Contrast is an exceptionally good game, if you enjoy what it does.
The sterotypical 12-year-old Call Of Duty player, or the stereotypical Madden-fanatic dudebro, are not going to like this game, nor are they going to understand what makes it so cool, or so fun to play.
But if you're the kind of gamer who can appreciate beautiful visuals, innovative gameplay, and a story-driven experience, Contrast is definitely worth a look.
First off, the artwork in this game is gorgeous. It's a stylized, animated style which summons up a surreal Jazz Age Paris (?). It's affecting and evocative and surprisingly detailed.
The game's shadow-shifting mechanic is novel, and the puzzles I've encountered thus far are unusual, but not frustratingly so. The story's the thing here, in the end, and the traversal puzzles and the jumping are just what you do while moving through -- and moviing forward -- the plot.
Ultimately, this is a game which tells a story. It's told mostly through cutscenes, but the voice acting is generally superior, and the writing is solid, which keeps it all interesting. As has been said, there's a vaguely Bioshock feeling to the storytelling -- there's a mystery unfolding, and a faint air of tragedy or melancholy surrounding events, as if something sad is about to occur, unless it can be outrun or outthought.
You play as the shadow-shifting "imaginary friend" of a little girl named DiDi, whose parents are on the edge of serious trouble. The game doesn't fully explain itself at the start. and certain events make you wonder if the often surreal landscape you move through is simply reality colored by a young girl's imagination or something ... else ... yet to be discovered.
The game isn't perfect, of course. The shadow-shifting mechanic doesn't always activate as intended, forcing retries of a jump puzzle sequence. Also, for Steam PC users, the controls for this game were clearly designed for consoles, so if you have a USB game controller hooked to your PC, you'll almost certainly have a better time using that.
And again, the puzzles and the narrative style of Contrast will not appeal to every gamer, but if you're intrigued, I'd say take a look.
Contrast may well be a flawed gem, in some ways, but it's still a gem. Gamers often say they want "something different" in their gaming. Here it is. Recommended.