Review: Contrast PC Version
I have to be honest, when I saw the first images and video for Contrast, I was extremely stoked. In a world full of mindless first person shooters, cookie cutter franchises and outright boring entries in gaming, this look unique, fresh and right up my artistic loving alley. Wow, that sounded disturbing. Well, I am happy to report that the game succeeds in all those fronts. It's unique. It's gorgeous in both audio and visual departments. That being said, does it really deliver in the gameplay department? In short, not really. For all that it does right, Contrast starts to feel extremely clunky in some platforming aspects. It almost feels like a kickback to the N64 days but not in a good way. Without spoiling the extremely intriguing intro, you get a great taste of light and shadow that plays a huge part in not only the story, level design and platforming aspects, but the main focus of progressing throughout the game. The story and characters are well developed but I can't say the same for the gameplay as a whole. It's a short but sweet affair but overall, a seemingly missed opportunity.
Lady Gaga's Mother 1971
Graphics and Sound
Very rarely does a title come together in both an artistic and technical areas that form an almost perfect vision of "video games are art" quality. Contrast does exceed in both areas quite often mixing dark, brooding atmospheres with whimsical dashes of color. The entire story and graphical look of the game reflect and play off of each other. For each light hearted and moment of joy, there is a suffocating and heavy area that reflect a mature storyline. The game never really gets too dark but it is heavy but well done in a lot of ways. There are some lighted moments, like the bicycle in the beginning that is both eerie and beautiful all at once. There are plenty of graphical settings but it's disappointed to not see in an game anti aliasing feature from a game that would definitely benefit. This is a gorgeous game but inside and out. Enjoy.
The audio portion of the game matches the visuals. It's dark, it's beautiful, it's a sulty jazz tune and a brooding film noir myster all at the same time. Just sit and listen to the title track on the main menu. I did on both my 5.1 system and headphones and it's absolutely gorgeous. The sound effects are servicable but the voice acting as a whole is extremely polished and well done, especially for a title of this price.
Pirates?! Nope. Sorry, it's just you fixing rides.
Hmmm.. this is a tough one. Is Constrast any fun to play? Sure, it's uniqueness makes it fun. Is it something you want to drop all other gaming tidbits to do so? Not really. It's at a great price on Steam so at least it's fair but in a crowded world of gaming choices, it's greatest strength is its artistic flair in both video and audio. I enjoyed the beginning of the game especially but by the end, I just wanted to see the story and not really go through the platforming bits anymore. If you want something unique and are tired of cookie cutter games, at least Constrast will offer something new and bold. Worth your time but there are better games out there.
While Contrast is a work of art and definitely beautiful to the eyes and ears at times, it ultimately falls short as a game. Unique ideas mixed with mediocre gameplay is not a stunning pair. That's not to say it's without its merits but in a season of chock full of quality gaming experiences, it's hard to recommend. That being said, if you want something unique at a fair price, you could make worse gaming choices.