Friday, 9 October 2015

Tearaway Unfolded

Tearaway was one of the most special games that released on PlayStation Vita. It oozed creativity and imagination, and was the perfect title to show off all of the features on the handheld system. So porting it to a home console sounds like a bad idea right? But the care and handling that has gone into Tearaway Unfolded has meant that it almost feels like a new game, but retains all the magic of its gorgeous paper craft world. 

Developed by Media Molecule and out now for Playstation 4 comes Tearaway Unfolded,  a game that swaps compromise out for new and creative ideas. In some ways, this is a remaster. It takes what was originally available on the PlayStation Vita version but it almost feels like a brand new game because mechanics and areas had to be created to cater to the features available on the PlayStation 4.

The change though is a massive success. On paper (see what I did there?), it sounds like it should be a disjointed disaster. It’s essentially a game that was made for one platform utilising all its unique features and ported to a different platform with very little of the same features. Some of the features didn’t make the transition like using the back touchpad of the Vita to put your fingers into the world but you honestly wouldn’t miss it with how Tearaway Unfolded has been designed. The game takes advantage of the touchpad on the PlayStation 4 controller to create gusts of wind in any direction you want, so you can move some of the paper world around and help move your little paper character around. This new mechanic has led to some brand new areas created that fully utilise it.

Another major new controller-specific feature is using the R2 button to shine the controller’s light-sensor into the world to illuminate the dark. It’s a charming little idea that helps connect the two worlds that everyone can appreciate. Tearaway Unfolded is aimed more at a younger audience, and with features that allow their creations to be featured hours later in the game give a great sense of inclusion. Of course, the same can be said for adults, especially when King Squirrel asks you to create his crown and you do what you can to make it look as phallic as possible. Your character can also be customised is silly ways and it just adds to the great personality found in the game.

Even though it’s a port of a PlayStation Vita title, Tearaway Unfolded is a lovely game visually. The flat, paper crafted world allows for the colours and art design to stand out and it is a visual treat to see the world on a bigger screen. It doesn’t push the boundaries of technical prowess on the console,  but it shows that a game can look impressive without pushing polygons.

I played Tearaway when it came out on PlayStation Vita, and playing Tearaway Unfolded on PlayStation 4 felt like a completely new game at times simply because it was. Almost everything works as if it was originally meant for the console except for drawing on the touchpad which isn’t nearly as sensitive as it needs to be for the tougher challenges.

It’s a unique adventure game that’s bursting with personality, charm, and creativity. There’s so many times when something happened in the world that made me feel a part of it that made me smile – it’s just that type of game. There are a few moments of frustration along the way, ones you’d expect moving from drastically different platforms but not as many as I expected. Media Molecule deserve a lot of praise for doing what they’ve done here. Whether you’ve played the Vita version or not, this is well worth your attention.

Tearaway Unfolded is a well-(paper)crafted gem with 4/5 stars.


Jason Redmond

Tearaway Unfolded at CeX

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