveClub' as a part of the PlayStation 4 release was certain to be a daunting experience for the development team at Compulsion Games. Annoying bugs and short game play aside, they have nicely accommodated for those oversized shoes they needed to fill. 'Contrast' presents a wonderfully crafted and intimately personal story, while promoting an avant-garde take on the increasingly popular game play mechanics of light and shadow. The style of the game will keep you entertained from start to finish, but there isn't enough substance there to prompt a replay.
Contrast is a curious, fair attempt at a puzzle platformer with some neat ideas that make it somewhat enjoyable, but is a slightly frustrating experience that in the end won't be remembered for its gameplay, but more for its world, visuals and sound.
Is Contrast art? Yes, but it's flawed art. While its concept is great and the atmosphere is phenomenal, that's as far as the brilliance goes. The gameplay simply doesn't hold up the weight of Contrast's dark and serious narrative, which proves that art games still need to be actual games.
As its name suggests, Contrast is a game of light and dark: a puzzle platformer with two well-realised female leads that occasionally buckles under the weight of its own mechanics. It's beautiful in parts, but also a little broken; I admire it for the first and can almost forgive it the second.
Like its name implies, Contrast is a game with a sharp difference between its highs and lows. There's a lot to like here, but it doesn't make it all that easy to do so.
PC owners get the raw end of the deal on Contrast, which goes for 15 bucks on Steam right now. It's really only worthwhile for PlayStation Plus members getting it as a free download, especially since it doesn't even feel like it was finished on time.
I dearly wanted to enjoy Contrast. It's the kind of game that is normally right up my alley, featuring puzzles, platforming, a stylish, historically inspired world, and an intelligent young female protagonist. It simply wasn't fun to actually play. Contrast would have made a delightful short film, but I'm afraid that it isn't a particularly good game.
The story, characters, and aesthetic are incredible and have the power to linger with the player after the credits roll but it's up to each player to decide whether or not getting to those credits is worth the headache of playing a game that feels unfinished.
A relatively short excursion into the lives of Didi and her imaginary friend is ruined by an astounding number of bugs. While Contrast is worth completing for the sake of seeing the gorgeous scenery and hearing the exceptional soundtrack, don't expect to have any real burning desire to play this game again over the coming months.
Contrast offers one of the most interesting gameplay gimmicks in recent memory, but the lack of engaging puzzles and interesting levels prevent the concept from being put to good use.
It'd be nice to say that at least it's something different but Contrast is far more mundane and derivative than it first appears. It's also a near farce on a technical level.