Every now and again a game comes along that’s bursting at the seams with creativity and great design. A game that utilises the platform it’s on to the fullest extent while providing a gameplay experience worth discussing. During my time at the Eurogamer Expo this year it became transparently clear that Tearaway is one of those titles.
Tearaway is the latest title from British born studio Media Molecule, following their incredibly successful title ‘LittleBigPlanet’ – renowned for its pure creation and unique style – Media Molecule have decided to focus their energy on the Vita for their next game. Now as we all know, the Vita is a powerful, if slightly underused handheld that has seen some rough times since it’s release. With things slowly starting to look up for the platform, Tearaway looks to join the likes of Gravity Rush as one of the more innovative (also funnily enough, Vita exclusive) games seen in the last few years. I think at this point it’s pretty clear that I loved my time with the demo, but what exactly makes Tearaway so great? Well that’s what I’m here to tell you!
From the moment you sit down to play Tearaway one thing is obvious, this game is beautiful. The whole experience is based in a world made of paper. Environments are made of papercraft foliage and green paper grass, with all of the wildlife also looking like it was dragged straight from a fantastical book of Origami (don’t even get me started on the little papercraft squirrels you meet throughout the demo I played – SO cute!). The Tearaway universe has evidently been created with glorious attention to detail and it looks amazing on the Vita’s screen. Tearaway also does something that I’m personally a massive fan of, it fills its world with colour. The demo was filled with bright greens, oranges and purples, it was gorgeous and a refreshing departure from the dreary brown apocalypse landscapes we see ohsomuch of these days.
Looking pretty is all very well if you have the guts to support it, I think we can all think of stunning games that were stunning but didn’t do anything apart from being stunning (naming no names!), luckily Tearaway has a soft gooey inside full of tasty game design goodness. The game follows a paper craft messenger (either Iota or Atoi depending on whether you choose boy or girl) on their journey to help the world with the assistance of the sun (that’s you!). Your role in the game is to pave the way for your little messenger buddy to traverse the paper world in which they live, you’ll do this by dragging paper out of the way, banging drums to launch your little friend through the air in platforming bliss and generally being a helping hand along the way (also being able to shove your fingers through the world to flick some evil ‘scraps’ off the screen is genius and totally awesome). Tearaway is one of the few titles to really use the rear touch pad in it’s gameplay, and while it uses the conventional control scheme for the character’s movement a lot of the game is played using the touch screen and rear touch pad, it’s great to finally see a gameplay use for this that genuinely doesn’t seem gimmicky! The platforming feels really sharp and precise with the array of controls all working really well together to propel your little fellow through the air to the next paper platform, it’s really enjoyable and actually quite addictive.
I feel as though I haven’t even scratched the surface of what Tearaway has to offer, I haven’t even started on the gorgeous orchestral soundtrack or the witty writing but I’ll let you guys off more of my rambling (that’ll all come in the review after I’ve played it!). Just know this: Tearaway was my game of Eurogamer Expo 2013, I loved it to pieces and APB’s very own Stu had to literally “tear” me away from the stand (Speaking of Stu, this pun was his contribution to the article, thanks…I guess!). Look forward to this title Vita owners, it’s what you’ve been waiting for since purchasing your little bundle of fun and games.
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