Sony PlayStation 3 (PS Vita)
ESRB RATING: Everyone
Review Rating: 3.5 stars
Finding challenging platform games nowadays is more difficult than locating someone who admits they bought a Wii-U! That's why I jumped at the opportunity to play the odd 2D side-scrolling game, "Dustforce." What makes the game play so unusual is that it focuses on cleaning dirt off of every surface imaginable, including living creatures.
At first glance, it would appear that "Dustforce" was designed specifically for the likes of Adrian Monk or Sheldon Cooper, but players don't have to be a neat freak to enjoy the ... ahem ... dirty game play. However, being a perfectionist definitely helps because achieving a high grade on each level requires near-perfect timing and movement.
With no storyline provided to explain why everything is covered in dirt or why it must all be cleaned off, players must fill that in for themselves. Regardless, this game is much more complex than one might imagine. Simply finishing a level isn't satisfying, but achieving a high grade sure is!
That's because it requires a smooth flow through the level that resembles perfect lines in skateboarding or snowboarding. Dashing through levels with a broomstick or vacuum while making precise jumps and even running on the ceiling in one fell swoop are the keys to victory. It's very rewarding to continually improve on each level, inching closer and closer to a higher grade.
The controls reward continuous movement, but become very finicky when trying to make precise moves while stopped. This promotes constant movement and split-second decisions. I quickly discovered that starting a level over again was easier than trying to regain momentum after coming to an accidental stop.
"Dustforce" is surprisingly fun despite the fact that it focuses on the complexities of being a graceful custodial engineer.