As some of you might know, I have never been a fan of downloadable titles. The fact that I don’t have a tangible object on my shelf pisses me off, but after playing Journey earlier this year, I have warmed up to downloadable and Indie titles and have to admit that I'd be missing out on some amazing games if I dismissed them completely.
The Unfinished Swan is yet another PSN exclusive, and just like Journey, has a very unique and experimental premise. As I started off, it felt like I was taking part into an interactive story book. I went back to the day when I was young and still believed in fairy tales. The stylization of the world and narrative videos, are amazing. It is what you’d expect if a children’s book came to life. You start off the title chasing the Unfinished Swan in a blank environment. You launch paint to start to uncover the path which it took. It feels weird and kind of disorienting playing on a blank slate, but the more you play the more you enjoy this concept. As you progress the environment will become more complex, and will require more thinking to follow the swan’s path.
After the first couple of chapters the world evolves into something you can see, and instead of paint you’ll now launch water which is needed to operate small machinery or help vines grow (which in turn will help you access closed paths). The game gets exponentially better and more challenging, but with its intuitive controls you adapt quite easily to the changes. The platforming aspect of the game is fantastic and you quickly immerse yourself in the game and get hooked to the awesome gameplay mechanics. By the end of this tale, an amazing and beautiful world unravels before your eyes, and you can’t help but think, that with such a minimalistic approach to the design of the game, they managed to bring to life this tale, which in the early stages was built with the user’s imagination.
For me it felt like I built the hidden environment in my brain as I played along, and once I completed the game, it turned out to be exactly how I imagined it, and till now I’m still baffled to how awesome this game made me feel. Even though the it is short, it manages to provide exceptional entertainment to people of all ages. I have to say, that during such an overcrowded quarter, this title managed to please me much more than some of the Triple A titles out there, and I would recommend it to anyone with a PSN account. After this review I really need to feel a bit manlier so I better get a pint and stroke my beard whilst talking about cars.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Written By Matthew C.