i’ve had a PS3 for a while, and i’m guessing i’m one of the few people who got one pretty much solely to play PS3 indie exclusives such as the much-lauded journey. the unfinished swan was a game i’d heard a bit about, no doubt because it had been described as “innovative”, which is the surest way to get my attention. for various reasons i ended up finishing that one before some more-famous PS3 games, but it seems justified since sony supported the game’s development via its SCE santa monica studio in a somewhat similar fashion as journey.
anyway, the game’s demo covers the first section of the game, and immediately impresses with the fascinating and engrossing mechanic of navigating an all-white world solely armed with a supply of black paintballs. the game is all about surprise and exploration so i won’t reveal too much more, but the demo does a good job of enticing you to spring for the full game. although the rest of the game doesn’t match the brilliance of the opening section, the overall experience is memorable and satisfying, and the ending is quite fantastic and packs a nice punch. the game isn’t without its flaws, however. some mechanics (such as a few sections of awkward platforming) feel a little out of place and some sections feel a bit tech demo-y, and the game could have been more cohesive in terms of the story and themes. still, this is easily one of the best games i’ve played this year and i’m definitely looking forward to more from this studio.
some bedtime links for the unfinished swan:
– official site with trailers
– two-part interview with the creator/director that explains the ending in more detail
– pushsquare.com gave the game a perfect 10
– entry at metacritic
– entry at wikipedia
– entry at howlongtobeat.com