Contrast is a tough game to review, as, in reality, there is a quite a large contrast within the quality of the game itself! While the game can be very enjoyable and has a pretty art-style, technical issues and glitches hold the game back. The noire world often looks beautiful, but on the other hand, can also look awful due to regular glitches present in the game. Read on for the full review of Contrast.

The story featured in the game is far more dark, deep one than you may have expected. It tells the tale of a family in which the parents regularly split apart and pull back together, which is tough on their little girl, Didi. You play as this girl’s invisible friend, Dawn, who has the power to shift between reality and shadow. You can transform into a shadow upon a lit surface, and can then use other shadows as platforms. This provides way for many puzzles in the game.

Unfortunately, many of the puzzles present can be very simple, with only a few representing a notable challenge. Even worse, the game only lasted four to five hours for me. I wanted to find all the hidden items and luminaries, so, I spent as much time traversing the world searching for these as I could. Even then, it only took a maximum of five hours to complete. I didn’t measure the time exactly, and I feel it may have been even less than five hours, so please keep in mind that you may complete it VERY quickly.

Dawn and Didi are the only characters you will be able to see in corporeal form; all the other characters are presented as shadows. This makes it even more impressive that the story has so much depth. I did not expect it to be such a dark tale. I do not want to ruin anymore of the short plot, so, you can see more of it if you pick up a Playstation Plus subscription and download the game for free (available at time of writing) as part of December’s IGC.

Due to the game’s short length and basis on puzzles, there is not much replay value after the initial playthrough, as you will already know the solutions to the puzzles. Despite this, the short journey you do experience is one which is a very fun, unique and fresh, as there is no other game like this. It really was a refreshing experience, it is just very unfortunate that the game isn’t longer and does not really have any side missions. The puzzles can be too simple at times, but this makes the game relaxing and also assists in allowing the player to extract the most joy from the story and beautiful art style without causing frustration.

Unfortunately, glitches also plague the game and take away from it. There are many glitches and errors which popup when in shadow mode, and also many of the animations can look cheap. Some character shadows also don’t match up correctly. However, the team at Compulsion Games have said they are working on a patch to fix some of these issues, so, they may not continue to harm the quality of this title.

Overall, Contrast is something very special and unique. The gameplay concept is something we haven’t seen before, and playing through it both refreshing and relaxing. The art style is excellent, as is the lighting engine, but occasional glitches can harm this end of the game. The music is also a high point, adopting a jazz soundtrack which perfectly matches the noire theme. Unfortunately, the fun experience gets cut short very quickly, and leaves you wanting more, with little replay value available. This takes a way from the experience, and can leave you a little dissatisfied. Despite this, it is a fun title which I definitely recommend playing if you are getting it free on Playstation Plus. Stick with us for more next generation reviews!