Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC
If you are a subscriber to either EA Origin or EA Access then you will most likely have seen some new games added to the vault this week. One of the most exciting games from this list was the addition of Unravel, a puzzle based platformer that boasts both beautiful graphics and a beautiful story line. This game been both intriguing, for reasons stated previously but this game also lacks any real lure that would lead to the purchase of this game for reasons made obvious later in this review. Thankfully, the free download has persuaded me to finally play the game and I was not disappointed with this decision.
Unravel Does Not Reinvent The Wheel
As far as lead characters go, Yarny does not appear to be much of an original character with many gamers comparing our hero from Unravel to his counterpart from Little Big Planet. In fact, the similarities run deep with many platformers so it is hard to distinguish a competitive edge for Unravel on game play alone. However, what Unravel does do very well is immerse the player into the story line by recreating beautiful, yet familiar landscapes. Traversing the seaside or through the garden is a somewhat nostalgic experience for most players or at least, these are landscapes that everyone will relate to in some way shape or form. One thing was for sure, I bought into the story very early on and was eager to find out more. Despite the modest 8 hour campaign of the game the ride from beginning to end was emotional and memorable.
How Long Is A Piece Of String?
As with every game review, it is important to not only highlight the good but also the bad and the ugly. So where does Unravel fall apart? In all honesty, it pitfalls can only be best judged by a players personal preferences but let’s pinpoint all the less enjoyable parts of this game to give a complete picture.
Firstly, the difficulty level of the puzzles within this platformer does not seem to increase as you progress through the game. The result is that the game does not come across as particularly challenging and therefore, there is a risk that your sense of accomplishment may remain unfulfilled. Of course, this is completely dependent on your ability to solve the puzzles in the game but it is worth noting.
Secondly, the game physics are not consistent throughout the different levels and will vary from level to level. Yarny will be able to build bridges with his yarn or lasso onto different objects in the environment but be warned, the game will dictated when these solution can be used to solve in game puzzles. You could argue this provides unpredictable variation but most of the time it just comes across as a confusing, tangled mess.
Finally, Yarny is weak. I mean seriously weak and this can lead to frustrating endings to puzzles and Yarny too. Imagine Yarny tripped and fell then don’t bother imagining him getting back up again, he won’t. He really needs to brush up on his swimming ability too as water is his biggest nemesis. For all of Yarny’s frailty, this does provide an added difficulty to the game which is not apparent in its puzzles and could be seen as both a blessing and a curse.
Your opinion of Unravel may largely contrast with that of other gamers as this game has more room splitting ability than any other game I have played recently but the beauty of the game and storyline should be enough for any player to try this game. It is a strong outing for EA and now that this game can be downloaded for free with EA Access, most of the potential frustrations with the game will seem insignificant. I enjoyed this game enough to share my thoughts which should speak volumes.