TO LEAVE

Slid­ing doors

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - REVIEW -

This un­usual 2D plat­former tack­les the topic of men­tal ill­ness in a unique way, il­lus­trat­ing the strug­gle of the game’s man­i­cally-de­pressed pro­tag­o­nist, Harm, with beau­ti­fully hand-painted graph­ics and bru­tally dif­fi­cult game­play.

The dark plot sees Harm at­tempt to es­cape his suf­fer­ing with the help of a mag­i­cal door in his apart­ment. Through this, he flies off into an­other world where his ob­jec­tive is to re­store power to the mys­te­ri­ous Ori­gin Gate. The story is pri­mar­ily told us­ing visual metaphors and vague nar­ra­tive, leav­ing the ex­act mean­ing and sig­nif­i­cance of events largely up to each in­di­vid­ual player’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion. The ex­quis­ite vi­su­als add im­mensely to the game’s min­i­mal yet mov­ing nar­ra­tive, and you’ll find your­self root­ing for Harm’s vic­tory over his in­ner demons.

Game­play in­volves cling­ing to said mag­i­cal door for dear life as you zip around lev­els team­ing with ob­sta­cles. As well as dodg­ing mov­ing pro­jec­tiles, you’ll nav­i­gate your way safely across the en­vi­ron­ment by squeez­ing through tiny ar­eas and soaring around sec­tions of scenery. The door can only move up­wards, so you must master the use of gravity to emerge un­scathed. 1 Col­lide with any­thing and you’re trans­ported back to the last safe block you landed on. Fur­ther chal­lenge is added by a counter that shows your door’s vi­brancy level. When this is de­pleted you start from scratch. 2

While it of­fers en­joy­able and chal­leng­ing plat­form­ing with a de­light­ful visual style, the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence is ham­pered by the frus­tra­tion at hav­ing to re­peat­edly redo the same gru­elling sec­tions. Anne-Marie Coyle

FOOTNOTES1 Hold­down q to grad­u­ally start ris­ing, and let go of it to rapidly de­scend. 2 The tax­ing timed el­e­ment results in a pound­ing pulse and two very sweaty palms.

INFO

FOR­MAT PS4 ETA OUT NOW PUB FREAKY CRE­ATIONS DEV FREAKY CRE­ATIONS

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