Contrast is not a game that I was all that familiar with until recently, but it may have caught my attention at just the right time. As a pseudo-retired jazz musician myself (believe it or not, I’m actually serious), the game’s 1920s setting is one that interests me greatly, and was just enough to get me perusing the title’s numerous other appealing bullet points.
For those who don’t know (read: me about 6 hours ago), Contrast is what developer Compulsion is calling a “2D/3D puzzle platformer.” What this actually means was at first lost on me, but it turns out that the player can travel between the regular world and a sort of “shadow realm” at will, each of which will present a 3D or a 2D environment, respectively. The mechanic certainly sounds interesting, and Compulsion is wasting no time playing up the visual component of Contrast, calling the 3D realm “fantastic” and the dark 2D realm “a mysterious shadowy universe.” Sounds kind of like my daydreams at the office.
The below trailer is the newest in the game’s line of promo materials, and features an original track performed by jazz singer Laura Ellis. Perhaps more amusingly, though, is the fact that the lyrics were written by Compulsion Games. I’m honestly not making fun — the lyrics are great and actually work really well in the trailer — but as somebody who has studied both jazz and videogames academically, I can’t help but chuckle at the notion of game developers awkwardly donning fedoras and becoming jazz musicians. Guffaw, guffaw.
Contrast is coming to PC, PSN, and XBLA this November, and if you go for the Collector’s Edition you’ll be treated to the entire original soundtrack and a 52-page art book. Honestly, from the looks of things the art book is probably the most guaranteed-to-be-awesome piece of the three (I think the game will be great too, I just don’t know for sure yet), so it might be worth parting with a bit of extra coin for the no-doubt beauteous book alone.