A Beautiful, Balletic Platformer Set in a World of Collapsing Polygons

By Julian Benson on at

Bound is a balletic platformer with a thick, synth-y score and an art style inspired by abstract modernism. Put all that out of your mind and just watch the teaser:

It's only 56 seconds long but that short snippet has got under my skin. It's partly that soundtrack by Oleg “Heinali” Shpudeiko (you can hear a less synthy piece of his on YouTube). Though, the balletic movement of the main character, too, is more graceful than most games. It's difficult to look away.

From the off, Michał “bonzaj” Staniszewski says in a post on the PlayStation US blog how Plastic, his studio, has its roots in Demoscene, the movement to create computer art demos out of procedural graphics programs. Things like this:

That's a video by Future Crew who went on to found Remedy, makers of Max Payne.

You can see something off that in the low poly, abstract style in Bound's art. Staniszewski writes in his post that "we were searching for a style that is not deeply explored in video games, but still has a major influence on how our world looks today. We have concentrated on Modern Art in full flavour. If you are interested in art movements such as Suprematism, Concretism, Neoplasticism, or what Bauhaus has delivered, then you are going to love the world that we have created."

The result:

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There's an intriguing line in Staniszewski's post where he writes: "Bound is [...] being prepared for hardcore gamers looking for the challenge of one big puzzle that can be only solved by a community of players working together. The result: we are going to deliver a “notgame” to you, which is also a game. It’s up to you to decide how you would like to play."

He offers no explanation or indication of what that means: will the world change depending on how other players play? Does the game have a fixed end when players solve the puzzle? I can't wait to find out.