Imagine awakening from blackness with no recollection of who you are or where you came from. The only clue is the name Klaus tattooed on your arm. Are you Klaus?
This is the premise of La Cosa Entertainment’s upcoming 2D puzzle platformer. Lucky for me, Creative Director Victor Velasco and his team brought their project (and some answers) to PlayStation Experience this past weekend and were nice enough to run through a demo with me.
At its core, Klaus is a project of passion. The small staff has taken elements from classics in their favorite genre and added layers on top of them to freshen the experience. Each section of the game adds new elements to increase the complexity while never leaving the player feeling overwhelmed.
A Paramount Narrative
One of the ideas stressed by Victor was that while they didn’t want to slow down the game’s flow with cutscenes, a strong narrative was paramount. They achieved this by telling the story through text that appears as Klaus moves forward through the environment ala PS3’s rain. Who, what, and where the dialogue originates from remains a mystery early on.
Puzzles are initially simple but make good use of the DualShock 4 including the touchpad. As they increase in complexity, so does Klaus’ awareness of himself. Hidden levels will also aid in this process (and ultimately unlock the game’s true ending). Each area of the game is a representation of Klaus’ emotional and mental state of being. The bond this creates between Klaus, the player and the environment is captivating and I look forward to seeing it fully realized in the final product.
Klaus is not alone on his journey of self-realization. In the PSX demo, I was introduced to the bruting strongman, K1. While Klaus uses his technological abilities to hack computers and open doors, K1 simply busts down walls. Additionally, K1 is graced with the abilities to glide and uppercut which both come in handy. The introduction of K1 adds a co-op like element to the gameplay where both the skills of Klaus and K1 must be used to solve puzzles. One cool mechanic in this section was the ability to control both characters at once. Not only does this help save time but it adds to the game’s unique appeal.
The gameplay of Klaus is rock solid but my fascination with the story was what drew me in. I won’t reveal all that I know of the title’s twists but I will say that fans of strong narrative shouldn’t be fooled by Klaus’ simple appearance. Look for La Cosa’s Klaus to release on PlayStation 4 January 2016.