When it comes to video games, I often find myself overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of blockbuster titles. These games demand my undivided attention, challenging my reflexes and mental agility for days on end. While I appreciate the excitement they offer, I can’t deny that it becomes exhausting after a while. This is where Jusant comes in. It provided me with a much-needed respite, allowing my mind to unravel and breathe. It’s a beautiful, wordless game that invites players to climb an endless mountain, focusing solely on the next handhold.
Set in a distant future where water is scarce, Jusant plunges players into a desert that was once the ocean floor. The protagonist embarks on a journey to climb a rocky tower, driven by an unspoken determination to uncover what awaits at the summit. Along the way, remnants of a past civilization come into view – abandoned infrastructure, homes, and tools. Through newspapers and personal letters, these remnants offer glimpses into the lives of those who once occupied the mountain. The most evocative discoveries, however, lie in simple objects like conch shells. These moments allow players to pause and absorb the beautiful soundscapes, immersing themselves in the vibrant environments of the past.
The Art of Climbing
Jusant’s true brilliance lies in its portrayal of rock climbing. It offers one of the most tactile and thoughtful interpretations of the activity in a video game. Every movement is carefully considered, with the left and right triggers on the controller corresponding to the grip of each hand. Squeezing and releasing these triggers becomes an act of guiding your arms to the next handhold. Stamina and rest must be managed diligently, forcing players to think twice before attempting risky jumps or maneuvers. Mandatory anchors provide a sense of safety and peace of mind, eliminating the need for dramatic crumbling rock faces. Jusant overcomes the traditional reliance on vertigo and danger, demonstrating that climbing can be deeply engaging within its own right.
The Joy of Discovery
The real joy in Jusant comes from uncovering the optimal path on a wall with countless options. Players must carefully strategize each move, whether it involves creating additional anchors to rappel off a cliff or running along a wall. The inclusion of a magical blob of water as the protagonist’s companion adds a whimsical element to the gameplay. This blob can manipulate the environment, opening up temporary new paths. Additionally, an ecosystem of rock-like bugs functions as moving handholds, offering delightful climbing opportunities. By focusing on the minutiae of each action, Jusant fosters a greater appreciation for the smallest details. The gentle creaking of wooden structures in the wind and the disarray of abandoned homes become sources of beauty and wonder.
Jusant masterfully crafts a sense of awe by keeping the focus squarely on the majestic mountain ahead. The vast vista behind takes a backseat, emphasizing the grandeur of the present moment. Finishing Jusant feels akin to returning from a brisk walk in the woods, where the air is fresh and the mind is alert from a cool breeze. This achievement is remarkable for a game deeply rooted in the natural environment and the physicality of human movement. Jusant leaves players feeling satisfied, refreshed, and ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.
Jusant offers a unique and captivating gaming experience. This wordless adventure allows players to immerse themselves in the art of climbing, providing respite from the chaos of blockbuster games. With its attention to detail, awe-inspiring environments, and thoughtful mechanics, Jusant stands as a testament to the power of simplicity in fostering engagement and enjoyment.
– Platforms: PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass
– Developer: Don’t Nod
– Publisher: Don’t Nod
– Release Date: October 31, 2023
Please note that the review is based on the PS5 version of Jusant, which was provided for the purpose of this article. GamesHub reviews are rated on a 5-point scale. It’s important to mention that GamesHub has affiliate partnerships, but these do not influence the editorial content. GamesHub may earn a small commission from products purchased via affiliate links.