Neon White is a troublesome recreation to explain. I assume you’d name it a card-based velocity runner, however that label offers a misunderstanding. Neon White isn’t a card recreation like Magic: The Gathering or Slay the Spire. The playing cards are energy ups you gather throughout a run, like shells or mushrooms in a spherical of Mario Kart. They intensify the expertise, however the gameplay is outlined by motion.
As heavenly murderer Neon White, gamers run, bounce, and sprint by way of levels, deploying the playing cards at simply the precise second to assault enemies and/or acquire momentum to achieve the subsequent platform. Choosing up a Soul Card offers the participant a gun with restricted ammo. Discarding it grants them a novel motion potential. The sport requires a mixture of lightning-fast reflexes and real-time technique.
The sport’s style shifts relying in your mission. In the event you’re not involved about how rapidly you full the extent, Neon White appears like an motion platformer. If you’re looking for objects that unlock particular quests, it’s extra of a puzzle platformer. Attempting to beat your finest time and climb up the worldwide leaderboard turns the sport into an arcade-like expertise.
Neon White bears quite a lot of similarities to Ghostrunner, the 2020 cyberpunk FPS slasher with lightning-fast motion, in its acrobatic motion and the way it builds gameplay muscle tissues that assist the participant accomplish more and more spectacular feats. However the addition of Soul Playing cards makes Neon White‘s gameplay extra dynamic. Each card is a brand new variable that may influence your run in 100 tiny other ways, relying on when and the way you deploy it. The slightest adjustment shaves from or provides to your time, and it can save you full treasured seconds through the use of playing cards to create shortcuts.
After finishing levels of Ghostrunner, I used to be by no means tempted to return and replay them. Neon White really requires you to enhance previous scores with the intention to progress, however that’s a pleasure, not a burden. By the point I wanted to return to enhance my rank, I felt totally able to upping bronze scores to silver or gold or platinum, and was glad each time I proved myself proper.
The controls are extremely intuitive, neatly restricted to the triggers and shoulder buttons. The character responds exactly to gamers’ inputs, so each failure feels truthful and each success well-earned. The sport runs at a easy 60 frames-per-second on Change in each handheld and docked mode. The Change model of the sport provides gyroscopic aiming. I wanted to show the sensitivity down considerably earlier than it felt useful utilizing Professional Controller, however your mileage might range. As soon as I dialed the sensitivity down, I had quite a lot of enjoyable with the mode, though it’s not my most popular solution to play.
Neon White and different assassins compete with one different to land a everlasting dwelling in Heaven. Just one will get to remain, the remainder will burn in hell. These are excessive stakes, however the conversations (and there are a lot of them) are largely made up of quips and intelligent retorts, hardly ever conveying the characters’ fears of a fiery destiny or any sense of desperation to flee it. I’m hardly ever a fan of instructed completely by way of dialogue (all telling, no exhibiting), however the narrative in Neon White is particularly lackluster. The story feels tacked on quite than a pure extension of the gameplay. It could have been higher served if it let environmental storytelling take the lead, for the reason that character and world design are the place the sport shines.
I picked up Ben Esposito‘s earlier recreation, Donut County, on a whim, and loved it immensely. Taking part in as a gap within the floor attempting to swallow up greater and larger objects was splendidly weird, and the sport was a delight. Neon White, however, is an action-packed thrill experience. Kudos to Esposito for making a recreation in a totally completely different style, with a totally completely different vitality. As a lot as I cherished Neon White, and Donut County earlier than it, Esposito’s creativity clearly can’t be restricted to anyone sort of challenge, so I eagerly await the journey he and his co-developers take gamers on subsequent.
Evaluation code offered by Annapurna Interactive. Reviewed on Nintendo Change.