The Unfinished Swan Review

The Unfinished Swan is a game unlike anything I’ve ever played before.

It’s a truly unique experience and it’s clear from the first moments of gameplay that each person’s play-through is going to be unique.

What makes your play-through so unique is the game’s primary mechanic; shooting globs of paint on the otherwise blank white landscape.

It’s up to you to decide how much paint you want to splatter around the world.

Do you want to spend time revealing the entire world?

You can do that.

Do you want to use as little paint as possible while traversing the world?

You can do that.

Whatever you choose to do you can be assured that it will be different to what every other player has done before you.

As you progress through the game your paint splattering skills are substituted for the ability to shoot balls of water, which causes climbable vines to grow allowing you to traverse the world in a new way.

You’re even given the ability to create platforms in whatever height or length you want.

These features only further add to creating your own unique version of The Unfinished Swan’s game world.

Often games that are dubbed artistic don’t have much in the way of replayability or content other than the primary story, but The Unfinished Swan provides a surprisingly addictive side quest with balloons that are scattered throughout levels.

Many of the balloons are in quite obvious places, however going in search of them helps break up the core gameplay (which essentially boils down to just holding R2 and pressing X occasionally) and keeps things from getting repetitive.

Balloons serve more of a purpose than just being a collectable, as they can be used to unlock “Toys” which upgrade your abilities.

That being said, the gameplay would be nothing without the beautiful story that Giant Sparrow have crafted.

The game centres on Monroe who is trying to cope with his mother’s death, who happened to be a very talented painter.

Monroe is allowed to keep one painting (The Unfinished Swan), but awakes to find that the swan has disappeared and jumps into the canvas to give chase.

As Monroe explores this new world bits and pieces of story are revealed through storybook-like pages on walls.

It’s a touching story which unfortunately is a little predictable at times, but the predictability isn’t off-putting in the slightest as it pulls you in the way any great story does.

The one negative to be found in The Unfinished Swan is a glitch that causes you to go under the map.

At first it wasn’t clear to me that this was a glitch and I just assumed this was a part of the game, but my resulting need to exit the game and reload from a checkpoint was quite jarring and took away my immersion in the story and world for a moment.

Usually a glitch like this wouldn’t be too big of a deal as the events to trigger such a glitch are usually quite complicated, however this glitch occurs if you mess up one of the puzzles so it’s far too easy for this to happen to other players.

Giant Sparrow have crafted a beautiful short story (it’ll take just over two hours to beat), which gives each player a sense of ownership to their playthrough through the brilliant paint splatter mechanic. The Unfinished Swan is an incredible and magical experience that will leave you smiling from ear to ear.

Verdict: 9.0

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