The Unfinished Swan Review

The Unfinished Swan Review

A short but brilliant exercise in broadening perception, and utilizing simplicity.

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Why does every artistic game must be short?

It was like that with Flower, Journey, Datura and now The Unfinished Swan. I wonder if it's like that with Papo & Yo too, but I haven't played it yet.

This looks incredible. Why have I never heard of it?

PLATFORM: PS3

oh...

Penguinplayer:
Why does every artistic game must be short?

It was like that with Flower, Journey, Datura and now The Unfinished Swan. I wonder if it's like that with Papo & Yo too, but I haven't played it yet.

Probably has to do with time and budget constraints. Some random indie developer might not want to spend years and potentially millions of dollars on what is basically a proof of concept for some new gameplay mechanic or concept. Get the idea out the door first, and if it's a hit them maybe you expand on it in a sequel or DLC or something.

Interesting. I may have to give this a look on my brother's PS3.

No the problem with this game, to me, is that there is only one playthrough possible. After that, it looses the charm from the sound of it. Its why I like games with multiplayer or the ability to playthrough multiple times. This is something I could not see myself playing money for.

Ah, good to hear that there are plenty of good artistic games out there, I can't want to

"PS3 Exclusive"

...ah poop. First Infamous, then Journey and now this? Why do so many good games have to be on a console I don't own?

Penguinplayer:
Why does every artistic game must be short?

It was like that with Flower, Journey, Datura and now The Unfinished Swan. I wonder if it's like that with Papo & Yo too, but I haven't played it yet.

Many AAA games would be considered artistic - or at least more powerful - if they didn't pad their gameplay to reach arbitrary time goals to make the experience "worth" buying. Shorter is often better when you're trying to deliver a very specific emotional resonance with a game, or craft a very particular experience.

It's also true that most so-called "artistic" games are made by smaller devs that just plain don't have the resources for a 20 hour game.

and again a game not available for the pc or even other platforms. journey is also a game i would have loved to play but cant.

And here I thought this was a review about a game called "Swan" that was so bad you couldn't finish it.

Sweet!

I was really hoping this game would be good since I was a little worried about how it would actually play because of how minimalistic it looks.

I'm perfectly okay playing a short game like this. There's no need for a game to overstay it's welcome if it's trying to do something different, and it's probably why I love Journey so much.

Hey, does anyone have a price point on this? $9.99? $14.99? I'm away from my PS3 for a bit, and I want to know how far off it'll be before I can play this.

erttheking:
Ah, good to hear that there are plenty of good artistic games out there, I can't want to

"PS3 Exclusive"

...ah poop. First Infamous, then Journey and now this? Why do so many good games have to be on a console I don't own?

Yeah, its almost like you made the wrong decision.

Susan Arendt:

Penguinplayer:
Why does every artistic game must be short?

It was like that with Flower, Journey, Datura and now The Unfinished Swan. I wonder if it's like that with Papo & Yo too, but I haven't played it yet.

Many AAA games would be considered artistic - or at least more powerful - if they didn't pad their gameplay to reach arbitrary time goals to make the experience "worth" buying. Shorter is often better when you're trying to deliver a very specific emotional resonance with a game, or craft a very particular experience.

It's also true that most so-called "artistic" games are made by smaller devs that just plain don't have the resources for a 20 hour game.

Plus, there's the simple fact that you cannot spend that lengthy a period of time in one sustained mood. The sense of wonder and amazement at the world around you works for a couple of hours, but after a while a person craves emotional variety in their experience - a joke, a scare, rage, sorrow, or a anything other than wonder.

Team Ico are basically the only people I can think of who can sustain that sense of awe and wonder for slightly longer, and even then their games are on the short side - Ico was famously about 4 hours long.

Foolproof:

erttheking:
Ah, good to hear that there are plenty of good artistic games out there, I can't want to

"PS3 Exclusive"

...ah poop. First Infamous, then Journey and now this? Why do so many good games have to be on a console I don't own?

Yeah, its almost like you made the wrong decision.

Dude, don't open that can of worms. Seriously, it won't end well.

Foolproof:

Susan Arendt:

Penguinplayer:
Why does every artistic game must be short?

It was like that with Flower, Journey, Datura and now The Unfinished Swan. I wonder if it's like that with Papo & Yo too, but I haven't played it yet.

Many AAA games would be considered artistic - or at least more powerful - if they didn't pad their gameplay to reach arbitrary time goals to make the experience "worth" buying. Shorter is often better when you're trying to deliver a very specific emotional resonance with a game, or craft a very particular experience.

It's also true that most so-called "artistic" games are made by smaller devs that just plain don't have the resources for a 20 hour game.

Plus, there's the simple fact that you cannot spend that lengthy a period of time in one sustained mood. The sense of wonder and amazement at the world around you works for a couple of hours, but after a while a person craves emotional variety in their experience - a joke, a scare, rage, sorrow, or a anything other than wonder.

Team Ico are basically the only people I can think of who can sustain that sense of awe and wonder for slightly longer, and even then their games are on the short side - Ico was famously about 4 hours long.

Very well said. That's a great way to explain it - games like Flower, Journey, and Unfinished Swan are all incredible experiences, but they're really just one mood, and various inflections of that mood. That's what makes them so powerful, but also necessarily short.

Yup, that's a PS3 Art Game all right.

Oh man am I INCREDIBLY excited about this. Looks to continue the tradition of Sony downloadable games based solely on mood and atmosphere. Doesn't bother me that it's short, I've only played Journey once as I feel its a game that requires a specific mindset and I don't regret the 15 bucks one bit. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes the indie explosion so important to me, complete experimentation with what this medium can offer us. I can't wait.

Got to play this early at the EB expo, if I had a PS3 I'd totally buy this...

I'm starting to say that more and more now, hmm.

Looks very interesting but... honestly... also rather tedious.
Then again, Mike Kayatta said there was enough variation. I suppose if they mix it up enough...
Also, PS3 exclusive means I'm disqualified anyway.

Can't wait for the Steam release (assuming there will be one). I've been waiting for this game to come out, and was pretty disappointed when it was a PS3 exclusive...

Guess I'll just have to wait.

maninahat:
PLATFORM: PS3

oh...

Hahah! I think this was the reaction of many PS3 gamers when they saw platforms for Xbox. Examples: Halo... Yeah, about it, really.

OT: I had an idea for a game like this a few years back. I don't know if it's because I have a mental disorder, or something, but my dreams usually get very dark, hurtful and oddly creative. In one of the dreams I have, I had to put my hand forward and splash white infront of me, to see the contrast outside the plain-blackness of everything around me.

I think I'll probably like this game a lot because of my dream. On that note, this reminds me of that Magic Brush, Mickey Mouse game... But actually good.

Draxz:

maninahat:
PLATFORM: PS3

oh...

Hahah! I think this was the reaction of many PS3 gamers when they saw platforms for Xbox. Examples: Halo... Yeah, about it, really.

It gets on my nerves. PS3 get lots of the neat artsy alternate games which never make it to other platforms: Journey, Flower, Nobi Nobi Boy....

maninahat:

Draxz:

maninahat:
PLATFORM: PS3

oh...

Hahah! I think this was the reaction of many PS3 gamers when they saw platforms for Xbox. Examples: Halo... Yeah, about it, really.

It gets on my nerves. PS3 get lots of the neat artsy alternate games which never make it to other platforms: Journey, Flower, Nobi Nobi Boy....

I'm surprised it isn't on Steam. Especially with the amount of indie games they share and etc. Though, on the upper-side... At least you'll always have more games than what the Ouya does. I can't wait 'til that comes out.

 

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