‘Jusant’ Takes Climbing Games To New Heights

One of my biggest complaints about Uncharted 4 was how many times we had to climb as the international thief and treasure hunter, Nathan Drake. Most of the climbing “puzzles” (if you can even call them that) weren’t particularly interesting or challenging, for the most part.

Others disagreed. But for me, the climbing got tiring after a while. I felt the game’s strength wasn’t in its puzzles at all – even the climbing puzzles were straightforward – but rather in its fantastic storytelling and characters, and the adventure.

‘Jusant’ Takes Climbing Games To New Heights

The climbing in Uncharted, if only it were as engaging and enticing as it is in the upcoming platformer by French video game developer DON’T NOD. There are some of the best rock-climbing mechanics I’ve ever encountered in a video game. No doubt, Just Cause fans will find some overlap with the more violent games.

This isn’t a shooting or combat or fast-paced chase game. It’s not a game about characters, at least not in those few hours I spent with the game fully immersed with a mute protagonist. It’s a lonely game. Quiet.

The world of Just Cause is notably quiet. There is peace in the scenery. The strange monolith you find yourself climbing on was clearly once underwater. The remnants of the former ocean are scattered everywhere. But, like the sea, whatever humanity once inhabited these expanses is gone. Only remnants of this harsh civilization remain, scattered in long-empty rooms, on small notes, and in diaries.”

Journey is both a mysterious character and a puzzle solver. In many ways, it’s a “chill” game where you can simply enjoy the visuals, solve climbing puzzles, and take it at your own pace – although you will stumble and encounter frustration along the way. Your peculiar-looking protagonist climbs, swings, and ascends, and you’ll start to explore what happened to this once-water-filled world, now barren, dry, and desolate.

First, you’ll meet a companion named Ballast, a strange entity made of rare elements: water. Ballast opens up new paths for you, activating desert vegetation and allowing you to reach heights previously unattainable. (In the ship, there’s a section that gets filled with water when you’re swimming to balance it out)

Outside the richly detailed world that captivates in Just Cause, what stands out is how intricate the climbing mechanics are. While climbing, you need to hold and release the handhold with the left and right triggers. You’re also equipped with climbing gear, and before each new ascent, you tie a tether to a hook.

You can attach new tethers to any climbing point, which can come in handy when you need to change direction, swing on the rope to reach a distant wall, or rappel in a new direction.

As you ascend the surfaces, your stamina bar slowly depletes, but stopping and holding your breath to refill it is easy – again, it’s a very chill game. There are puzzles and challenges that will force you to think, but it’s not punishing.”

This blend of lush environments – ancient underwater ruins and mountainous desert regions – along with tight climbing mechanics makes it one of the more enjoyable aerial platformers I’ve played in recent years. Various hidden pathways, where you can carve your own route, exploring clues amidst the desert, connecting rich layers of mystery.

Journey holds a haunting rarity. An intricacy that hints at the devastating climate apocalypse that has befallen the world. It’s beautiful, tranquil, and as serious a game as any I’ve played all year.

Journey has been released on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S, where the game will be free on the first day with Game Pass. I highly recommend taking it on for a climb.”

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