Monday, March 21, 2016

Klaus (PS4) - Review and Gameplay

Who is Klaus? That’s the big question this awesome little indie platformer seeks to answer.

The game Klaus picks up on your average joe office worker on a quest of self-discovery, as he suffers a mysterious case of amnesia. Only a Memento-esque tattoo of the word “KLAUS” found on the character’s body provides any clue as to the true origin of this man in search of his past.

As players navigate through this puzzling prison of industrial danger, Klaus undergoes various memory sequences, bringing a refreshing dash of in-depth plot to a genre that otherwise lacked in this area. On his soul-searching journey, Klaus tight-walks across the thin line of fourth wall breaking with his acknowledgment of the user controlling his actions.

These actions are right on par with what a player expects from any typical 2D puzzle platformer. Klaus has got all the classics from spiky pits of deaths, conveyor belts,  and lifts.  Pathways lead to keys that open those ever so suspenseful doorways. Though death will be rampant and confusion may peak from time to time, no challenge ever seems all too insurmountable in this platformer.

We especially enjoyed the inclusion of the touchpad on the PS4 controller.

Though the controls can be awkward to get the hang of at first, the game quickly becomes a natural connection to the gameplay mechanics, which are otherwise smooth and enjoyable. The only complaint in this aspect come from the chapter where Klaus discovers his hulking counterpart, K1. Controlling both diverse characters simultaneously does nothing to improve upon the game’s otherwise basic mechanics.
Klaus does lack a bit in originality with its cliche platformer genre elements. The game is especially reminiscent of Super Meat Boy in many of these aspects. But it more than makes up for this faux pas with its inclusion of a brilliantly intriguing existential story. Be sure to pay close attention to the various bits of inner monologue plastered all across the expanse environment, and don’t think things are always as they appear. Klaus is full of small twists and turns around every corner. You never know where the next secret might be lurking.

The Decision

Some may criticize the game for being too simple or for some level controls feeling too awkward. But overall Klaus was the little platformer that could. Klaus makes up for its shortcoming with the quirkiness that could only come out of an independent game.  So we are calling this one a well-earned PLAY.

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