If you are a PlayStation fan then you may have heard of a little downloadable game called The Unfinished Swan. The game will take you on a surreal journey through a kingdom of unfinished art, yet the game is far from unfinished itself. The Unfinished Swan is centered on significance and question as it provides an exceptional journey for players to follow. This game clearly set the fans thoughts to wonder upon first starting the game. The immediate feeling of innocence is placed in the player’s heart by the protagonist; a child named Monroe. Gamers are able feel like child again, with them actually reacting to that sense of virtue and speculation on a unique quest to discover new things just as people do throughout their real life. It’s as if adult gamers are able to have those thoughts of a child again but in a mature outlook; as an outsider looking in. The Unfinished Swan isn’t your average game, it’s not about being the best at the game but about trying something different and witnessing the emotion attached to such a small thing.
The game starts out just as if you were flipping through pages of a story book. A boy named Monroe has lost his mother and most all of her precious paintings along with her. He has been moved to a foster home where he has been allowed to keep one item. Upon contemplating the decision on which item he shall cherish, Monroe chooses to keep the unfinished painting of a Swan his mother last and favorite painting of them all. The boy is then taken to a bizarre universe where the world around him seemed relatively uncompleted just as the paintings that his mother loved so dearly. The first level features a completely white canvas where splattering black paint reveals your path to the end of the level. As the player gets through areas of the level new pages of the book is revealed which reveal vital information regarding the games main plotline.
The story of The Unfinished Swan is purely remarkable for a downloadable title. It is a touching expedition through the hardships of this little boy Monroe childhood; a character whom the player quickly grows to love. The plotline is beautiful. The remarkable occurrence of the story leaves the player full of wonder but there is still calming feel to this obscure space. The mood that is attached to the story of The Unfinished Swan makes this more of an experience than just the average game. Playing through The Unfinished Swan is a feeling that you can get with no other game; simplicity at its finest.
One of the most interesting parts about the game play is actually the unique take on mechanics. This is a four level game where each of the levels features somewhat of a different game mechanic as well as a different style. Where most games, even the AAA titles of the modern generation, take one thing and run with it making a complex universe; The Unfinished Swan does nearly the opposite, taking many technicalities to make a outwardly simple world. In The Unfinished Swan the development team has taken simplicity and formed it with using a variety of different methods of play. To accompany the variety of different ways to play each level takes in terms of mechanics each level also takes on a unique style different from the other levels in the game. It is like this, where in one level Monroe is forced to make it through a completely white world, in another you must create paths by growing vines. The rarity of a video game with ever-changing mechanics is something that is scarcely seen in the industry and seemingly taboo for other titles yet it works so perfectly in The Unfinished Swan. One might argue that a game would not be capable of a variety of mechanics because the presumable lack in flow yet The Unfinished Swan proves this of not being an issue. It is the differences in how the game is played, the ease of what the player is doing, the change in style and the passion that is attached to the story that forces the player to fall in love with the game.
A large aspect of The Unfinished Swan is the puzzle solving. While Monroe may be able to do different things in each different level, the new and different thing he is able to do is used to each puzzle. It takes knowing and learning the new abilities to solve the puzzles. Throughout gaming there have been games that rely on elements other games already use. There have been similar ways to solve different puzzles and similarities in their game to other titles but that statement does not walk hand in hand with The Unfinished Swan. It is like the game dared to be different, it dared to challenge players in ways they have not been challenged before while guiding them through an indescribable journey. The puzzles can pose to be a challenge yet with death not being a punishment to gamers the players can take risks and try new things without having to feel punished. Gamers are able to work around ways to solve the puzzle how they see fit which is a great aid when it comes to coming to a conclusion to the challenging dilemmas. The Unfinished Swan is a brainteaser in a way that can be accomplished with notion. The problems the player is forced to conquer are puzzles that are difficult but not in a way to where they are unsolvable.
Despite all the praise that can be shed upon this title there is a major drawback. The game is extremely short. For something so interesting and revolutionary in ways it is a shame that the curiosity had to be killed so quickly. The entire game can be easily beaten within a two hour long time limit if the collectables are not collected. So just unlocking the main parts of the story can be done rather quickly if the player does not take the time to greatly explore their vast surroundings. Unfortunately, the importance wrapped within The Unfinished Swan isn’t a long trail, a meaningful and enjoyable expedition but definitely not something of great length. While the players sit and want to play more, they want to get farther into the deep story it just comes to a quick yet pleasant end.
Any PlayStation fan would find some sort of enjoyment in The Unfinished Swan. Rather that enjoyment comes in the form of being taken by the incredibly different and touching story or whether it be the interest in the switch in mechanics. This game can be played by literally any and all players. One of the beauties about a game like The Unfinished Swan is that different types of players take away different feelings because of the game. It all depends on the player, how they go about discovery and how they feel about the unfortunate but enlightening plot of the story. The Unfinished Swan is exclusive to the PlayStation Network for a simple $14.99. For an experience like this every player should give the game a try despite the length. If you are a player who likes to engage in different experiences in gaming and like to search out and kind the meaning in things then this is the game for you.