Review by imagine606
"A Creative Storybook"
The Unfinished Swan is yet another game this generation that really brings a high level of creativity. Games like Limbo, Journey, Flower, and Braid are all games that brought interesting new concepts to video games, each in their own different way. Rather it be through minimalism, interesting twists, or just pure ambiance. This is another game to add to those fairly recent games.
The Unfinished Swan brings a unique touch by starting off as minimalistic as a game possibly can, nothing but white. It even took me a couple of seconds to hit a shoulder button to realize I needed to start throwing the paint. I mean, I knew that was going to be part of the game, but I didn't realize that the game was actually starting. After wandering around for a little while you realize that the game is actually a very highly advanced storybook.
The game starts to evolve as you move along. After getting through the first section you stop using the paint and the game really takes a huge next step. A lot of the general ideas from the start still remain, but the game quickly evolves into something else. Elements like interesting puzzles, vines, creating platforms, and just staying in light all enter into the equation (without really giving anything away).
Another thing I will mention about the gameplay itself is the telescopes. Make sure to check all of them. If you do you won't miss a very good reference to a game that I have actually mentioned in this review.
Going on, the difficulty level of this game is very low. This is a great game for anyone with younger kids, nephews, or nieces. Grandchildren too, but I don't know how many gamers out there are grandparents (sure there are some, just probably not many). I would dock it some for the complete lack of difficulty, but at the same time, I really don't think that the main target audience is hardcore gamers. However, for any hardcore gamers out there, this is still a game that you should enjoy as long as you are able to respect art.
Usually I say graphics instead of visuals when talking about what a game looks like. However, in this case it's really beyond what the graphics bring. The graphics are not bad, think Quantum Conundrum. They're somewhat cartoonish at times, but the visuals themselves are outstanding. Especially early on when you are throwing the black paint around, it's absolutely stunning how it all works out. That was the initial reason for me wanting the game, and it did not disappoint.
As for the sound aspect, that wasn't as impressive, but at the same time there was nothing wrong with it. The voice acting was very solid, although it didn't require anything special. Still, the voices picked were right for the parts. The sound effects were well done, and the music fit everything going on perfectly.
As for the replay value, there are collectables and a lot of small intricacies in the game. I remember growing up when the NES was in its heyday and hearing about little things you could notice in games, Easter Eggs if you will. I would then be itching to get home and play that game for the rest of the day and make it my top priority to find that Easter Egg. From there, of course I would finish the game. The telescope thing I mentioned earlier is one of those things, but there are others throughout the game. I'm sure that I'm going to want to go back after hearing of other Easter Eggs in the game.
The controls and everything in that realm are very easy to figure out. The majority of the controls are moving around and using the shoulder buttons. In fact, if I remember right, outside of occasional prompt that's all the controls are. Nice and easy.
This was a very fun game. It is innovative, family friendly, beautiful, and as a whole is very well done. The only weaknesses are the length, and the feeling at the end that they could have done more with the concept. However, at the same time, the concept, as a whole, is nothing that I had previously experienced. The movie had an excellent story to it, as it continued on like a child's storybook, but just so much more evolved. I won't spoil the ending, but that is where you really see how the story has evolved. Anyway, this is a very good game. I would love to see maybe a sequel that expands further, much like we got in the Portal series, but this game itself is still a very good game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 10/26/12
Game Release: The Unfinished Swan (US, 10/23/12)
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