Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Tearaway Unfolded: PS4 Review

Tearaway Unfolded: PS4 Review


Platform: PS4
Released by Media Molecule

When Tearaway released back in 2013, it was nothing short of a victory for the format on which it was launched - the PS Vita.

Utilising the touch screen, the back pad and your sense of imagination, it did everything right - it packed cute into accessible and paved the way for the truly hands on adventure it was.

So it was a sense of trepidation that brings Tearaway to the PS4 with Unfolded, a not exactly remaster but a reinvention for the next gen console.

And boy, is it interactively brilliant.

It's the still same game as before. In Tearaway, you play either a female or male messenger, made from paper, tasked with getting to the sun to deliver a message. Sort of...You see, the kicker with this one is that the sun is actually you captured via the PS's camera capabilities - you're like the Teletubbies sun only more realistic. But the You of the game is actually an integral part to what exactly is going on, working in tandem with the messenger, you can use the interactive elements of the game to help throughout.

This is where Tearaway soars - and why Media Molecule have made it so important on the PS4. By using the light bar, you can literally shine your light on your messenger and the world around you, which creates a bond between the You and the character. That bond is unbreakable and really invests you in the surroundings, the mission and the rather cute story telling.

But it's not just fingers that do the talking, as it were. Throughout the game, there are characters who need things - be it a squirrel who needs a crown or a plant that's drained of its colour. And this is where the crafting side of Tearaway comes into focus. Using pencil, paper and your imagination in the crafting area, you get to create parts of the world and sidebits which are used throughout - deftly done and crisply executed they are little bonuses, littering the game and which have a use later on. Items you create on the drawing board are scattered around ValleyFold for you to view.

The new touches include the use of the touch pad to create wind within the world, which deftly blows away your Scraps enemies, so hell-bent on removing the creativity around. They can also help you to propel yourself on a paper plane and soar through the air collecting confetti from high to reach places to help you trade and personalise your character. Also, the ability to throw things into your controller via your messenger (such as rocks, nuts) to then unleash onto the world around you is great too - yet another attempt at personalising the experience and growing the bond.

It's not all perfect though and sadly the camera angle can at times be nothing short of obtrusive as it sticks and leaves you unsure of how to centre your view or get an idea of where you are. It's occasionally frustrating too, as it can mean you're bowled for six by baddies that you can't see.

But that's a minor complaint for Tearaway Unfolded, as it's a game that has really embraced the technology - using the PS App and the PS Camera you can bring your own world into ValleyFold and personalise it even further. It's almost as if Media Molecule have taken every spec element of the game, and thought very seriously about how to bring it into the execution rather than shaping the execution around it.

I can't lie - I adore Tearaway Unfolded; its camera niggle aside, it's clever, bright, fun, inventive and easy to play. It's a massively entertaining distraction from day to day life and its simplicity of execution is its absolute joie de vivre. I defy you not to play Tearaway Unfolded and immerse yourself in this colourful world of paper where imagination has run riot and the gaming world is so much better for it.

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