With the launch of the new consoles, there are a few downloadable games that are available to play outside of the big, tent poll games that are beautiful in their own right. One of these is a game that is available for free on PlayStation Plus called Contrast. It takes place in Paris in the 1920s, where jazz is playing in clubs and magicians are doing shows on the streets. You play as a friend to a little girl trying to help her mother and father through problems, both financially and emotionally. They live in the shadow world and show up throughout the game only in the shadows of light.
Your unique skill is you can transfer between the real world and the 2D shadow world. You have to solve puzzles by passing between the worlds, jumping on shadows to move through the environment. You’ll have to move spotlights around to change the shadows on the wall to solve puzzles. This could have been more flushed out but the second half of the game, it falls back onto moving boxes around to set on switches to open doors. I wish they would have developed the shadow mechanic more and didn’t fall back on moving boxes around. The puzzles feel similar to Portal but aren’t as difficult.
The real downfall I found was the traversal and jumping felt really floaty and imprecise. There were many times were I knew where I wanted to go but had a very hard time getting there due to the way the jumping functioned. I also incurred a few times where I would get stuck on geometry and couldn’t get out without restarting from the last checkpoint. I feel like the developers rushed this out to make the console launches and if they could have had an extra month or two, the game would have the polish it needed.
Over the four hours or so of the story, I did find myself really enjoying the story and the shadow mechanic. I did wish they did more with it and had the extra month to work out the bugs but overall, you can’t beat the experience for the price.