Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Tearaway

With LittleBigPlanet Media Molecule redefined the idea of true player interaction, and the sheer concept of “play” within videogames. But while there may be more LittleBigPlanet in store for us in the future, they have set their sights on the PS Vita for now. The PS Vita isn't selling that well at all though but after the rough sales so far and a lack of must-have titles, along comes Tearaway, a game that proves that buying a PS Vita is almost becoming mandatory for any respectable gamer.


The story it presents is simple. Tearaway is about a messenger- male or female- delivering a message to you, the player. In journeying through a stunningly realised paper-craft world and nicely utilising the PS Vita's unique abilities, the game keeps it simple and lets the player themselves create some of the games more interesting moments.

The game world is absolutely beautiful, and in many ways it brought about the same kind of reaction I had to Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon for the original PlayStation- which pretty much means I fell in love with it. The world is constructed entirely of paper-craft. Yep, from the sky, enemies, and terrain and, of course, the player, everything is made from paper. However, whereas Paper Mario had a similar approach, Media Molecule absolutely nail it here. Everything bends, crumples up, folds and moves, well, like paper!


I'd imagine it's something easier said than done, as little touches like a paper pigs ears bobbing up and down as it runs is just incredibly heart warming. Trust me, it's something you need to see to appreciate, but this paper world that Media Molecule is giving us here is truly a thing of beauty. You know, in a current gaming climate that is just saturated with dark and gloomy graphics, usually consisting of various shades of grey and brown, Tearaway is a breath of fresh air. It's intensely colourful, and contains some of the best visuals of 2013- and that includes consoles!

Tearaway is a platformer with a good deal of tricks up its sleeve. Much like LittleBigPlanet, Tearaway is all about interaction, and this continued trend on Media Molecule's part seems to cement it as their ethos. However, while LittleBigPlanet's player interaction was tied down to the PS3 controller- that is, until the PS Move came into being- Tearaway takes it one step further. While the PS Vita is a tremendously powerful hand-held with plenty of graphical potential, the key features that Tearaway utilizes here are the touch screen, touch pad and camera.


The game is almost built upon them. From tapping the touch pad to successfully bounce on special PlayStation marked areas to virtually busting your fingers through the touch pad and into the actual game, Tearaway is probably the first game that properly understands the potential behind the PS Vita's unique abilities. Personally, I thought the best aspect of Tearaway is the fact you can make your own paper-craft designs and wear them inside the game. It's a wonderful mechanic that will lead to endless hours of awesome creations.

Overall Tearaway is another successful notch in Media Molecule's belt. They could have just given us another hand-held LittleBigPlanet, but I suspect they're the kind of developers that don't like repeating themselves. Tearaway takes what LittleBigPlanet achieved and just runs with it, and puts the player in a unique position for outstanding creation. In the weeks nearing the end of 2013, players everywhere will be purely focused on what next-gen console to buy. However, you can add the PS Vita to that potential buyers list, and that's thanks to Tearaway.

Tearaway gets a well paper-crafted 9/10.

Denis Murphy


Tearaway at CeX



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