Video Game Review – Contrast

Release Date: November 15th, 2014
Developer: Compulsion Games
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 4 hours

Major Pros:

  • Interesting world, shadow people, and art style
  • Great 2D/3D combine puzzle mechanic

Minor Pros:

  • Interactable objects are highlighted well
  • Light sources for building your 2D terrain are easy to find and manipulate

Major Cons:

  • Easy to “slip out” of 2D puzzles
  • Camera angles matter when dashing in 2D

Minor Cons:

  • For those interested in the collectibles, you can’t backtrack if you miss something
  • Puzzle objectives aren’t always clear
  • Running in the 3D world sometimes feels too fast while walking feels too slow
  • Game textures and model polygons could’ve been a little higher resolution

The artistic world and 2D/3D blended puzzles are the big selling points of Contrast. The game has a solid 1920s feel complete with gangsters and big show biz. For some of the main story puzzles that are timed (you have to finish it before another character does something), you can find out some interesting alternate-ending-esque information by letting time run out. The 2D/3D puzzles were my big attraction to the game. I think the concept is really great and the dynamic manipulation of the 2D landscape using light is pretty terrific, but a little buggy. It’s unfortunately easy to fall out of the 2D world, particularly when dashing over anything slopped, and bumps in the wall itself can create unexpected shadows that’ll knock you out into the 3D if you walk into them. I could see all these things easily being fixed in a sequel with better collision detection and a little more optimization of the 2D world. No unexpected weirdness was encountered in the 3D.

Find this game at the publisher’s website or on Steam.

Categories: Desktop games, Video game reviews

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