Contrast is still available to Playstation Plus subscribers for Playstation 4 – though it leaves on January 7th. The game is also available on Playstation 3, PC and Xbox 360.
We liked what we played but unfortunately the game suffered a few issues on the PS4 build and was in need of some urgent patching. That patch is now available but how effective is it?
For the full patch notes, click here
Contrast is a clever game. The use of lighting effects is a cosmetic touch in most games, but here it’s a gameplay mechanic, alongside blending into the background and using shadows as platforms. Contrast is a perfect fit for the indie focus Sony are striving for with the Playstation brand. Unfortunately, while Contrast is full of great ideas, the execution regularly suffers.
The patch mostly focuses on isolated issues, such as boxes falling out of the air and onto the player’s head or objects floating in the air when attempting to use them. There’s even a fix that prevents many instances of players falling through the scenery. All of these are significant issues and have been dealt with commendably. It is now possible to play the game through from beginning to end and not worry about major gameplay glitches.
That said, not every aspect has been dealt with. I was still able to get stuck on certain parts of the scenery. On one occassion, I managed to get a leg stuck between a gate and the wall it was leaning against. I recognise it is difficult to fix everything and there is still work to be done. But at least the right steps have been taken and the game is in a much better state than at launch.
The frame-rate is still hiccupy and laggy. The camera stammers when being panned around. The game also seems to skip and jump when keeping the character in motion. Also, some audio still suffers from occasional lapses.
Unfortunately, many of the issues the game still suffers from probably can’t be solved with any degree of patching and are likely to remain part of the core experience.
The one major gameplay change is how Dash now works. Before the patch, players would automatically shift between scenery once the animation was completed. No more. This won’t make a massive difference to how a section plays out, but it will surely influence the way people now play and makes transition phases less seamless. It’s unclear why this was changed, though one would imagine its inclusion was an error and not part of the original vision for the game.
Still, many frustrating glitches have been stamped out, and the game is much more stable for it. It’s not a perfect experience, but Contrast will run much better than it did before launch.
Regardless, this is still very much a game you need to play. Ensure you give it a shot.
Has the experience improved? Yes
Have any noticeable problems been added? No
Is a further patch needed? Perhaps
Patch Competency: 4/5
Game playable from start to finish without any major issues and many problems previously in the game are no longer an issue. Unfortunately, the game still suffers from hiccups in frame-rate, audio disruption and some environmental glitching. Nothing is game-breaking, but the experience remains frustrating on occasion.
Had a different experience? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll be sure to document your feedback.