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Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics What's this?

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6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 275 Ratings

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  • Summary: Contrast is a 2D/3D puzzle platformer in which you can shift between the striking 3D fantasy world and the mysterious 2D shadowscape.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 39
  2. Negative: 6 out of 39
  1. Nov 13, 2013
    85
    Despite these setbacks, Contrast crafts an amazing world and continuously invents clever new ways for you to interact with it. The story is fantastic, bolstered by strong voice performances and a jazzy soundtrack that nails the mood. Few games can consistently grab your attention and wow you with each passing moment like Contrast can.
  2. Nov 13, 2013
    75
    It’s at its best when it marries its poignant story to its platforming, and at its weakest when it’s about moving boxes, but it rarely goes very long without showing us something worth playing.
  3. Nov 18, 2013
    70
    Though short, Contrast can be replayed to get all the collectibles and is worth a look for the way the story and gameplay integrate, even if at times it's a little rough around the edges.
  4. 60
    Contrast is a low point in the PS4 launch line-up, but its frustrating gameplay and glitches are worth the uniquely fascinating story and aesthetics.
  5. Nov 28, 2013
    60
    It’s a game of light and shade, sure, but there’s a little too much of the former seeping through the cracks.
  6. Jan 3, 2014
    50
    Contrast could have been a great game, but it feels too rushed. The controls are stiff and the platform elements aren´t that challenging. And we aren´t even talking about the countless bugs we found in the game.
  7. 30
    Contrast is a mess. It’s ugly, tiresome, insipid and occasionally insulting. It aspires to be like other, better games, and wears that on its sleeve, but has nothing worthwhile to call its own.

See all 39 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 59
  2. Negative: 8 out of 59
  1. Nov 16, 2013
    10
    I unique game with really great puzzles and a new and interesting style of game play. It's nice to have a game you can take your time with and not have to play at a blistering speed of impossible hand/eye coordination talents. My entire family has really enjoyed playing this game. Expand
  2. Dec 9, 2013
    8
    It is a charming story, with some serious flaws in the physical game and repetitive puzzles. It is a very interesting concept, but I think that Compulsion Games could have done more. Expand
  3. Jan 27, 2014
    8
    Though Contrast is offered as a free game for the PlayStation 4, I nearly didn't even take the time to install the game. I'm glad I eventually gave did.

    At first (and second glance, even) Contrast seems like a game that has been done over and over, and in a way it is. It's essentially an adventure platformer, but with an original puzzle mechanic. To some extent there have been games in the past that have played with the idea of changing the perspective between a three-dimensional plane and a flat, 2D plane. Paper Mario first comes to mind. Contrast is a little different in that the world retains its 3D form while you transform into a shadow against a wall. Other shadows on walls then play the role of the platforms you must use to access what otherwise would be unreachable for your fleshy human form. This also makes for a few interesting puzzles where you have to control or move light sources around to cast the shadows to get you where you need to go.
    The puzzles aren't too difficult, though I did get hung up on one because I was not aware of something I could do when shifting in or out of a shadow. (I actually had to look up the solution- something I never do- and was a little perturbed when I found out my character had the ability to do something I didn't know I could do). This thing that I did not know was either not explained to me or I had somehow missed it when it was. In any case, most of the time the puzzles involved having to figure out how you would reach a part of the level or how you can get an object (ball or box) to a certain part of the level. Though the puzzle mechanic and the puzzles themselves were fairly interesting, this wasn't necessarily the best part of the game for me.

    What I liked best about the game was the art direction. It's not too often that you find a game set in such a wonderful 1920's vaudevillian dreamscape. The world feels eerily vacant, dreary, yet with a whisper of magic and whimsy. The music gives the game most of its "life" since the dreamworld you traverse while playing the game is void of any characters. Only occasionally will a scene be played out during gameplay- between the shadows of characters, set against the backdrop of a walls to allow your shadow to access a certain area.

    The majority of the story is told through cutscenes between puzzles/acts. The voiceover work isn't spectacular, but it fits the "story" well. The acting is a little hammy, which one would find very much in place in 1920's vaudeville.

    The main distractions of the game are the somewhat clunky controls and that the game feels a little glitchy. I say that it "feels" a little glitchy in that there is nothing I came across that broke the game. Occasionally, I could shadow in and out of places that clearly weren't intended for me to do so (like finding myself standing on nothing, high up in the air against the wall, in human form ). I never got stuck anywhere, and I never was provided any advantage from the glitch, so it didn't really detract too much from the game.

    Contrast is a little short, but it's understandably so, being a free game. Regardless of the brevity of the story and the fact that I'm not an avid, everyday gamer, it still so happens to be the only game that's come about in a few years that I've stuck with to the end. The game has a sliver of replayability in that after you beat the game, you can go back and play any of the levels to collect any items you have missed (there's not too many of them- 29 Luminaries, 26 Collectibles, 21 PSN trophies. You'll need the luminaires to progress in specific parts of the game (though you're not required to gather them all). The collectables aren't needed- they aren't anything special, nor do they really offer any revelation too significant to the story.

    I give Contrast an 8/10 because it is a moody romp in a fantastic film noir-ish dreamworld. Though the controls and glitchiness sometimes keep you from enjoying the game fully for what it is, the game is unique enough with its puzzles and ambience to keep you coming back until you reach its ending, all too soon.

    You may like Contrast if you liked:
    Tomb Raider: Underworld (for its enjoyable adventure and puzzles with somewhat inelegant, glitchy gameplay)
    BioShock: Infinite (for its surreal environments and early 20th century America vibe)
    Expand
  4. Jan 24, 2014
    7
    A unique experience with a clever idea and relatively poor execution. As I understand many of the initial bugs have been patched, but playing the game as it was originally released led to plenty of frustration in terms of the character getting stuck somewhere, being able to "cheat" using shadows, etc.

    However, it's a short enough experience that it deserves a play through, not to mention the obvious appeal of it being free to PS+ subscribers at the moment.

    It wasn't a particularly memorable game, but I had fun with it.
    Expand
  5. Dec 10, 2013
    6
    interesting and impressive features and decent story but i found the game boring

    its style of platforming intigued me to play at first i
    stopped caring about the story halfway thru then the game just started to get really stale for me Expand
  6. Jan 5, 2014
    6
    The game is fine. Just little bit buggy and dodgy sometimes. However I enjoyed the story. It was 7hrs of game play to collect all the trophies. I was happy with at the end. But can't really give it more than 6.
    Interesting puzzles that I really liked. Playing with shadows and switching between 2D and 3D was interesting.
    Expand
  7. Mar 10, 2014
    0
    Utterly horrible. Played it for a while, ghastly horrible game I wish it would never have even entered someone's head to create.

    It is
    just completely a non entity. As for a replacement for Drive club at release... I am astounded it made it in. Such a bad game. Don't even waste the band width downloading Expand

See all 59 User Reviews