Published on November 7th, 2019 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: Concrete Genie
Concept/Story: The story focuses on a teenager named Ash (at least I think he’s a teen) who is more of the introverted type who just loves drawing and minding his own business whilst chilling out in the now empty and polluted town of Denska. Ash gets caught by a bunch of bullies who tear up his sketchbook, sending all the pages scattering throughout the town. Long story short as to not spoil the story, Ash finds a magic brush which can bring his creations to life and is tasked to bring some life back to the town. The story is short and sweet, with great characters and emotion behind it and just a nice feel good adventure over all.
Graphics: Concrete Genie has a very unique style that has the characters kind of looking like they were made using Claymation, sort of like something you would see in the movie Coraline. The environment is grim, depressing and just plain ugly, which is purposely created by design so that Ash can line the streets with some fantastic neon artwork which really brings the town to life. It’s not the most technical looking game and could probably have been created on the PS3, but what it lacks in sheer horsepower it makes up for in artistic direction, part of that being the players actual design choices along their playthrough.
Gameplay: Navigating through the world is like any third person platformer using the typical buttons on the controller, however switch to the painting mode and that gets thrown out the window and tasks you with using the motion sensor on the controller. At first I absolutely hated this and found it really cumbersome, however once you get the flow of things you’ll find it a breeze to create your masterpieces. That being said you will still find the occasional fight with the controller to get it to register your motion, but hey who’s ever nailed motion controls perfectly. Creating the artworks is the main gameplay hook and it is pretty amazing once you start unlocking new designs and seeing them come to life. There’s enough there for different peoples personal preferences but I did feel like I wanted just a bit more to design with.
In the late game you do have the ability to battle enemies and also essentially skate through the world using Ash’s paint brush, which are great mechanics, especially the skating which was very reminiscent of Jet Set Radio, it’s just a real shame they get introduced so late into the games already short play time.
Sound: The music is absolutely fantastic and really fits the mood in every moment of the game. The team really cares deeply about the music and how it influences the story to create the perfect atmosphere. It really is quite breathtaking and I highly recommend having a listen to the soundtrack and checking out the teams video on how they created the music.
Aside from the music, I really enjoyed the voice acting, which had the actors really put forth some great emotion in their performance. It can be tricky when dealing with themes centered on children and teenagers and having the voice actor’s sound legitimate as opposed to very corny/fake, so I’m glad they were able to pull this off and keep me personally engaged.
Awesomeness: I think the awesomeness factor comes in from the teams overall ambition to try something new and really try to create a unique experience whilst also complimenting the core gameplay with beautiful music, great voice acting and some amazing art design.
I would have loved a bit more design choices to really extend the life of the game after I completed the story, but alas there just isn’t enough to warrant me sticking around once I grabbed that platinum trophy.
Speaking of platinum’s, to all those trophy hunters out there, this is one easy trophy to obtain and doesn’t take all that long to achieve, so definitely get on this is you want to boost those platinum trophies.
Final Word: If you’re after a nice relaxing game that doesn’t focus on challenge and instead focuses on creativity, then this is the game for you. Sporting a great, sweet story along with beautiful music and some fantastic art design, you can really get swept up in the world the team at PixelOpus created for Concrete Genie. I just wish it was longer, but hey that’s a good sign that you’ve enjoyed something when you’re craving more!
Out of 5 Bugs!