Run, but do not know why
The narrative component is certainly not the strong point of Downward and it is already seen from the first frames, seen and revised in many other productions: the player dresses the clothes of the classic character without memory that, you do not know well why or why, opens its eyes in the face of a fragmented universe, a kind of parallel dimension held together by portals, a dreamlike platform-based journey on which to jump or climb, also linked by various abnormalities that work as a trampoline.
Despite an engaging female voice pushing the player to go deep to find out what has reduced the world to shreds, what the stars are whining over his head and who he is himself, it is hard to pass on the story told in Downward, more vague and labile of the same universe in which you are, get lost, move their footsteps.
Not that the secondary characters really help, indeed, the only true encounter is a bizarre old man with a shrill voice, a merchant with whom to exchange the objects recovered during the adventure, but from whose mouths come words of which it is difficult to understand the link .
The only interesting ideas take shape in the final, but nowadays, it is very likely that, with your hand, your whole focus is focused on the next jump or stun, while the voice behind the scenes has now been reduced to a mere background.
Even dubbing entirely in Italian fails to give the right weight to events: if it is a pleasant surprise to hear dialogues in their own language – work is entrusted to the ThePuld team – on the other hand, dubbing has a vena comica,
The events that take shape on screen are certainly not the spring that push the player to stick with his eyes on the monitor without ever lowering the guard: the real credit to Caracal Games was to have reinterpreted parkour mechanics, adapting it to a rhythm that has nothing to do with Mirror’s Edge , without even the need to always hear the heavy breath of Dying Light zombies on his neck, rushing to make sure they do not get bogged down.
The purpose is very simple: to reach certain areas of the scenario and retrieve a specific element or to activate a precise marching and such goals set Downwardas a first contemplative adventure, most of the time exploration within a gameplay that is ruined but at the same time cleverly rebuilt and rewarded by a top level design.
The platform sections are embellished with a sharp verticality of the levels, an articulation that also makes the open and harmonious spaces of true labyrinths, in which also the succession of lost, fallen, attempted, and casual discovery of secret roads is a real satisfaction. As if that were not enough, along the route are also disposed of devices that, when activated, significantly change paths, revealing new platforms and opening the way to areas that are unreachable.
A parkour law and immediately think of the frenzy, the shots and jumps of a protagonist constantly hacked, but Downward is also made of slow moments where you need to scrutinize and study the vast panoramas to see where to go.
downward suffers from a terrible bipolar disorder: in his main quest, the work of Caracal Games is the classic potential pupil, but achieves the best result with the least effort, satisfying the six in the slider. If you just stay on the main road, adventure is reduced to a linear path, an over-guided experience, where even parkour contour elements appear almost superfluous.
Jumping from platform to platform, the player retrieves the “sky scales”, a currency to spend near some statues, indispensable to improving the physical abilities, concentration and strength of the protagonist.