Tearaway Will Blow Your Fragile Mind

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After putting a great deal of effort into its LittleBigPlanet games, the team at Media Molecule decided to give something new a try with Tearaway, which made proper use of Sony’s PlayStation Vita hardware. Players could interact with the papier-mâché based world in a number of ways, from picturing themselves as the sun (using the device’s camera), blowing into the system to create a wind gust, and using the rear touch pad to create effects on a specific stage.

The game was innovative in many ways, but Media Molecule found difficulty in porting the game over to another Sony console, due to the different nature of its hardware. So, instead, it started fresh, working alongside Tarsier Studios to produce Tearaway Unfolded, now available for the PlayStation 4.

Unfolded has a similar plot to the original, where a messenger (made out of paper of course) is sent to deliver a message to the large portal that has torn open a hole in the sky. This delivery person has a great companion at their side, in the form of The You. (Well, that’s just a fancy way of saying “you”, but you get the idea.)

(Image source: Media Molecule)

Parts of the game will have players guiding the messenger through a series of puzzles, such as throwing little animals to score trick shots or riding an out-of-control pig warrior (who you give the gift of sight to by fixing its eye) as it rampages through both enemies and crates alike, but the rest is all up to “The You,” thanks to the game’s innovations in control.

The different features for the DualShock 4 pad work great with the game. The controller’s motion ability is used to shine a light onto specific parts of the world. Once activated, it serves a number of purposes, such as distracting enemies (newspaper-made blobs from the “real world”) or ridding the land of its unnatural materials (in this case, newspaper clippings).

In addition, players can interact with the world as well, shining the light on dwellers to give them their moment in the sun – only to take it away when you need to get moving again.

(Image source: Media Molecule)

The controller’s TouchPad also plays many parts in the gameplay. You’ll use it to create certain effects in the world, such as a blowing directional wind gusts (in the place of blowing) or rolling out platforms for the messenger to get across. But, the real beauty of this game is creating art on the fly.

On occasion, you’ll be asked to draw components in the world, whether it’s an oddly shaped crown for the self-proclaimed beaver king (who are we to ask? After all, it’s during a Broadway production) or wings on butterflies that appear throughout. The way these are drawn and put into the game make the experience that much more personal for players.

Pictures can also be taken over the course of your character’s journey, but these aren’t just some simple Polaroids. They have healing abilities, turning items that were shadow in the world into living, breathing objects with color. For good measure, the game also keeps a personal log of all pictures taken, in case players feel like sharing with others.

(Image source: Media Molecule)

Tearaway Unfolded also underwent a few tweaks in its journey to PlayStation 4 as well. As you can tell by the screenshots, the world is a lot more gratifying on a larger screen than the PS Vita, and you can look for hidden goodies throughout. The frame rate also moves much faster at 60 frames per second, and, for those who have a PlayStation Eye camera, you can put yourself into the game in a number of ways, such as once again having a sunny presence, just like the original.

Fans of the original Tearaway will certainly find Unfolded to their liking. but there’s a lot to offer for new players as well. If you’re any sort of fan of exquisite artwork, or just want to see what Media Molecule’s been up to since the LittleBigPlanet days, it’s definitely worth a look.

Tearaway Unfolded is available now for PlayStation 4.

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