Eurogamer Expo 2013: Preview - Tearaway
The PlayStation Vita hasn’t been the most successful of peripherals for the PlayStation 3, and neither has it taken off in holding its own as handheld gaming system. Promising to play a much bigger part in mobile gaming, being capable of taking your PS4 games with you (to an extent), may not be quite enough for some to consider purchasing it. However, Tearaway, from the creators of Little Big Planet, may well charm you enough to buy one.
The first thing that strikes you is the game’s art style. Wonderfully colourful and child-like paper art makes for a brilliant aesthetic and really creates a unappalled sense of whimsy and nostalgia that will beguile adults as much as it will appeal to younger players.
It’s a breath of vivid fresh air among the battling behemoth launch titles of the next generation. Yes, this makes it look unmistakably like a game that’s designed with children in mind, but you can’t help but feel fuzzy about it yourself.
This game is essentially the PS Vita game. It makes full use of all of its functionalities; its front facing camera, touch screen, and touch sensitive back. But rather than including each of these bits of technology through shallow gimmickry or bemusing context, it makes them an integral part of the gameplay mechanics. The touch sensitive back, especially, is something players will be using a lot. This adds a new approach and dynamic to what would otherwise be a straight forward platformer.
And what novelty there is, such as the use of the front facing camera, whilst not completely vital to the game, is incredibly cute. After begrudgingly posing for a photo to be used in-game, it’s a joy to suddenly see it plastered everywhere with the cuddly little characters singing praises at it. Kids will no doubt go overboard for this sort of thing, but as an adult, it’s still rather heart-warming.
With myriad checkpoints littered across the game too, means that when you die/fail you respawn very close by. This will definitely encourage younger gamers to keep engaged with the game and not baby-ragequit. But it also won’t frustrate adults by having them do too much all over again. It’s not the most challenging of platformers, but it’s accessible and fun without being condescending.
The only problem with the game is its platform. Yes, Tearaway makes ingenious and brilliant use of the console itself, making this a really unique and charming game, but that’s just one game on the PS Vita. The Vita’s line-up desperately needs more titles with this level of bespoke and ingenious creativity to compliment its unique features.
If you play this and fail to grin uncontrollably, you probably should get yourself checked out by a doctor.
Furthermore, the game feels like it should be on something bigger than the diminutive screen. Undoubtedly, this would look fantastic on something the size of a tablet and would really give gamers the opportunity to take-in the winsome artwork at a definition that would do it better justice.
The game is incredibly playable and insanely delightful. If anything, its success could well inspire other developers to follow suit and up the viability and demand of Sony’s less than successful project. If you play this and fail to grin uncontrollably, you probably should get yourself checked out by a doctor.
This review was done after experiencing the available demo at Eurogamer Expo 2013. Changes to gameplay may be made before the title's eventual release. To learn more about the game, visit http://tearaway.mediamolecule.com.