The indie scene continues to grow, delighting new and often very unexpected hits. Matt Thorson, Creator of the brilliant multiplayer fun of TowerFall Ascension, along with Noel berry earlier this year released a single-player platformer-adventure Celeste – perhaps the major independent project in 2018.
The story tells about a girl named Madeline, who tries to find himself and get rid of doubts, storming an impregnable Canadian mountain about Celeste. The mountain has a kind of mystical force, awakening in Madeline’s her second nature and separating it in the form of a ghostly phantom. Uncertainty and fear of the character provoked conversations with the dark twin, the painful memories, difficult chases and numerous tests, which creates a mountain on the way to the top. Madeline, as the player, has to learn how to fight panic attacks and to overcome their inner demons.
The story is served through reflections of the protagonist, the dialogues with non-playable characters and scripting scenes, which are perfectly integrated into the gameplay. This makes Celeste more than just a set of large and challenging levels.
The gameplay takes everything that was best in Super Meat Boy with traps, clever mechanisms, immediate revival at the beginning of the screen and intuitive physics, but the saturating formula is correct elements of Metroidvania. Each new stage in the Celeste – it is a separate location with its many passages and secrets. Some sections are a little more linear, the other has a branched structure with a Central hub, suggesting the search of keys that open locked doors.
The basic mechanics is based on jumping, climbing the walls with the restriction on the stamina and the ability to make one sharp jerk in the air. Getting into special crystals or slightly touching the ground, the heroine restores a consumed spurt and may continue to slide in flight. To determine the status of the charging ability by the color of their hair Madeline.
On this basis, the authors create a complex and interesting sections-puzzles where you have to demonstrate your ability by solving a spatial puzzle and just getting into a rhythm for making the crazy acrobatic feats.
Each location is very different from the previous design and gameplay. The further you play, the more I realize how deep and thorough the project has been released by the developers. With each new episode, the authors offer more unique solutions, which are not repeated. Flying through the cosmic void with a further acceleration appearing from under the floor and walls ghostly blobs, carrying the heroine of sharp streams of air control of floating platforms, bubbles, and more fill the scenes in Celeste gameplay diversity that continues to surprise until the very end.
The authors skillfully work through each screen, soaking Celeste adrenaline and excitement of increasing difficulty. The internal physics of the game allows the creators to combine the mechanics for the more hardcore sections, where you are at the limit of their capabilities. The hot chase from the bosses only a few times in passing but made so beautifully that it is simply impossible to resist not to return to it later stages and not to repeat the race.
All this emphasizes the brilliantly atmospheric soundtrack from the Lena river Rhine. The composer was able to feel the moment, speeding up or slowing down the dynamics in the music that fully immerses you in the game. At one point, fans even found the Easter eggs: if you scroll to the song, you can hear the thoughts of the main character, uttered in a human voice. In addition, in one scene, with the secret object of the game assumes that you took Super Mario Bros. 3 and therefore will be able to solve the puzzle. And in one of the old storage rooms of the abandoned hotel, there is an old computer game “Celeste” a prototype that Matt Thorson and Noel berry did in four days at one of Hamdamov a few years ago.
Except strawberries and crystal hearts that optional, but still want to collect them all, the authors put special audio tapes, revealing alternative versions of worlds. And if the main part of the project does not reach outright mockery of gamer, then these bonus stages created especially for lovers of the thrill.
It is a pity that pixel art can scare away fans of modern games. Fortunately, the gameplay in Celeste is so addictive that at the second level, forget about the primitive picture. And then find absolutely stunning levels with magnificent sunsets against the mountains. For Nintendo Switch to portable mode, the game looks nice due to the relatively small diagonal.
Celeste – an excellent combination of genres and an unobtrusive story about finding yourself, a true 2D masterpiece that will appeal to fans of Super Meat Boy, and fans of the genre Metroidvania. Smart, moderately difficult and very atmospheric game pumping skills game and doesn’t let go until the very end.