Another member of Canada’s growing independent community, Compulsion is based in Montreal, though it has a very international sensibility. Studio head Guillaume Provost worked for FPS dev Arkane before forming Compulsion four years ago. His other team members have worked on titles as diverse as Far Cry 3, Too Human, and Darksiders II, and the collective wanted their next game to stand out from the crowd of AAA releases. Contrast certainly should, as we doubt many other titles star an imaginary friend and visuals that combine film noir’s shadowy style with vaudeville routines of the 1920s.
Contrast has been the focus of Compulsion since it formed in 2009, and the shadowy puzzle game’s striking look stands out from the pack--as does its mysterious, tragic narrative of a broken family. It’s planned for the end of 2013 on PC, PS3, 360, and PS4, passing on Microsoft’s next-gen system. And Compulsion was one of the first indie devs to comment on Microsoft’s slowness at making Xbox One development units available to independent studios. It’s heartening to see a rising studio that isn’t afraid to make waves on the way up.