Jusant is the latest single-player title from Don’t Nod who are famous for their Life is Strange series. It is a puzzle platforming game filled with unique puzzles located on heights. Don’t Nod takes a completely unique approach to tell the exciting story of Jusant as players endeavor to climb a tall mountain with a cute blue critter. Unlike their previous story games, Jusant does not include any dialogue but sets an intriguing mindset for players to find more lore about the giant mountain and the civilization living on it by finding the logbooks scattered across various heights of the mountain.
The story of Jusant is not told as the other usual story games but it leaves the learning of the world and the location (Mountain) in the hands of the players. As players begin the ascension of the mountain, they will come to find several logbooks scattered across various rooms on the mountain. Reading these logbooks will give you a highlight of the past life that has been spent by the civilization who were living here and what complications they faced that made them leave the mountain once and for all.
If you take time to read the logbooks that have been written by several people and Bianca, you will learn about how pleasant life was on this mountain as it was filled with water as well as the surroundings. Giant whale-like creatures known as Ballasts caused the lack in the supply of water which made life for the mountain inhabitants severe. As you continue the climb, another thing worth noting is that there is no nighttime throughout the game and you might wonder in which world this very location has taken place.
The notes on the world can also be found via exploration which tells you that the world has stopped turning which results in a complete lack of rain. As there is no rain, there is no water on the entire planet.
The premise of Jusant is to climb up and reach the top of the mountain but it is no ordinary mountaineering experience as other climbing games portray. The climbing is done via unique climbing mechanics that have been created thoughtfully and work incredibly. Unlike the normal climbing games where you just have to press one button and direct your character in a direction to climb, Jusant requires you to hold the stones and puddles using the Left Trigger and Right Trigger. After holding the stones with the triggers, use the Left-Stick to reach for the next stone and press the respective trigger to hold on to the stones.
This is a unique climbing mechanic that I personally never experienced in a silent climbing game and I was very impressed by how well it worked. I never faced any issues with the climbing mechanic or got tired of it. Climbing is possible with the stamina bar that depletes gradually as players ascend the mountain. There is no certain location or area where I felt that the climbing is hard that depletes all of my stamina and stops the progression but there are some thinkable positions where you have to map out the climbing path yourself to consume minimal stamina to make the climb.
As stamina works directly with the climbing mechanics, your character has a climbing rope that can be used along the climb to place up to a maximum of 4 pitons at a time. Placing the pitons allows you to continue the climbing from the recent piton when run out of stamina. Lastly, the blue small critter that you will be taking along with you to the top of the mountain has a special ability to appear the puddles on the surface that allows you to continue the climb. The game is forgiving in terms of every aspect and provides a relaxed and exciting adventure throughout.
The platforming puzzles are very creative in Jusant and each chapter of the game sets a unique theme to your climbing endeavor. I never found any puzzle too difficult but all creative that will let you stop for a moment to think what part of your equipment could be useful in pursuing and completing the puzzle to proceed ahead.
Sound and Visuals
As there is no dialogue in Jusant, you will not hear voices throughout the adventure but you will hear great music that delves perfectly with the atmosphere of the game. The sound design of the platforms and the environment is top-notch which makes the climbing experience more immersive. If we talk about the visuals of the game then they are nothing but astonishing. A large mountain located in the middle of a dry sea bed with no water in the surroundings exposing wrecked ship vessels and fossilized sea shells that elaborate the clue of the world stopped spinning.
Verdict – Score 9/10
Jusant is a well-crafted single-player story mode game that offers players to go on an adventure of climbing a mountain by using unique mechanics and discover the history of past civilizations who were living on the mountain by finding the logbooks. It is easily one of the best games from Don’t Nod and we recommend anyone who loves relaxed story mode games.
Jusant is now available on PC, PlayStation 5, and XBOX Series X|S.