Most games so far have barely utilized the mix of functions added to the PlayStation 4’s Dulashock 4, making the augmented controller feel more like a gimmicky, clunky waste of money than a versatile tool. Many games use the swipe pad to access menus or cycle between functions or weapons. The light on the front of the controller will also use colours to indicate health status.
These are a few examples of the limited ingenuity involved with functions that could take gaming to the next level, at least in the Sony realm. Tearaway is the game that the latest Dualshock has been waiting for.
A reimagining of the BAFTA award-winning PS Vita version, the Tarsier Studios and Media Molecule developers saw unfound potential in the PS4’s controller and reinvented it with further story, characters and functions.
Tearaway immediately burns a hole through the fourth-wall and sucks you into its magnificent paper-craft dimension, allowing you to become a godlike figure in this arts-and-crafts fantasy, the controller being your magic.
This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing games I’ve ever seen. Colourful paper creations litter the environment which you light up and manipulate by holding the R2 trigger down, shining the light of the controller into the world and illuminating its inhabitants and surroundings.
The game is completely psychedelic. It feels like I’m reading a children’s pop-up book on a high dose of LSD. Players will find themselves tripping through a living world, where vibrant works of art will continually unfold around them.
The attention to detail in this material world is staggering. Much time was spent just gazing at clouds, bushes, waterfalls and freaky humanoids, all made out of paper. The lighting in the game is relatively dim, a character turning your television’s lighting down all the way in the beginning. This requires you to scrutinise your surroundings carefully with the light of your controller, taking discovery and surprise to the next level.
The story follows a little paper guy or girl with a letter for a head. Two narrators will guide you along and begin forming the story and events by punching further holes in the fourth-wall and bring elements from our world into theirs. Confetti can be collected to edit your character, adding new features and appendages.
One example of multi-dimensional phenomena is when a narrator decides the story is too sweet and needs a dark turn. She punches a hole into our world and brings in ‘scrap’ – ugly, dull monsters made of trashed newspaper and cardboard to terrorize the inhabitants. The colourful surfaces of the environment will also become boring collages of newspaper and other mundane articles humans use paper for.
It is then your job to eliminate the human litter and return vibrancy to this realm by shining your Dualshock torch on the invading monsters and ugly materials. Burn away writhing newspaper tentacles and lure cuboid scrap monsters into holes in the fabric to get rid of our waste.
Other spells include swiping the touch pad to unleash a gust of wind to eliminate scrap and unfold paper bridges and other crafted structures. You can also use the gyroscope function of the controllers to move stuff around.
There is a great deal of editing and personal inclusion in the game. New papercraft pieces can be made by drawing on the touchpad with your finger. You can also create more pieces using the PlayStation app and a smart device like an iPad and send them to yourself or another. Using the PlayStation camera, you can insert your favourite colours into the game by snapping some aesthetic thing.
Everything in this game has been lovingly and realistically created. The music is also sweet and made with guitar, flutes and percussion instruments. Everything has been hand tailored to give an organic look and feel. With 60 fps and 1080p, this game is true eye-candy.
Tearaway is a loveable and enticing experience with much personal involvement. It will put a huge smile on your face and invoke child-like joy.