Climbing to New Heights in Jusant

Follow the whispers of the past as you scale an epic tower in this tranquil action-puzzler.

last updated Jan 21, 2024
Jusant is like finding a solitary mountain flower on a rugged cliffside; it's exquisitely poignant in its concept and execution.

Cracks and Crimps: A Climber's Tale

With its meditative and yet surprisingly athletic approach, Jusant presents a climbing experience that's about as gripping as it gets without the actual risk of calloused hands. The action-puzzle core makes for a serene, if not somewhat Zen-like encounter with alternate worlds of vertical challenge. The act of scaling the gargantuan tower is tactically pleasing and seldom repetitive, given the variety of environmental changes throwing spanners in the works. However, the cherry on top is the silent tale of restoration and redemption that drips down these mossy stone walls, lending your efforts a subtler emotional weight. Just when you think the climbing mechanics couldn't hook you more, they toss in swinging from ropes, adding an air of swashbuckling to the otherwise calm ascent.

An Acoustic Journey Up the Apex

The auditory experience in Jusant is nothing short of an aural banquet, with the sprawling soundscape echoing the enormity of your task. The soundtrack weaves a tale just as fervently as its visuals, with tunes so fitting that they could very well coax birds from trees—metaphorically, of course. One can't help but get the sense that each note has been meticulously chosen to underscore the emotional highs and lows of the ascent. Mornings spent climbing are greeted with soft, melodious whispers, while the triumphant handholds are lauded with orchestral applause. It's not just music to your ears; it's the lifeblood of the climb. And let's not forget the intermittent, serene silence that allows the world's natural soundtrack to shine.

A Vast Tapestry of Pixels

Graphically, Jusant is less about pushing polygon counts and more about painting emotional landscapes on your retina. The aesthetics are a love letter to contemporary art, stylized with a simplicity that betrays the depth of story lying beneath. While some have raised a pixelated eyebrow at the game's performance, to get too hung up on frame rates would be to miss the forest for the breath-taking, individually crafted trees. It's clear that there's a method to the magnificent madness of biomes and ruins waiting to be explored, but beware the sporadic framerate dips in the more candle-lit cathedrals of play. Nonetheless, the visual journey is a treat, a testament to the silent storytelling that games can achieve without uttering a single line of dialogue.

The Not-So-Rocky Road of Gameplay

In terms of gameplay, Jusant swings between sheer brilliance and a few rockfalls. On one hand, the climbing puzzles are artfully crafted, escalating in difficulty and complexity in a dance that feels both deliberate and dynamic. On the other, however, the flaws cling to the experience like barnacles to a hull. A little refining of the mechanics could alleviate some of the struggle against awkward camera angles and at times clunky kinesthetics. Despite these pebbles in the shoe, the consolation lies within the diversity of terrain and the non-prescriptive wandering, inviting any player to sink into the nuances of the climb rather than obsess over impeccable execution.

A Letter-Filled Love Affair

The narrative of Jusant, primarily strung together by scraps of letters and journal entries, marries exploration with exposition, daring adventurers to piece together the tapestry of a dried-up civilization. While the environmental storytelling is certainly evocative, the delivery of these paper puzzles could be smoother. The correspondence, though rich with lore, may occasionally blur into the background for the action-seeking climber. And while there’s something endearing about the reticence of the game to spoon-feed its story, a dose of variety in disseminating these tidbits could spice up the scramble up the spire.

Whispers of Scalability

A word to the resolution-wise: Jusant may have you reaching for the graphics settings quicker than a climber for a chalk bag. The reports of a less-than-optimal performance with higher-end hardware might have the more tech-minded mountaineers among us balking at the climb. It's a curious juxtaposition—an experience so visually and sonically mindful can sometimes snag on the craggy edges of framerate dips and optimization quandaries. That being said, if you can navigate the settings and find the performance sweet spot, the game can and will unfold its many wonders unabashedly. Game Cover Art
STEAM RATING 95 .77% Developer & Publisher DON'T NOD Release Date October 31, 2023

The Verdict

In my vista of gaming experiences, Jusant is like finding a solitary mountain flower on a rugged cliffside; it's exquisitely poignant in its concept and execution. It’s a game that is as much about the journey as it is the destination, compelling players to rise through the ranks of scenic backdrops while climbing through an emotional narrative. The gameplay is mostly fluid and enjoyable, offering the right balance of challenge and comfort. While some of the game’s technical aspects might leave the most ardent of graphical gurus slightly aggrieved, it’s a fleeting grievance cast against a backdrop of an otherwise superbly-crafted game. If you’re a gamer looking for an atmospheric slice of artful escapism, or even just a peaceful respite from the cacophony of everyday virtual gun battles, Jusant is a summit well worth scaling.