Jusant (Review) – Acrophobia Treatment
On October 31, the meditative rock climbing simulator Jusant will be released on PC, PlayStation and Xbox. We have already reached the top of the highest mountain, and are ready to share our impressions in the review.
- Developer: DON’T NOD
- Publisher: DON’T NOD
- Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5
- Release date: October 31, 2023
The game begins in a desert that was clearly once the seabed, as evidenced by the rusty wrecks of ships . In the middle of the desert rises a mountain whose peak is hidden somewhere behind the clouds . This is what the main character, a boy armed with climbing equipment and accompanied by a cute animal hiding in a backpack , wants to climb .
Jusant talks about climbing a mountain, and it will meet the protagonist not only with bare stones: a whole people once lived here, who went on a large expedition in search of water – by the time of the exodus, the seas and oceans remained only in the stories of old people, and even a little rain seemed something incredible.
Considering that the hero will not meet other characters, he learns the history of the inhabitants of the mountain from notes, rock paintings and environmental objects. Despite the lack of dialogue, this narrative format works great: the player will gradually get acquainted with the architecture , engineering inventions and life of the local people, see how people adapted to life on a steep cliff, what they did and what they dreamed about. If you periodically deviate from the main path and look into the branches, you can find a lot of interesting things, including collectibles that you need to collect to get trophies.
At the same time, the plot of Jusant is perceived only as a background for the exciting gameplay. This is a rock climbing simulator, so you’ll have to climb, climb, and climb some more.
Everything is quite simple here: you control the protagonist’s left and right hands separately, holding and releasing the gamepad triggers , use the stick to direct the character, if necessary – jump, run along the wall or use the abilities of the animal companion, which affects some plants, causing them to grow or release thorns that you can grab onto.
And also watch your stamina, which is spent while jumping or being in the heat and strong wind. Although you don’t have to worry too much about this parameter – with the exception of rare cases, your stamina is enough to get to a place where you can rest.
Protrusions are scattered in abundance along the vertical “track”, so there are usually no difficulties in finding the path. Sometimes, however, you need to rack your brains to figure out how to move forward, or to show dexterity when you need to, for example, cling to stone bugs that crawl along a rock, or quickly walk through an area under the scorching sun before it dries out the thorns released by a plant .
Like a real climber , the protagonist is helped by his rope. First of all, he attaches it to the rock every time he starts to climb up. In addition, the character has three pegs at his disposal – they can be used as additional control points: for example, before a risky jump, so that in case of failure he does not fall down, but hangs nearby. The length of the rope is limited, but you won’t have to think about it often: if there is no ledge on the rock where you could rewind and re-secure the rope, then there is a special device for this left by previous travelers.
In general, Jusant does not try to strain the player. This is by no means Only Up or Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. In most cases, the route is obvious; if necessary, the game will slightly “bring” the hero to the nearest hold, and falls do not carry any risks. Problems can only arise due to unpleasant bugs: sometimes the character does not want to grab the ledge or gets stuck in environmental objects. In my playthrough, a cutscene once froze, which forced me to restart the game from a save. In this regard, the title lacks polish.
Which, however, does not prevent you from enjoying the meditative gameplay, nice low-poly graphics, which are produced by Unreal Engine 5, and a pleasant soundtrack . Jusant is a good four to five hour adventure that you won’t mind spending your time on.