Back in 2012, when indie startup Giant Sparrow released The Unfinished Swan, we were bowled over by it, awarding it a rare 10/10 in our review. Understandably, we were subsequently ecstatic when Sony announced earlier in the year that it was bringing the curious campaign to the PlayStation 4 alongside fellow digital download Journey.
Despite complaints from a vocal minority regarding the wealth of retreads and ports on Sony’s next-gen machine, we’d argue that the platform holder’s focused on re-releasing the very best PlayStation 3 titles so far; Flower, The Last of Us, and, now, The Unfinished Swan are all titles that console converts deserve to experience.
And this is a glorious update of an already exceptional escapade. Essentially a first-person shooter with much more imaginitive action, the game initially sees you tossing paint in order to ‘feel’ your way through a whitewash world, before extending into other ideas. While a simple concept, though, it did suffer from some performance hiccups on previous generation hardware.
Fortunately, the title now runs at a silky smooth 60 frames-per-second in 1080p, and, while it’s the same excellent game at heart, this does make a difference. The gameplay also appears to have been improved in places; the second section, for example, which finds you using water blobs to guide vines, is no longer awkward at all, doing exactly what you demand in all instances.
For those out of the loop, the touching tale at the heart of this adventure involves a young boy named Monroe, who travels through one of his deceased mother’s paintings to reach a mysterious fairy tale-esque world. The overall mood of the game – fuelled by its visuals and audio – is staggering, and you’ll leave the three to five hour adventure feeling somewhat uplifted.
We outlined many of the most magical moments in our PS3 review, and they remain just as effective here, plastering a permanent smile on our faces from start to finish. The game is simply successful in everything that it sets out to do; from the storybook pages that you uncover to the voice work of Terry Gilliam, it’s like submerging yourself into the warmest most fascinating place.
And if you’ve already purchased the game, then you have no reason to ignore this re-release, as it’s fully cross-buy compatible with the PS3 and Vita. That means that those of you that bought the resplendent release a couple of years ago will be able to return to this spruced up version absolutely free, which is excellent in itself.
The Unfinished Swan was one of the best games of the previous generation, so it’s a real treat to be able to experience it on new hardware. While the title was already great to begin with, this re-release smoothes out the minor framerate hiccups and gameplay bugs present in the original product – and looks better to boot. With the addition of cross-buy compatibility, this offers the perfect excuse to revisit one of the finest downloadable titles in Sony’s portfolio.
OMG 10/10 never played this game but I might now....
get the feeling this would get a superlative 11 out of 10
I personally enjoyed this more than Journey, which I thought was outstanding as well. Can't wait to see what Giant Sparrow do next.
Personally I don't care for these sorts of game, but that strapline joke is a moment of sheer genius, and is to be applauded.
What about the Vita version Sammy?
@Johnnycide These sorts of game? I don't think a game of this sort has ever existed before lol.
@PorllM journey, braid, myst, flower, vessel.... cerebral, short and not my thing. Those sorts of game.
@Johnnycide haha okay I think I get what you mean.
Really looking forward to playing this. When its on PS plus in 12 months. Thanks Sony. (No sarcasm, really)
@get2sammyb Me too! I love Journey as well, but just something about this one hit a little harder. It feels like it's been forever without so much as a peep about Edith Finch though!
How much is it to buy in the UK?
Does the Vita version hold up ok?
I was going to play it on the handheld but as it's cross-buy might use the PS4 instead...?
I loved the Unfinished Swan...I loved Journey, flower, flow, Braid, limbo, Thomas was Alone...beautifully crafted little games. I've no reason to buy it again ( I guess I'm part of the very vocal minority that haven't bought into repurchasing re-released titles I already own ) as the PS3 version was just fine....if I got the free upgrade as I did with Flower and Flow Id possibly dip into the PS4 version...if nothing else than to play the opening ink/paint throwing section of the game which was always its highlight to me. If the PS4 version gets more gamers to give games like this a shot then it's a good thing....but I think they tend to have a marmite like effect of folk, they either love them or hate them.
@Bad-MuthaAdebis If bet a sizeable chunk of cash it's heading to PS+ at some point in the future.
@LDXD Yeah I'd missed the cross buy bit of the review. I edited my comment when I saw it.
@LDXD @Munkyknuts Cross-buy is the best thing ever. I feel similarly to be honest - loved it on PS3, but wouldn't pay for it again. The fact they just give it away is awesome.
@get2sammyb It is incredibly decent of them. I totally see the benefit of remastering the likes of The Last of Us, Uncharted and God of War, so those that missed out by not having a PS3 can experience them, I've just never seen the reason to repurchase titles I've already played.
Having said that...if they did a remaster of Skyrim or Fallout 3 I'd be willing to murder my way to the front of the line to get them first.
I got this for Free on PS4 somehow... I thaght it was some special offer till I mentiond it to a frend.. must have been a Glitch.. eniway I enjoyed it but didnt think that highly of it (8/10 to me)
@LDXD I'm usually against ports from previous generation, I think the games had their time it's in the past and I enjoyed them during their natural life span.
In the case of Skyrim and Fallout it always felt like the playstation 3 just couldn't handle them properly....the console seemed to be constantly straining to keep up.
I love open world games...being able to wander a world and explore, and experience the game in my own way and at my own pace.
@LDXD lol No kids and I don't Drink well it was strainge... I thoght it was Officialy Free as it was in the "Whats New?" page thing on the PS4 saying "Free" on it. id have screenshot it if i knew it wasnt right lol but i also checked my Email after to make sure i didnt pay for it and it still sed it was free (0.00) lol
More PS3 games on a PS4........snore.
@get2sammyb cheers mate, think I'll buy it when I get home from work
@Bad-MuthaAdebis bring it to the WiiU and I'll actually pay for it. wink
Can't wait to play this once I get back my PS4. Even though I actually don't want to give Sony any more money but Ive been dying to play this game.
Just picked up a second hand vita (for the 3rd time, I will not sell this vita, promise) yesterday and the first game I tried was this, kept me so captivated for 3 hours, half way through I think so will finish it up tonight. Very calming game must say, as I did try Journey and I just didn't get it, I'll try it again after I finish Unfinished Swan.
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