Although Ash is the center of attention, he is also plagued by a group of bullies who have a small amount of time in the beginning but left a surprisingly deep impression on me. Their dialogue with each other and with Ash quickly creates unique personalities – obviously some of the group members are not as sure about bullying as others – and relationships with each other, which I hope will be explored as the story progresses.
And this story starts fast. Ash finds his way to a run-down lighthouse in search of the scattered pages of his sketchbook and finds some magically-infused pages and a brush that brings his creations, the title genius, to life in 2D.
How Painting and Genius Work in Concrete Genius
I came across some lightweight platforms and collectibles that would expand your knowledge of the city and its current derogatory state – but the main attraction of Concrete Genius is the magical painting gameplay Later in the game, but let's face it) navigating the world of Concrete Genius is all about painting back life in Denska with Ash's magic brush. Players have a number of options in Ash's notebook for painting trees, stars, grass, suns, and more. The basic way each element looks remains the same, so you do not have the task of painting every blade of grass or perfecting the circular shape of the sun. However, with DualShock 4 motion controls, you can adjust the size of a sun, the slope of a grassy hill, or the angle at which the branches of a tree bend.
This may sound a little limited on paper But every wall is a blank canvas that can be painted on, and Motion Control offers plenty of options for painting elements that have never limited my creativity in painting. As a matter of fact, Ash needs to re-paint the lights of his city, and it's easy to literally draw a series of stars over it. But I realized that I was looking at one wall as a sunny slope, while the next was a starry night brimming with the life of the Aurora Borealis I painted.
It's a strangely calm and therapeutic game mechanic. And while I had to keep a watchful eye on the streets to track me when they discovered me, I never felt rushed in my picture of all those little or big happy trees.
But of course as The name implies that the geniuses with whom you populate the world are the most intriguing element. Painted with a few different base types, I was able to paint the body of a mind with the movement of my controller on the wall and add a few extra elements such as branches or spines as horns or tails to the body. Once created, the mind gets a personality that depends on how it was created. Paint a squat, prickly little guy, and he'll have a hot attitude. But if I were to draw a long Viennese dog genius, he would basically be a faithful puppy.
No matter how you draw them, geniuses are supposed to persist throughout the game, and I pretty much clung to the two I drew as if they were my own pets. They are loyal and happy to help (if you occasionally treat them to a desired painting), bounce along the walls of buildings, and interact with the world around you to help you progress.
As you paint light back In the world, you also fight a mysterious purple and black porridge that has infected everything. Your geniuses can not exceed the limits of this substance, but you can subtract some extra strong colors from your geniuses to root out the darkness to make progress. Otherwise, you are not involved in any fight – until the third act of Concrete Genius.
Concrete Genies Third-Act Combat Twist
Late in the game, a new combat system is introduced in Ash's repertoire to assume mysterious dark spirits. Ash gains a number of new abilities to tackle these enemies seen in previous demos. In keeping with the general earnestness and sincerity of Concrete Genius, these struggles, at least from what I've encountered, are more likely to be attempts to catch a wild animal, protect it from oneself, and harm others. The actual course of the battle takes a little time to adapt, but the fight I had left behind wanted more.
Ash gains the ability to magically skate on paint – think Coles sliding in Infamous – as I navigated through a neighborhood in the city to chase the dark spirit. Several good geniuses have different elemental attributes, so I had to use my genius's fire attacks to quell the shield of this dark genius before I paint it with more paint to affect his health. Equipped with these movements and an evasive maneuver, this particular encounter never felt too challenging, but it was well suited to the themes, gameplay, and general mood that Concrete Genie defines in its opening facets come together and remain engaging throughout the story can. The opening offers fun, exciting and unique gameplay opportunities and a world of potential. And I hope the story of Concrete Genius turns out to be as heartwarming and joyful as the opening hour and as startling as the turn in the third act.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's senior news editor and presenter of The PlayStation Show from IGN, Podcast Beyond !. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush .