Why I’m More Than Okay With Contrast Filling In For DRIVECLUB

Contrast-PlayStation4

For most early PlayStation 4 early adopters, the delay of launch title DRIVECLUB was a tough pill to swallow. The Evolution Studios developed racing game was supposed to be PS4‘s answer to the Xbox One title Forza Motorsport 5. But when you really think about it, both Sony and Microsoft have started to understand the importance of the indie developer on their next-gen consoles, and so do I. Compulsion Games developed Contrast may not be the high-octane thrill ride of DRIVECLUB, it’s something entirely different, and I’m more than okay with that.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be all about pushing console-grade visuals to their very limit. In some ways these machines compare very well to a mid to high-end PC. Photorealism and stunning visuals aside we have to ask ourselves why we actually play video games. It’s pretty obvious that most of us aren’t going to find ourselves inside a quarter million dollar sports car, but games are about more than just vicariously living the high-life. I’ll wager to say that you’ll never find yourself standing on nothing but a shadow, either.

 

Contrast offers a truly innovative platformer experience that will utilize the PlayStation 4 in an entirely different, but equally impressive fashion. We had the chance to try the title out back in August and I can honestly say it’s one of my more anticipated launch titles on the PS4. The core mechanic of Contrast is something truly extraordinary. In Contrast you have the ability to shift in and out of shadows at a moments notice. This creates both a 2D and 3D mechanic happening simultaneously within the game world. The platforming possibilities are endless with this type of functionality. To say Contrast isn’t possible anywhere besides the PS4 would be an outright lie, it’s actually going to be draping it’s noir shadow on a plethora of platforms. On the other hand, to say that it’s one of the indie titles that will help to usher in a new understanding of the genre is completely valid. We have to remember that we’re entering a brand new console generation. A time when developers can hardly keep up with consumer demand. Another very plain fact is that we could all use a break from the mainstream beast every now and again.

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Compulsion Games’ unique vaudevillian atmosphere and sharp visuals are joined by an equally impressive soundtrack to create a deeply engrossing experience. It’s easy to see that the studio had a fantastic game mechanic and focused on hunting down the right people to create a world for it to inhabit. When we tried the title in August I was blown away by the crisp lighting effects and inventive puzzles. The demo that we had our hands-on time with didn’t consist of any story elements, but rest assured that Compulsion isn’t glazing over any plot points.

The story of a young girl named Didi and her troubled family life are set as the driving force behind Contrast’s story. You’ll wield Dawn, Didi’s imaginary friend. Through Dawn you’ll explore the very adult nature of the roaring 20’s, a time of showmanship, magic, and intrigue.

Contrast is set to release alongside the PlayStation 4 November 15th as part of the PlayStation Plus Instant Game Collection. Sony has offered us quite the juxtaposition. The fast, adrenaline fueled world of DRIVECLUB is on its way, but until then we’ll enjoy a measured, enchanting encounter with Contrast. And I’m more than okay with that.

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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