Posted August 15, 2014 by Villan in PC

Contrast Review – PlayStation 4


Sometimes it’s hard to find real innovation in gaming, especially lately where there seems to be an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” ethos with many of the major developers. Every year we see another FIFA or Madden (two of my personal guilty pleasures) another Call of Duty and more titles within familiar IP’s like the Lego games (another guilty pleasure of mine). Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, along with millions of people worldwide I enjoy the familiar comfort of many of today’s games. But sometimes, something special, something unique and something potentially seminal in its genre comes along, and in this particular case this is exactly what happened.


The game in question here is Compulsion Games’ Contrast, an innovative and entertaining platform/puzzler that sees the player in an absorbing and atmospheric film noire-like setting and draws many comparisons with film, music and gaming of years gone by. The sultry jazz tones of its theme music fit incredibly well with the 1940s Hollywood inspired script, the script fits superbly with the art deco look of the game’s world, and if that wasn’t enough, a romantic Parisienne styling of the characters make the game a sheer joy to watch, even without playing it.


With such superb scripting and art direction comes a very interesting play mechanic which plays to the strengths of modern technology and one of the things that gamers today get excited about in light and shadow. This part of the graphical presentation is integral to how the game plays. They’re used to solve puzzles, to move between areas of the game’s locations and do more than just look pretty. They actually make for challenging brain food and also bring a whole new dimension to the game by setting the shadowy world and the lit world to 2D and 3D realms respectively.


The story itself sees you as a young girl’s named Didi’s imaginary friend, Dawn. As Dawn you help Didi by following her through the world, solving puzzles and helping her find her father, Johnny who is caught up with criminals, an illusionist named Vincenzo and Johnny’s attempts to get his circus up and running despite a bevy of problems including a debt to the local gangsters. It tells a tale of family dysfunction, hope and adventure in a bitter-sweet way and plays believably like a film noire title from the early half of the 20th Century.


Available on XBOX Live, PlayStation Store and Steam, Contrast is probably one of the cleverest and one of the most genuinely fun platform/puzzlers for a long time. Although short in length, the game is at a very reasonable and cheap price point and well worth the effort for a night’s gaming fun. Definitely worth a download and different enough to be a master class in its genre. Try it, your life will be fuller for it.



Villan is my name, Yes, I am Villan I am, Haiku describes me Now, I never said it was good haiku, but at least this way I can claim to be more cultured than the ill tempered, misanthropic and foul mouthed gamer that I am. Expect gaming reviews, views and news from me, especially if it's Playstation flavoured. And expect to see extra letter "u's" here and there because I'm the token British person around these parts.