Platforms: PS4, PS Vita (Original Title -Tearaway)
Reviewed on: PS4
Distributor: Ster Kinekor
Developer: Media Molecule / Tarsier Studios
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: 8 September 2015
Reimagining a title that was a massive hit on a completely different platform, onto a console that uses different techniques and controller must have been a daunting task, but Media Molecule has brought Tearaway to the PlayStation 4, and boy is it geniusly-crafted.
Tearaway Unfolded focuses on one’s creative pallet, and a light-hearted storyline that will leave you wanting more. Right till the end of the game I was learning new abilities and utilising my DualShock 4 in ways I never imagined. From pulling squirrels just to toss them out using a slide of the touch pad, sending them into oblivions, to lighting up the dark by using the motion of the DualShock 4 to bring a beam of light to the dark corners of the papercraft world. Every time the game seemed to hit a steady pace, there was something new to tackle and be amazed by.
If you don’t know by now, Tearaway Unfolded is set in a world made of paper, and that is no understatement; the entire game is brought to life with the sights and sounds of folded paper. You can just stand back and listen to the wind howl through the trees as the sounds of paper flutters in the distance, or walk through folded paper grass, cleverly stuck down with one end, and listen to it as you walk through it. There is just nothing as carefully crafted as Tearaway out there, and it left me with butterflies as I took in the landscapes and visuals that in principle, sound impossible to create.
Tearaway Unfolded is the port of the PlayStation Vita hit, and it has been tweaked not only in gameplay, but in features too. The DualShock 4 is your companion through the game as you venture through snowy frosted mountains and dark forests to try to reach the hole in the sky. Along the way you will solve puzzles, learn new abilities, and create papercrafts to help the people of the papercraft world along the way. There is a darkness that is taking over the world, creatures that taint the once vibrant poster board, and turn it into newspaper printing, and we don’t want that! Iota, a messenger that is trying to deliver himself to you, now comes face to face with the dangers of the world as he tries to make it to the hole in the sky where you are situated.
Although the game is a 3D platformer, it plays out like an interactive storybook. As the world unfolds in front of you, you learn the backstory of the characters and how each area ties into the world. But it is the DualShock 4 that steals the show as every feature on the PS Vita version of the game has been successfully ported to the DualShock 4 flawlessly. Pressing the touchpad to bounce on trampolines, swiping the touchpad to blow wind around your environment to help you navigate through it, and creating new papercraft items using both the touchpad and the motion sensors. None of the mechanics feel underwhelming, they are all introduced and followed through to the end.
As you play through the game’s main story, which lasts around 5 – 7 hours, you will collect confetti which will let you purchase new customisation items for you to mix up your appearance. You can change the colour of your head, arms, add new eyes, stickers on your face, and replace your mouth. The list of features to change goes on, and the more you get into this feature, the more it will cost your confetti. You will aid characters in the game by helping them with missing papercraft items, or just defeating a number of enemies around them. You will be given a blue present for you hard work and it will contain a papercraft design. Any papercraft designs that you come across in the game in either the blue or red present boxes will be saved to your Tearaway.me profile. You can log onto the Tearaway.me website and print out these designs and make them for yourself. That is the extent of the collectables in the game, and I am not complaining because in which games can you actually get a physical object for collecting something in-game? It’s a pretty neat and unique touch.
Thanks to the power of the PlayStation App you can link your smartphone to the game and send in cute designs that you make on the app, or colour the world in-game with pictures from your device’s library. The integration of the app is good, but after you tried it out there really is no reason to go back to it. The design aspect of the game is also much harder on the DualShock 4 compared to the PS Vita version, and it would have been nice to be able to use the app to design objects when you need to in-game rather than trying on the DualShock 4’s touchpad. Although it works, it is kind of small and difficult to master, and you really feel bad when you bring a really wonky-looking crown into a world so beautiful that it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Tearaway Unfolded is a linear game, but it’s the customisation and beauty of the world that draws you in, and you will want to play through it a few times. Sure, the game lacks a solid combat system, but that is a small part of a even bigger world that demands your attention. Once you enter the papercraft world, you will be pleasantly surprised how every little item that we see everyday, can and has been crafted in paper.
Tearaway is geniusly-crafted. There is certainly nothing else as imaginative as it, and if you are looking for a world to escape to, without violence, bad language, and gore, then visit the papercraft world. Here you can sit back, relax, and listen to the sounds of paper flowing in the wind, with a spectacular soundtrack that creates a fitting ambience.