Tearaway is easily one of the best PlayStation Vita titles available for the system. So it’s nice to see its bigger brother, the PlayStation 4, receiving the same game, albeit built from the ground up. Entitled Tearaway Unfolded, this remaster of the PlayStation Vita title follows a messenger on their task of sealing a hole between their world and ours. With solid gameplay, a sleuth of creative controls, a beautiful art style and customisation, Tearaway Unfolded turns out to be an excellent experience. It makes a very successful transition between the PlayStation Vita and the PlayStation 4.
At it’s core, Tearaway is a pretty straight forward platforming game. With most platforming games, the story is of little importance. But there is a story there. The player controls a messenger with the paper based world. The task set for this male or female messenger (the gender of the messenger can be chosen) is to deliver a message for You, the term used to describe the player. After some introductory moments, there is a hole between their world and ours. It becomes clear that the messenger must go ahead and plug that hole to stop a leak coming through. Throughout the story, the messenger will help out with locals. The story is bare bones but its not going to be a selling point anyway. However, it does explore bonds as one forms between the messenger and You.
As for the gameplay, it is quite straightforward for a platforming title. The messenger moves in a linear fashion, following one path to the end goal. It can run, jump and do everything else one expects in a platform game. There are puzzles littered throughout the game and they are required to be completed in order to progress through the game. These puzzles range from throwing the object into the right place or timing the run in order to progress through tricky platforms. A lot of these puzzles use the creative controls introduced in Tearaway. It is very solid, as it was on the Vita. The puzzle, though, can be very easy and the game can be played in a breeze. Fortunately, the player can replay previous missions using the abilities learned throughout the game just in case they missed something out.
The creativity starts off with how the controller is used throughout the game. All of the classic platforming controls work well and are quite responsive. It’s what Media Molecule does with other elements of the Dualshock 4 makes the game more interesting. The light bar, for example, acts as a guiding light, aiding in your quest to clean up the paper based world. It works on Scraps as well as a way to be hyponitized. Before flinging them off a cliff. The touch pad can be used to jump the messenger higher using drumskins planted throughout the movie. Swiping the touch bar calls forth a gusty wind to aid you in battle and scare Scraps, as well as create pathways to move forward. Finally, tilting the controller up throws an object to the player for a more powerful throw. All of these elements are actually good. They fit seamlessly into the game, aren’t buggy at all and help with the overall experience of the game. The player can also use the PlayStation Camera to add to the experience.
Tearaway Unfolded also brings out the player’s artistic side with the customisation options. The main one is creating objects for the paper world. In certain instance in the game, in order to pass through, the player must create an object, such as a crown or cloud. It’s nice to see that artistic talent is not required to pass these puzzles. Nevertheless, object creation is easy to learn but hard to master. While the puzzles that moves the story forward is easy enough, but some of the optional puzzles do tend to be a little more difficult. However, the customisation doesn’t end there. The player can customise the messenger itself using confetti collected throughout the game. Eyes. Ears, hair and more can be purchased to help create whatever monostrity (or beautiful) messenger one can muster. There is also an in-game camera the player uses to take pictures, which can be shared online. This is quite fun to use and it allows the player to go crazy with the world around them.
The world around the messenger is bright and beautiful. There is a charm with the paper based world and it looks absolutely gorgeous on the PlayStation 4. Media Molecule does an excellent job with re-creating the world of Tearaway in 1080p high definition. Colours pop in both day and night settings, with the levels set during daylight being personal favourites. Of course, it’s a little disappointing to see linear level design instead of offering multiple paths towards the end goal, but it was still pretty to look at the world around the messenger. The sound design is decent enough, with soothing, relaxing music to accompany the player on the journey ahead. There are two narrators that interject from time to time. Their voices are decent enough, but their constant bickering does add to the fun.
It was an absolute joy to re-visit Tearaway on the PlayStation 4. It was an excellent game on the PlayStation Vita and it continues to be an excellent game for the PlayStation 4. The game featured solid platforming gameplay with creative ideas on how to use the controller to interact with the game world, something not really seen in the gaming industry today. Add to the creation tools available for the world and the player’s own messenger, a gorgeous world to look at and some decent sound design and one would have an excellent platforming game. The difficulty of the puzzles could have been adjusted for more seasoned player, but it was still a fun game to play.
Tearaway Unfolded was provided by PlayStation Australia for the purpose of this review. The reviewer owns Tearaway on PlayStation Vita and was a fan of the game, so the review may contain traces of positive bias. Tearaway Unfolded is now available at all video game retailers in two editions: standard and the Messenger Edition. Both are available for $69.00. It may be cheaper at other retailers.