Projection: First Light PlayStation 4 Review

Projection: First Light is one of the most unique games that I’ve played in a long time, and one that leaves a memory of a wonderful experience.

By RON, Posted 19 Oct 2020

Projection: First Light took me back to my childhood for a shadow puppetry show, something we hardly consider as entertainment these days. Developer Shadowplay Studios has picked up this ancient form of storytelling to deliver a 2D platformer in collaboration with Sweaty Chair. The game takes you on a journey of a young girl through a shadow puppet show that’s based on a unique shadow casting mechanic. It’s certainly an intriguing idea to educate this generation about shadow puppetry and how beautifully stories can be told with only backdrops, artworks, and puppets. However, enjoying a shadow puppetry show is one thing while managing shadow casting by yourself is an entirely different and challenging experience.

Projection: First Light, PlayStation 4, PS4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots

Projection: First Light tells a story of Great, a little girl who runs away from home in pursuit of a butterfly and embarks on an adventure through many distant lands, eventually getting lost. Her journey of trying to get back home through difficult situations is guided by a mystical light that she can control to generate shadow. Throughout her journey, she makes a few friends and a few deadly enemies, too. This epic journey of hers is presented through a pleasing visual display and without using any words.

Gameplay-wise, Projection: First Light is like any other 2D platformer. Greta can move in both directions, jump and drag objects to solve puzzles in each chapter. For obvious reasons, every single object in this game is made of shadow, including the characters and the paths. Greta has to control and position mystical light to create shadows for that let her move forward. climb up and move to certain areas. Depending on how the light’s positioning, shadows can have different lengths and angles. Initially, it takes a bit of time to get adjusted to controlling of both the character and the shadow, but the slow pace of the game eventually helps to get used to this system. Only relief is that the game doesn’t force you to find an exact spot for creating shadows. Otherwise the game would turn pretty dull soon after you’ve started.

Projection: First Light, PlayStation 4, PS4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Boss Fights

Having said that, the use of light mechanics can be clumsy and difficult to control in many areas. The more you progress, the more complex managing the shadows becomes. You’ll notice it especially when you need to move large rocks and place them in a particular position. This wouldn’t have been difficult on a straight path, but when you need to move the rock through other objects, it requires a lot of balancing on top of just projecting shadows. Even though there are many interesting puzzles, the shadow mechanic doesn’t always work the way it should. Both Greta and objects often get stuck in the shadows that she creates. Greta can’t move when a shadow projects over her, even a tiny bit. Problem is that it happens frequently enough to get frustrated easily. This is especially exhausting when going too far with your own shadow can destroy something that took you a long time to figure out and build. Despite this, however, the game is still simple and requires patience for solving puzzles. The boss fights are the most interesting part, especially because they break the usual monotony of the gameplay. These fights mostly pit you against giant shadow characters, figuring the rhythm of their attacks playing a key role.

Projection: First Light, PlayStation 4, PS4, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots

Visually, Projection: First Light is a delight. Its faultless detail in the presentation is praiseworthy. The characters are well-drawn and its animations gives contribute to its eclectic atmosphere. Every character moves as one would expect the puppets to move with sticks controlling their motions. The only thing that feels missing is the presence of voice acting or even written dialogs. The whole story is told this way without words, but with very expressive animation. Though the soundtrack varies in different locations, setting up suitable ambient throughout her journey. Overall, even with all its issues, Projection: First Light is one of the most unique games that I’ve played in a long time, and one that leaves a memory of a wonderful experience.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Blowfish Studios, Blowfish Studios Pty. Ltd.
Developer(s): Shadowplay Studios, Blowfish Studios, Sweaty Chair, Sweaty Chair Pty. Ltd., Blowfish Studios Pty. Ltd.
Genres: 2D Platformer
Themes: Puzzle
Release Date: 2020-09-29

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