Downward Enhanced Edition Review

• written by Krist Duro
Downward Enhanced Edition Review

While the narrative might not be its strongest point, the overall gameplay experience makes Downward Enhanced Edition a worthwhile adventure

As someone who enjoys first-person platforming and exploration, I was pleasantly surprised by Downward even though I had no idea who I was, where I was and what was I doing.

You play as a lone survivor in a mysterious post-apocalyptic world where strange planets have appeared in the sky, altering gravity and the landscape, displacing remnants of past civilizations. Guided by a mysterious female voice, you are tasked with finding three crystals that presumably hold the power to fix the planet. I honestly didn't know what was happening and I didn't really care about it.

An image showcasing the game described in this article.

The story is lightweight to say the least, but exploring these atmospheric and other worldly environments using a fairly simple, yet satisfying parkour system kept me engaged.

The traversal mechanics are fluid and responsive, allowing you to climb, jump and wallrun to gain elevation or reach new areas. As you progress, you unlock new parkour skills that open up new paths across expansive environments. These skills include a double jump activated by blue floating rings, a grapple ability for red floating rings, and the power to activate platforms for wall-running and jumping. While simple, the parkour system is satisfying and effective.

An image showcasing the game described in this article.

You also have an interesting ability that basically allows you to place a "checkpoint" anywhere you want in these environments and with the press of a button, you automatically teleport there. This sounds like a really cool idea, on paper, as you can place a checkpoint just before a platforming section so if you fall, you can teleport back with the press of a button and try again. There lies the problem, it takes just a press of a button. So what will happen, as it happened to me quite a few times, is that you will unintentionally press the button and puff goes your progress for the last couple of minutes. There's a simple fix to all of this and if any of the developers are reading this, please just make it so that you need to hold on the button to teleport for like 2 seconds.

The game also includes a basic upgrade system where you spend collected orbs to improve stats like health, orb collection, and damage resistance. However, these upgrades have minimal impact on your parkour skills and are mostly optional. Combat is virtually nonexistent, limited to dodging attacks and grabbing crystals from enemies, which can feel dull, but thankfully these make up a small part of the experience.

Presentation-wise, Downward Enhanced Edition looks impressive and runs smoothly on the PS5. The unique environments are visually pleasing, featuring interesting themes, cool level design, beautiful skyboxes, and intricate details. The enhanced graphics take full advantage of the PS5’s capabilities, delivering breathtaking visuals that bring the game world to life.

An image showcasing the game described in this article.

As I said in the beginning, I was pleasantly surprised by Downward Enhanced Edition despite the sparse story and the lack of combat. Exploring the atmospheric, otherworldly environments using a straightforward yet satisfying parkour system kept me thoroughly engaged and I think that's enough to give this a try, if you can grab it during a sale. Thanks for reading!

The game was reviewed on a PS5 via a promo copy provided by the publisher. Downward Enhanced Edition is available on Meta Quest.

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