Best of 2022: Neon White wants you to break it by design

In a year full of game delays, 2022 has been a terrifying year, with expertly crafted games like GOTY’s obvious rival Elden Ring to intricate storytelling RPGs. Citizen Sleeper. But no game embodies the concept of “game feel” better than Neon White. It’s tight, it’s fast, it’s got the best soundtrack of the year. What’s most interesting, however, is the game’s secret goal: It wants you to intentionally break it.

If you’re not familiar with Neon White, let me update you (very intentional pun) on one of GameSpot’s picks for 10 best games of the year. It’s a first-person shooter, with cards that can be used as weapons that you use to take down demons, or discarded as resources for different abilities like dashing or jumping. additional. However, you’ll want to be quick because getting to the fastest time possible is your main goal.

Playing: WHITE NEON | cartoon intro

The level design is clearly one of the standout aspects of the game, because while what you’re doing is the background, the game is actually more of a puzzle game, once you understand you need to use weapons. gas where or where. you need to use an ability.

Completing a level in the given time gives you three things: the ability to find a gift to give to one of your companions, a player ghost showing the best time before That’s yours and a suggestion. Each of these is paired with medals ranging from bronze to platinum.

Those are the hints that really prove how special the game is. At first glance, they seem like a way to show you how to cut your time in seconds. You’ll definitely want to do that, as each level has its own leaderboard, and that’s not going to happen when TheMilkMan73 is three milliseconds faster than you.

Neon White has many ways to approach its levels.
Neon White has many ways to approach its levels.

So you take a shortcut, which may not even be immediately obvious how you get there. Sometimes you just need to fall gracefully from a specific high and sometimes you need to save a specific card to use its abilities, that’s where the puzzle element of the levels really comes in. Highlights.

However, hints are not necessarily the definitive way to get the fastest time; they are more of a suggestion. Each hint acts as a mini-lesson, teaching you a bit of a move technique that the main path of the levels might not. However, motion technology can only take you so far, and after a while I realized the real effect of the shortcuts–they are reshaping the way I treat levels as space.

Let’s say each level is reduced to a path that winds back and forth like a snake. Most people will go the route because there are some unwritten rules that say you can’t go outside the boundaries. You always follow this path and you do not think of escaping its repetitive nature, although you are sure that there is a better way. Then one day, you see someone just keep walking straight ahead, completely skipping the road, passing everyone without even speeding up. Suddenly, the way you view this space and the ability to move through it is completely different. That’s what Neon White’s shortcuts do: They encourage you to break the rules and then the game itself.

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This is where the leaderboards and TheMilkMan73 come into play again, as you can not only beat them with this world-changing awareness, but xX_blueblur_Xx and neonredsimp as well. There’s an amazing feedback loop where you see a record you want to beat and then spend time in the level figuring out how you can best use the geometry and tools at your disposal .

To beat all those opponents – who don’t even know they are – you have to find that line on the winding road, which is much more obvious on some levels than others. is different. You need to spend some time experimenting–you need to kill a specific enemy, but you also need to make sure you stock up on enough ammo to still be able to use the card’s abilities. You start circling the levels like you own the place, pushing the limits of everything you have and once you get the hang of it, you can move halfway around the map on your own in a way that the geeks do. Development may not be intended, even in a game all about speedrunning.

Most games in the fast-paced world don’t put that aspect of the gaming community first, with some developers even going so far as to patch critically important exploits. However, Neon White is not like that. It wants you to spend time with it, before breaking it down into small pieces and rearranging them to your liking. And that is absolutely the purpose.

The products discussed here are independently selected by our editors. GameSpot may receive a share of the revenue if you purchase anything featured on our site.


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