I’m all for triple-A, big budget games, but if a look at my PS4 library reveals anything, it’s that I’m a sucker for smaller, heartfelt indie projects. That’s probably why I can’t stop thinking about Unravel, a game that’s visually overflowing with passion.
The game comes to us from Coldwood Interactive, a Swedish studio of fourteen developers, and debuted at EA’s conference this week. At its surface, Unravel could be described as a 2D platformer, but after even one viewing of the game’s trailer, it’s clear Unravel is shaping up to be so much more than that.
What is so visually unique about Unravel is that while it plays like a 2D side-scroller, the player is part of a fully three-dimensional world; it just so happens that you’re traveling from left to right. This became strikingly apparent in a scene where Yarny, the playable stringed hero of Unravel, is almost run over by a car passing by the 2D camera view on an entirely different plane. You can catch what I mean below:
It’s not the only interesting thing the game does, however. Many of the platforming puzzles and sequences will require physics based logic that make use of the tail of string Yarny is constantly creating with each step they take. Many of these puzzles will have you swinging, making knots, and dreaming up other imaginative solutions to get from one end to the other. It’d be a crime not to point out how striking the visuals are, as Coldwood Interactive created a vision where their red-stringed hero is very much so a part of a diverse, real, and breathing world.
Above all, I’m entranced by Unravel mostly because of the clear adoration for the project that Coldwood Interactive seems to be holding. The game’s Creative Director Martin Sahlin was noticeably nervous on stage, and simultaneously in awe and overjoyed that he had the chance to present his game in front of so many gamers. The way he spoke of Unravel’s premise – one Sahlin dreamed up while on a camping trip with his family – was with such sincere conviction one couldn’t help but feel immersed in his vision. He explains, “The yarn, it represents love and the bonds that we make. And it unravels because that’s what happens when we’re separated from what we love. In this game, you are the red thread that runs through someone’s life trying to tie their missing pieces back together.”
There’s so much creativity that can come out of events like E3, but Unravel has taken centre stage for me as far as endearment and passion go. Martin Sahlin and his team at Coldwood Interactive have something very special in their hands, and I can’t wait to see how it all unravels.
With E3 2015 in full motion, we still have plenty left to say about everything happening down in LA. For more opinions on the gaming world, stay updated @ButtonMasherTO.