Contrast Review (PS4): “What Lies in the Shadows isn’t Always Bad”

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Set in an alternate dimension where people are shadows and you control Dawn, a gothic shadow shifting humanoid, you attempt to help a small girl named Didi in her quest to bring her separated mother and father together.

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Contrast is a simple puzzle game, with only a few buttons needed throughout the story; you quickly gain access to all of Dawn’s powers. The main premise is utilizing shadow shifting (entering or exiting shadows) to complete different puzzles throughout the game. Didi will help you when she can by adding or moving objects to give you more shadows to move on, but most of the time it just requires some wit on the player’s end.

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The game takes place in 3 acts and therefore is relatively short, but nonetheless amusing, heartfelt and occasionally perplexing. Contrast takes place in a 1950’s-esqe jazzy town, equipped with stone block streets, fancy neon signs and the occasional broken roadway which ends in an inter-dimensional rift of floating cobblestone and furniture. Visually the game is fitting to the theme, but nothing extraordinary to look at. On the other hand, the audio is quite a pleasure as real-world sounds are implemented into the game to sell the authenticity of the actions you perform. Where the game really excels however is the voice acting. While there aren’t many characters, each one really sells their part and pulls you into this dramatic story of a girl who just wants a family. While at first you may think the puzzles will get monotonous, only utilizing a few different abilities, they are surprisingly well created and evolve steadily throughout the story. Personally, I think there is something to be said about keeping a small set of skills and increasing the difficulty, rather than introducing new skills every so often and constantly dumbing down the challenge to accommodate your new found abilities.

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While there isn’t much else to do besides progress through each challenge, the world is slightly open, allowing you to scavenge for hidden collectibles which help guide the story, as well as allow to you to progress through certain challenges. There isn’t much replay value, as the story doesn’t change and the trophies are fairly easy to come across, but it’s worth a look at if you enjoy amusing puzzlers, or if you know someone who isn’t too into video games yet and could use a mild game with a cute story to start on.

Overall Score: 8.0 out of 10 = BUY IT!

Copy purchased by author for review purposes.

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