Paper cuts not included.
Tearaway was a unique platforming game that released on the Vita that had a lot of talk but seemingly lots of folks missed out on due to being on the handheld. It used the systems camera and touch features to bring an experience that felt personal. Now players have the chance to check it out on the PS4 in a re-envisioned version of the game and it looks better than ever.
Tearaway has a very simple story. One about a carrier named Iota, an envelope with a face and body. The player is not only controlling Iota, but the game references them as part of the story. It’s a journey to stop the invasion of the scraps that are flooding the world. There is a hole in the sun and Iota and the player must stop the scraps and restore the world before it’s too late. The story itself is simplicity at its finest, involving the player themselves in the narrative. It ultimately serves to progress the levels and Iota forward instead of being a huge, involving plot line. It works though, Tearaway won’t win any awards for it, but its “heart of gold” message will have most smiling by the end.
Price I’d Pay: $39.99
How long to beat: 8+ hours
Gameplay in the PS4 version is mostly the same as in Vita besides one huge change. The light bar is played as a beacon of light that the player can swipe over the environment, enemies, and more to affect them in certain ways. Bringing color back to the word, opening further pathways, and stunning the enemies. This feature seemingly takes the place of the more touch based mechanics of the Vita version and it works rather well.
Otherwise the majority of gameplay sticks to the core of the original as Iota learns new mechanics throughout. At first Iota can’t even jump, but over time this is learned along with means of attacking, using the environment to the players advantage, and other interesting interactions and mechanics with the world. Players can even take pictures of the environment with various filters and as pretty as the game looks, I wouldn’t blame them.
The world itself in Tearaway is a beautifully paper crafted experience. It’s animations overall are sublime and seeing the paper environments break apart, unfold, roll up, and create itself is eye-opening. It’s rare to see such a visually stunning game in both design and animation but Tearaway provides this in spades. It’s unique, uses its style to its advantage, and really provides an unforgettable visual treat. The soundtrack is appropriately bouncy, atmospheric, and colorful. The small amounts of voice acting that is featured is done well, pronounced, and fits perfect with this paper world and the themes spread throughout.
Tearaway is a unique platforming experience that doesn’t tailor itself to what most platformers do. Inventive in its creative ways to progress the levels, using the touch pad for bouncing, the light bar and gyro for interaction, and it screams quality. It’s a shame that during the transition to the PS4 the controls for the camera and viewpoints seem to still be a stick point. I can’t recall the camera being a huge detriment to the Vita version but it’s apparent on PS4. Not to say it’s a killer of enjoyment, but it takes some finesse at times. Also Tearaway isn’t exactly challenging, and that’s not to fault it for it’s easy of use, anyone can play, but for fans of platformers, this could seem a bit at odds with the genre.
Tearaway was a big surprise hit for me on the Vita and this remake is bigger, has more content, and more unique ways to progress versus its handheld sibling. The story is still charming and whimsical, the world still amazing to see, and now that it’s on the big screen and running at a faster framerate, you’d be hard pressed not to want to check it out. It’s not just a port, it’s a re-imagined version for the console and that means even fans of the original have incentive to check it out again. Otherwise, being on PS4, there is no excuse for players not to dive into the world of Tearaway Unfolded. It might not be the hardest, longest, or most in-depth platforming game, but Tearaway is one world I can’t help but want to revisit repeatedly, each time with a smile on my face.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.