Game Review: Jusant (Xbox Series X)

Jusant is a puzzle platforming game developed and published by Don’t Nod, releasing onto Game Pass in 2023. You control a lone wanderer as they climb a desolate tower, filled with the artefacts of civilizations long past.

Jusant tasks the player with climbing to the top of a tower, which is split into different biomes, each with unique traversal mechanics and challenges. As the player ascends the tower, they will find more about the civilization that resided there, and what became of them. The player can place pitons with a button, catching them if they fall or run out of stamina. The triggers are used in order to place a hand while climbing.

By holding down a button, the player character jumps, using up a large amount of stamina in the process. Periodically, the player can let down ropes to areas they have already passed through, making backtracking easier. Throughout the game, the player is accompanied by a companion named Ballast, which is a creature made entirely out of water. Ballast will reveal clues and “wake nature”, opening up new paths for players to use and explore. The game has no dialogue, and therefore, relies heavily on environmental storytelling.

Jusant is a delightful change of pace from all of those RPG’s that each take 100+ hours of your time to complete. It’s a nice break away from stress inducing horror games or tense, action-packed shooters. Instead, Jusant is a generally chill experience on the whole.

The depth and scale of the surrounding world, climbable structures and massive cliff faces that you traverse are the most impressive aspect of the game for sure. The climbing mechanic takes a little getting used to but it works really effectively once you get the hang of it. There are a few awe-inducing moments which see you swinging across massive chasms, it feels epic.

Unfortunately, there are cumbersome moments as well. The playable character can barely jump which makes it easy to get a little stuck in certain cervices. Also, the game is quite strict in terms of allowing you to freely move around certain areas which can be a little frustrating.Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

This is the type of game where the collectibles could have been placed in really obnoxious locations. Thankfully, the vast majority are in obvious locations with only a handful barely off the beaten path. I only missed a few during my initial play through but thanks to chapter select and a quality “gallery” system finding those last ones won’t cause many headaches.

I enjoyed the overall mystery of exploring these once lived in places. It gives you the sense that people had really live life in these now abandoned places. There is a lot of context in the lengthy written letters but I honestly skipped most of these. They are there if you wish but I’d rather not read a novel and just get back to the game.

The delightfully colourful art style is another shining light. As well is the beautiful soundtrack that hits those high notes at just the right time. In general, there’s a sense of contemplation within Jusant that I really enjoyed. The best part? It’s short and sweet and doesn’t overstay its welcome in the slightest. Giving Jusant a shot with it being on Game Pass is a complete no brainer.




Author

  • Liam Fisher

    Owner/Editor/Writer/YouTuber - Typical 90s-00s kid; raised on Pokémon, Final Fantasy & the Attitude Era. In fact, that makes up about 99% of my personality. The remaining 1% is dedicated to my inner rage for people who still don’t understand the ending of Lost or those that enjoyed the Game of Thrones final season. Find me on GBHBL where I’ll most likely be reviewing horror movies or games. Also, see me on our YouTube channel!

Jusant
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