Neon White is an unusual hybrid that works so well in practice, but looks bananas written down. It's a first-person platformer in which guns are also traversal abilities, and it becomes an engaging visual novel in the downtime. The resulting game is slick, stylish, and modern, with its real strength being the compulsion to beat each level as fast as possible.
You play the titular character, one among many people brought to heaven in order to slaughter demons infesting the realm. The reward for the top demon slayer is a year's luxury beyond the pearly gates, but obviously, there's more to the story than that. The plot is mostly told in between the main missions, where you meet White's friends and foes. Some of the dialogue is a little hammy, but solid voice acting makes it work for the most part.
The main draw is the super-fast levels. Most are beatable in less than a minute, many of them much less, and near-instant restarts make trying to beat your fastest times (and your friends') incredibly compelling. Guns represented as cards allow you to kill any demons on the path, but each weapon also grants you a platforming ability, like a double jump, or a dash forward. Using these powers burn the cards, but you're always given the right tools for each stage.
Finding the perfect line that lets you kill all the monsters while reaching the exit as efficiently as possible is super satisfying, especially as levels have many shortcuts to discover. Hidden gifts in most stages can be given to White's buddies to learn more about them and unlock special challenges. It's all very elegantly done, and the controls are tight as a drum.
The only major gripe we have is the severe screen-tearing. It's present throughout, and an unfortunate blemish on an otherwise very sleek game. VRR or a 120Hz-compatible display may solve this, but without those options, it's a slightly distracting technical hiccup. However, you're unlikely to notice in the midst of things, and Neon White is otherwise a highly entertaining, stylishly presented adventure.