Step into a world where only Parkour matters. In the middle of emptiness, it is only you and your goal – with lots of obstacles in between.

Steam: Early Access
Type: Single-player, multiplayer
Genre: Racing
Developer: 2xMilk
Publisher: 2xMilk
Release date: 28 Feb, 2017

Parkour is everything, literally.

I liked the overall style of the game, as the only thing to do is run and climb over stuff. There are no screen backgrounds that show if I am in a city or in the country, it’s just the track and myself. Nothing else in this universe seems to exist other than parkour itself. From the launch screen, we have six graphical presets – the lowest one strips the game to its core. There were only a couple of colors per level. I was really surprised when testing out the presets. It helps me to check if the FPS is keeping up even on weaker systems. The game ran past 60FPS on my 960 at 1920×1080 resolution. Selecting the next best graphical option gave me about 40 FPS more. This is a very fast-paced game, you need all the FPS you can get. Since you don’t have time to admire the graphics while you’re trying to get a new record anyway, you can tune them down if needed later.

Parkour Parks

The tracks are categorized by worlds, each with their unique theme. There are four worlds at the moment of writing and two to seven maps within them, but more tracks have been promised. The game is really simple in terms of graphical design, and very cartoony. We start with the basic skills of parkouring, tutorial levels that are a breeze (pun) to run through and at the second world things get complicated. Right from the first level of the second world, we have to utilize everything we’ve learned: Air control, wall/rocket jumping and when to run and when not. The first few runs of every track will be slow, there are many stories per level, and usually a few possible routes. It is so fast paced that you just can’t see every jump, especially when you sometimes have to turn completely around after climbing a bit.

Levels are varied in altitude

Within the game, there is also multiplayer, a level editor playground and a place where you can play levels made by other players after downloading from the workshop. There’s a warning that it is still an early feature as it has bugs. From what I determined in gameplay that is true. I couldn’t figure out how to play the one map I got from the steam workshop as it didn’t appear anywhere I could see. The level editor is the same as the Unity GUI, so if that is familiar to you then you can start making your own tracks right away. A manual for the level editor is promised in the future, but even if you’re not familiar with Unity, it’s very easy to learn by fooling around a bit.

The multiplayer section refused to connect despite my multiple attempts now and then, so i can’t say anything about it in the review. As an idea, it seems fun if you’re into competitive gaming; running levels with a friend, trying to beat him/her. Based on the single-player experience, this would make a good party game with a split screen multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, split screen isn’t supported

My attempts at parkouring

At one track that I fell out of, I just continued dropping while the track got smaller and smaller high above me. I kept falling until I saw nothing but emptiness all around me while my trusty timer was running out on the upper left corner. Is this equivalent of hell for parkour practitioners?
Gamers will be forced to watch the clock ticking on, ruining their personal record runs if they fall off the route. Thankfully, you can reload right away and get back in the action. Not many tracks are like this, so don’t fear. You can fall to the ground and try to look way back up. That was just a remark that came to my mind while in at the “sky run” map as I was falling indefinitely.
A reload works wonderfully on cases like this when you make a mistake; no loading screen, no delay, just right back at the start in the blink of an eye ready to run. Even if you fail – and you will – the first few runs will be slow because the maps are surprisingly complicated. There is nothing that will break the flow at all, as you can pretty much just hit R and never let go of the sprint button.

Looks easy, but don’t let the looks fool you

Tight controls are an important aspect of a game like this – and they deliver! Air control is a necessity since we often have to maneuver while jumping. Wall jumping also works spot-on, hindered only by your reflexes. There is a high emphasis on paying attention to your movements. Some jumps are way too close for going at full speed, and you need to slow down or look around; you might also be able to jump somewhere.

The only thing that was a bit hard to learn was the rocket jumping mechanic. You have to manually shoot the rocket on your feet to gain the boost. It was quite a hassle at first since the tempo of the game is high, and you were shifting your view to your legs, or to the opposite direction to wherever you want to go. It brings a lot of fun to the gameplay with many options to move and challenge the player, but it’s frustrating to learn. Sometimes, this even goes on to the point that you want to quit the game because of repeatedly failing the last few jumps, meaning you have to start all over again. The rocket jumping controls are tight as well, however, it’s just the mechanic itself that is hard to learn. You have to be fast at looking down, shooting and looking back up. Even though I’ve played many fast-paced first person shooters, this was still a bit hard to learn.

Should you buy it?

Yes! Other than the rocket jumping being a hassle to learn, the game is fun. It’s Good for short bursts if you in a time crunch, or longer sessions trying to find a new route to shred a millisecond off your previous record. The levels are challenging, varied and offer different routes. There is high-tempo electronic music accompanying the gamer on every level. I personally liked it, as it wasn’t some annoying, repetitive techno-thumping but rather consisted of proper songs, different from each other. I noticed myself thinking I could lift to these at the gym. I’d rate Vthree as a Save.

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June 2017

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