Not so long ago, I was involved in a small internet argument about the importance of stories in games. One thing many seemed able to agree on was that either gameplay or story could hold a game on its own, though ideally a game would excel at both. Contrast got me thinking about that, because it has interesting elements of both that each happen to be flawed in one way or another. The shadow mechanic is unlike anything I’ve seen before, but you’re all too often forced out of the shadow world unexpectedly to the point where certain platforming sections that take place in the shadows are needlessly difficult. The story has all the ingredients of an intriguing story, as well, but the plot threads never coalesce into anything coherent or meaningful because the rules of the world(s) and the role/abilities of inexplicably mute main character Dawn are never explained well enough to account for all of the weirdness you encounter. The nonsensical plot is made up for somewhat by the beautifully noir atmosphere, though, so this is one of those games like Blood Knights that can be considered objectively bad, but that’s nevertheless charming enough to be worth a look despite that badness.
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