Yeah, I don't really like this game. Don't get me wrong, I get what the devs went for, but the whole execution is just not there.
Exception is a side-scroller platformer where the main shtick is that the levels or parts of it twist, turn and rotate in nearly all directions. That sounds cool, right? Well, it kinda isn't while you are playing the game. And that's because they don't really make good use of this whole mechanic.
The whole game is designed as a mobile game. Really short levels 10-30 seconds, where you have to run, jump or wall jump to slash a cube, finish the level and you get a star based rating. Sounds familiar? What I am trying to say is that you can't really play around much with this "gravity shifting" mechanic. And you see that while you are completing these levels.
Most of the levels include 2-3 shifts, but that doesn't really bring anything to the table. It doesn't add to the challenge, like at all and it feels just tacked on. The real challenge comes from the "unfriendly" jump.
Your tiny character controls fine for the most part with a good sense of speed when you get into the groove. But as soon as you jump, that groove is thrown away as you don't really have much control of your jump. And in a side-scrolling platformer not having a great jump is detrimental to the whole experience. So most of the times, you will just fail to land on a platform and that gets really annoying really quick.
In a game where you are supposed to go fast to get the best score, you need near perfect controls and a really satisfying and responsive jump. Imagine playing Super Meat Boy with shitty jumping... you wouldn't want that now would you? Exception fails on this part, big and it ruined the whole experience for me.
Where is your character?!
I didn't really care about the gravity shift thing it did for the levels, cause it didn't really bring anything new to the experience. I could say the same thing about the game story, didn't really care all that much about it and I kinda got the idea that the devs didn't either since watching the cutscenes is completely optional. I did however appreciate the comic book-y vibe they went for.
The presentation is kinda all over the place. Lots of bright distracting colors, lots of explosions and crap that fill the screen which in hand made seeing where your tiny guy was going harder. I also didn't really like the music. I read on the press release that Exception had like around 2 hours of original synthwave music and I am all for some good synthwave. Unfortunately, the music for the most part sounded really boring and the same for long stretches, so I don't really know what happened there.
I wanted to like Exception as I really like games where you get to mess around with gravity like the ones I just recently played, Ovivo and Etherborn, but I was disappointed. The bad jumping and missed potential of the gravity shift stuff killed my enjoyment for the game. I have postponed publishing this review for quite a while now, cause maybe the jumping would get better, but it didn't. It's hard for me to recommend the game as is right now to anyone. But hey that's only my opinion, you might enjoy the hell out of this game. Thanks for reading.
Exception is out now for PS4, PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
A review code was provided by the PR for this review.