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REVIEW: Concrete Genie (PS4) is an explosion of colors in a dark world

Using only a magic brush and your creativity, help a young man to bring his hometown back to life; check out the Concrete Genie review

Of all internal developers at Sony, O Pixelopus so far there hasn't been much to showcase the company and the gaming community. Your debut game, EntwinedDespite the proposal and interesting visuals, it did not draw much attention. However, now the team of young developers has taken a bigger leap with Concrete Genie, a much more ambitious title that aligns more with the style of independent stadium titles. But that doesn?t mean the game is a masterpiece of PS4 – far from it. Even so, it is a beautiful and charismatic adventure that is worth living.

O Showmetech had access to a copy of Concrete Genie for Playstation 4 provided by Sony and, after a few days of intense gambling, we bring you a complete analysis of this beautiful story that mixes art and emotion with a presentation that will fill your eyes!

Bringing concrete to life

The history of Concrete Genie starts with the presentation of Ash, a young boy with an artistic talent. While he takes care of his chores, some brave ones arrive, steal his sketchbook and rip out all the pages before sending him to the supposedly haunted lighthouse just to torment his life.

Are you ready to return colors to the city of Denska?Are you ready to return colors to the city of Denska?

For the game's plot, the main enemies of Ash It is not only the brave ones who tease him almost all the time, but also the city of Denska, abandoned and invaded by criminals after an accident that causes a mysterious black rot that spreads everywhere. As much as the brave, the city oppresses our protagonist and makes him close himself more and more in the world of his drawings as an escape valve for this reality so dark and colorless.

in this mysterious beacon that the life of Ash undergoes a turnaround. The young man receives a magic brush and, after a decent tutorial that familiarizes the player with the basic mechanics of the instrument, you are tasked with reviving the city by painting live murals on its decrepit walls. Leaving your mind and the leaves of your notebooks, the creations of Ash now they can come alive on the city walls and their dreams become bright and colorful realities around them.

In Concrete Genie, Ash can bring his paintings to life with a magic brushIn Concrete Genie, Ash can bring his paintings to life with a magic brush

important to mention the tutorial, because the controls on the Concrete Genie they are somewhat unorthodox. Our main character, Ash, it can be controlled as you would expect – it even manages to scale some buildings and make some bolder moves – but when you're in paint mode, the DualShock 4's gyro sensor takes over the game.

The good news is that painting is wonderfully tactile and intuitive. After highlighting the chosen design, just press the R2 trigger and move the cursor as if you were doing a brush stroke. The motion controls do not fit well with all types of designs, (you can change them to the right configuration for your profile, if you prefer), but even so they make the game very accessible and wonderful to have your actions transformed into brilliant images and lively.

Painting mechanics are a little limited, but very intuitivePainting mechanics are a little limited, but very intuitive

However, unfortunately you cannot use the magic brush with a free style. The painting is restricted to the pages you unlocked or found in the open world in miniature, each offering new landscape items, genie decorations or new geniuses to create.

Despite not being able to paint anything, you have a lot of freedom within the limits that the game puts before you. Besides, it's almost impossible to create something that doesn't look wonderful – even if you don't have a creative mind in your mind. The fruits of your work are almost always a spectacle – satisfying and will certainly bring a smile to your face when you complete a painting.

The colorful genie

Even Ash be the main protagonist of the game, the title geniuses are the real stars of the show. Dotted in all areas of the map, there are opportunities to paint these monsters that inhabit your murals and, again, it depends a lot on you how they look. Geniuses are not only responsible for making this dark world more colorful, but also for making life and adventure for Ash less lonely.

Genies are magical creatures that come to life with Ash's magic brushGenies are magical creatures that come to life with Ash's magic brush

They can interact with you and other geniuses in a variety of ways, but most importantly they will help you with some puzzles that the game world presents before you. But I need to make it clear that Concrete Genie it is far from being a game focused on puzzles and challenges, so don't expect to be surprised by them.

Perhaps the most unusual element of the game is the combat and the way it was introduced in Concrete Genie. Without revealing many spoilers, suffice it to say that the combat makes an abrupt and short-lived appearance at the end of the game's story that can be completed in about eight hours. a very unusual addition to a mechanic that contrasts so much with the rest of the game's style.

Concrete Genie has a bit of combat, but the game?s focus remains on the scenery?s challenges and paintingsConcrete Genie has a bit of combat, but the game?s focus remains on the scenery?s challenges and paintings

After a leisurely, smooth-paced walk, as you light up and bring life back to the city of Denska, you suddenly learn to fight and surf – the latter of which allows you to move much faster. It's a shocking change, and you'll need to get used to this new style of gameplay quickly.

The last hour is largely spent fighting paint monsters, as if the developers didn't have much faith in the mechanics of painting and needed to add some last-minute element to strengthen the game's plot and capture the player's attention. kept in context by history, of course, but a clumsy final step.

Ash's magic brush serves not only to give life to the city but also to protect it from dangersAsh's magic brush serves not only to give life to the city but also to protect it from dangers

But is it that, despite its unusual arrival, the combat was done properly? Yes, and a fun addition. Like their geniuses, attacks by Ash appear in the form of fire, electricity or wind, and you will need to associate your offensive skills with the corresponding shields.

it is a fast, frenzied mechanic that, while almost not at all special, is quite fun while it lasts. And this is exactly because everything fits perfectly to the scenarios and contexts that the game creates to keep the mechanics of painting and fighting units and working efficiently.

All shades and all colors

Meanwhile, the artistic style of Concrete Genie stunning and you can never get tired of the excellent quality of the movement of the characters similar to the technique of stop motion. Denska may initially seem like a cold and inspiring environment, but this is intentional – literally a canvas on which you can decorate with your heart's content.

The Free Paint mode allows you to go to various areas of the map and start your artistic sessions again without distractions, which is a good option for players looking for a simpler and more comfortable version of the game. Also, if you have the PlayStation VRYou can also enter a complementary mode that acts as a virtual extension of the game that provides a very interesting and immersive experience.

While VR mode operates at a smooth frame rate – as a requirement – the main game fails in that regard. Not a constant nuisance, but very strange for a title exclusive to the PS4 and it doesn't seem to use the console's hardware resources optimally. The animations can also seem a little clumsy, but then again, that shouldn't get in the way that much.

Even though it is beautiful to look at, the game still lacks a certain polishEven though it is beautiful to look at, the game still lacks a certain polish

The biggest problem of Concrete Genie it will be noticeable that the usual polishing attributed to Sony it simply isn't there. Fortunately, this is a title that ends up escaping with errors of this type because of its charm. Not perfect, but this is absolutely a step in the right direction for Pixelopus invest more in upcoming jobs.

The almost perfect beauty of Concrete Genie

Concrete Genie it is a charming and cheerful experience that embraces creativity in a unique way. Paint your way through Denska fun and effortless, and the geniuses that help Ash on your adventure they are very fun. Although this main element of the game is well done, the combat seems like a late addition, as it is hidden at the end. This and some minor problems prevent the game from being grandiose, but, on the whole, this is definitely worth playing and is not just appreciated at a distance like a painting in an art gallery.

Concrete Genie (PS4)

8/10

resume

If you are looking for a simple yet beautiful adventure, Concrete Genie will be a great choice. The game may not be up to the great successes of the PS4, but a beautiful journey with a touch of emotion that promises to amuse the player and leave you with a smile on your face with every brushstroke given on the screen.

Pros

  • Wonderful presentation;
  • Relaxing and intuitive gameplay;
  • Positive and inspiring message.

Cons

  • Combat little explored;
  • Occasional performance issues.

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