Preview: Jusant – Gamescom 2023

When I first saw the reveal trailer of Jusant, my heart skipped a beat. Being a climber myself I instantly fell in love with a game about climbing and I couldn’t wait to learn more about it during Gamescom 2023. After talking to the developer and seeing Jusant in action, it easily exceeded my expectations. Let me explain why.


Jusant is a game about climbing but it’s not a simulator as it would simply be too complex for this type of game. In Jusant it’s more about the climbing experience instead of the techniques. You don’t have to worry about your center of gravity or where you’ll need to hook your feet in order to mantle boulders. Instead, you climb by using the triggers on your controller, operating as your virtual arms. You grab the holds and move upwards the mountain without ever risking falling to your death. Jusant isn’t here to shock with sudden falls, you’re always protected by your rope and if you’re not hooked in, you simply can’t fall down. As I said, it’s not a simulator but it really nails the metaphor of climbing.


If you never climbed before, you can consider it as one of the best real-life puzzles where you need to map out a route and gather your strength to reach the top. Jusant gives you freedom of finding your own route without ever forcing you to use specific holds. With the help of a piton, you can climb and sling your way to the top just as you please. Be aware however that you can’t climb forever. You have to keep a close eye on your stamina levels! If it drops, you’ll drop, which isn’t ideal. You can recharge small bits of the stamina bar by shaking your arms, forcing your muscles to loosen up a bit so you can continue the climb. It’s clear that the developer understand climbing and although it’s not a simulation, I do appreciate the level of details in the climbing mechanics.

A story-driven adventure

Climbing is but a mean to reach a goal, and Jusant is more than just that. Underneath its rough exterior lies a touching story about climate change, friendships, unbreakable bonds, and perseverance. Together with a mysterious little creature, you’ll go place no other dare to go. You need each other since one cannot climb without the other and one can’t reach the top without the help of the other. Working together as two entirely different creatures is at the core of Jusant and has an important message to tell. I didn’t see a lot of the story just yet but the developer explained that it’s closer to narrative driven, emotional games, and we better prepare to expect the unexpected.


Early conclusion:

Jusant was on my radar the day it was revealed but after seeing it in action and learning more about the actual gameplay this became one of my personal favorites of the show. I can’t wait to discover the story and climb my way to the top!