DigiPen Institute of Technology is a talent pool for future game designers. Narbacular Drop, a student project from the college, eventually became Valve’s Portal. Tag: The Power of Paint, another project from the same school, was the basis for the paint in Portal 2. So if you want to see what Portal 3 will be like, check out Perspective. Like the other DigiPen projects before it, Perspective has a fantastic central mechanic. Portal jokes aside, it’s a solid game.
The goal of every stage is to guide the unnamed polygon man (not the old-school Playstation mascot) to the exit. Polygon Man – we’ll call him Poggy from now on – moves as if he were in a 2D platformer, controlled via the PC-typical WASD control scheme, with the space bar used to jump. Where Perspective gets its standout mechanic (and its name) is in how you control yourself when not using Poggy. Clicking with the mouse allows you to move a separate, unknown character with FPS controls. Moving and looking around will change how you see Poggy. The closer you get, the smaller he gets, and vice versa.
This mechanic takes the platforming in Perspective to the next level (pun sort of intended). Poggy can only walk on blue lines pasted on the walls; peeking around a corner may line up blue lines in a new pattern, allowing him to reach a new area. You’ll also come across orange lines; these de-rez Poggy, respawning him on a safe blue line nearby. As stages evolve, blue and orange lines will create more complex puzzles. These are unique mechanics, and hard to explain, but you’ll pick them up and learn to use them to your advantage pretty quickly. Much like Portal‘s titular portals, the learning curve isn’t steep.
Between levels, you’ll guide Poggy to the next stage in an arcade hub. Lead him to a cabinet, and he can enter the new stage. Each has a clever title, and it’s the only hint you’ll get for reaching the exit. As you proceed through the arcade, you’ll realize that things aren’t quite what they seem… And that’s about all we can tell you about the progress in Perspective in this review. There is a fantastic mid-game twist and a simply mind-bending ending that we wish we could discuss with you, but, you know…spoilers. We’d never spoil the end of a game in a review here at Front Towards Gamer, but much like Portal (that’s coming up a lot, eh?), the ramping up of the game simply needs to be experienced.
Unfortunately, that ramping up is about all you’ll get out of Perspective. The game has no narrative, no exposition. The mid-game twist involves the game’s mechanics, and the ending is, again, an experience. Regardless, Perspective is meant to be played and talked about. With an ending left up to interpretation, there is a lot to be said.
Perspective is an experience, but a short one. You won’t get any New York Times bestseller’s list tales here, but you will get a fantastic core mechanic. Oh, did we mention the game is completely free? You can download Perspective right here for no charge. It won’t take you long to complete, and it’s an experience worth having. We recommend it.