As we head into the new year, we find ourselves with a brand new generation of home consoles for players to grab a hold of in the Nintendo Wii U, the PS4, and recently the X-Box One. Dozens of new games have been made with the launch of the new systems and in turn give us dozens of new games and ladies to appreciate all the while. In that light, we look towards a game that has become one of the first games to be used for the PS4 at launch, with a game that stretches the line between fantasy and reality, simply titled as Contrast. The star of this noir-like deco story is a woman who can live in the light and the dark, and looks good in both shades. If you can't imagine a woman as alluring as her, then you're playing the wrong game. From out of the shadows comes the woman of your dreams, Dawn.
In Contrast, Dawn is actually the imaginary friend of a young girl named Didi, a young girl living with her mother while her father is missing. Even though Dawn is merely the figment of Didi's imagination, she takes the appearance of a very beautiful, long-legged woman in colorful outfit worthy of the 50's era. The partnership of Didi and Dawn work in a sense that Didi does most of the talking while Dawn does all the action without talking at all. But actions speak louder than words as Dawn is recruited by Didi to help find her missing father and bringing him back to the family. Strangely enough throughout the course of the game, Didi and Dawn are the only characters seen in living models while everyone else around them are shown as shadows.
Of course, good looks aren't the only thing Dawn has going for her. One of the more interesting things about Dawn is her special ability to turn into a shadow and become one with the shadows of objects enhanced with the lights around her to use as platforms and lifts. She is also a very strong figment capable of destroying objects like fences and other wooden structures. It's these abilities that drives the core story and gameplay along while players use Dawn to not only aid Didi in her quest, but to also find hidden collectibles to learn more about Didi and her family, as well as luminaries that repair machines to create the shadows for Dawn's use.
Throughout their adventure together, Dawn and Didi attempt to reunite Didi's parents Kat and Johnny, the former who works late at night as a lounge singer while the latter is in deep with loan sharks with an attempt to make good with a circus starring a famed illusionist named Vincenzo. But while sneaking out at night to help the estranged couple's troubles, they learn that Vincenzo is the actual biological father of Didi who didn't want to keep her around. Despite the confliction, Didi helps both her father and stepfather by making sure the circus goes on successfully by repairing the rides and attractions to ensure Johnny's safety, and shining a lighthouse beam on Vincenzo's magic show when the spotlights go out. In the end, Johnny and Kat are reunited for good and Vincenzo, after using the same shadow shift ability, personally thanks Dawn for looking after his daughter.
The overall verdict on Contrast is mixed at best. Many consider too short with not enough life and thought put into it, while others praise the game for the innovative shadow-play, stylish settings, and heartwarming story. Whatever the case may be, it may very well leave people wanting to see more of Dawn in the future. Even if there is no chance to continue the story of Contrast, it's clear as a lightbulb that Dawn got gamer's attention regardless of whether the outlook was favorable or not. For all intents and purposes, Dawn is truly the video game babe that even as an imaginary friend, can be as real as any good woman is.
This is Greg P., examining video game babes for you and me.