PS4’s launch lineup and the hearts of racing fans took a heavy blow with the delay of free-to-play DriveClub . Moving into its spot into the PlayStation Plus Instant Collection is Contrast. This 2D/3D puzzle platformer has a 1920s film noir setting. The player is Dawn, the imaginary friend of a little girl named Didi.
Her mother is more focused on becoming a famous cabaret singer than her daughter, and her father is gone. Dawn’s ability to shift from 3D into a 2D shadowscape holds the key to Didi’s family secrets. It’s from Compulsion Studios, a Montreal, Canada based developer that describes itself as “driven by their passion for artistry.” We will probably not see many games in this or any other year in which the main character is a friendly shadow figure from the 1920s. Sam Abbott, Community Relations Manager at Compulsion, has said the team wanted to try a time and a setting that hasn’t been overused.
As the replacement game for Driveclub, Contrast finds itself unexpectedly thrust into the glaring launch window spotlight. Though it has flown well under the radar before now, it has still gained some attention for its visuals, unique setting and what appears to a positive treatment of female gaming heroes. That’s always something good to see. Not shockingly, Designers cite Portal as one of their inspirations.
It has the potential to be a title that shows off the PS4’s capabilities. On the downside, it’s only expected to offer between 4-5 hours of gameplay. DLC is under discussion, but not a definite at this point. The game it’s replacing was designed to offer several hours of gameplay and social challenges to extend its life from there. Still, PS4 owners will get this for free, and Driveclub will still be free when it arrives in 2014. PlayStation Plus is mandatory for online play on the PlayStation 4, but the Instant Game Collection makes it a service well worth having.
Read the other entries in the PlayStation 4 Countdown here.