Unravel Review – A Not So Epic Yarn

It’s got the look of a big-deal indie game, but it’s all style and zero substance.

01

Developer: Coldwood Interactive
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Format: PC, PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One
Released: February 9, 2016
Copy purchased

Unravel is adorable, that much was almost universally agreed upon the moment the world first saw Yarny, its feline wool protagonist. A gorgeous game with a cute hero and a stunning soundtrack, Unravel has production value in spades and benefits from one hell of a unique presentation.

Unfortunately, that’s about all it has going for it, because outside of its saccharine appeal, Unravel is about as pedestrian a puzzle-platformer as you could hope to find.

Yarny’s adventure suffers from following in the footsteps of better produced and more inventive games, games it shamelessly pilfers for ideas while delivering little of significance outside of its aesthetic.

Most challenges involve pushing objects from point A to point B in order to reach high ledges, occasionally tying yarn between two points in order to create ramps – basement-level busywork that does nothing to stimulate the brain.

When you’re not doing that, you’ll use Yarny’s threaded appendages to lasso and swing from grapple points, create makeshift trampolines, and run away from rocky landsides. Basically, you’ll do things you’ve done in dozens of puzzle platformers over the years.

Worse, you’ll put up with terrible physics along the way, and a protagonist with jumps so wonky you’d swear their surname was Belmont.

The weightless nature of objects and characters, coupled with wild and unwieldy swinging mechanics, makes Unravel feel almost exactly like Littlebigplanet, along with the same simplistic “push/pull” non-puzzles found in that series’ most basic example levels.

It’s not uncommon to get objects stuck in the ground, as Yarny struggles to pull a crucial rock into position because it caught on something. Even the heaviest looking objects have no sense of gravity. Yarny itself struggles with recognizing ledges, sometimes missing jumps they’re clearly supposed to make.

02

Choosing style over functionality, Unravel features richly detailed environments alongside terrific animations, but terrible visual feedback and poor communication with the player.

There are moments where interactive objects are indistinguishable from static walls and subsequently obscured. Ledges you can grip and platforms that are just part of the background decoration all look the same, with trial-and-error being the only way to tell the difference. Climbable walls are marked only by a faint glimmer, almost impossible to make out in certain areas.

Unravel is so concerned with looking pretty, it fails to provide its player adequate tools for progress.

Compare this to Limbo, a game Unravel shamelessly mimics in more than a few ways. With its monochrome color scheme and gradual drip-feed of mechanics, Limbo is excellent at informing players without so much as uttering a single word. The boldly contrasting color scheme makes objects distinct, and players learn to implement new ideas as they go.

None of this is true with Coldwood Interactive’s effort.

Unravel is a gorgeous mess as everything blends into each other, while a terrible tutorial opens the game. It inelegantly dumps a wad of text on players and even goes so far as to detail mechanics that won’t show up until far later in the game, by which time they’ll have likely been forgotten.

What we’re looking at here is a poor mimicking of two superior productions – it’s LittleBigPlanet without the user-generated content, and Limbo without the well designed levels or puzzles.

Unravel straddles a frustrated line between these two games, bringing nothing but a suite of intellectually lazy and repetitive puzzles, a character that feels unpleasant to control, and some challenges that reek of “guess what the developer was thinking” rather than well-communicated objectives.

03

Coldwood made one of those ironic games that get more enjoyable the less like a game they resemble. There are fun moments to be had, but they’re all too fleeting and have nothing to do with puzzle-platforming.

Subtle sequences that feature Yarny walking through the world, confused and mesmerized by their colorful surroundings, are heartwarming. All-too brief segments where one is steering a kite, lassoing a fish to ride across a pond, or hanging from a floating carrier bag are breathtaking.

These little moments are where Unravel appears to have the most fun with itself, and the comparatively banal puzzles come off like token gestures toward gameplay – a case of Unravel putting in the bare minimum to be considered a game so it can concentrate on its audiovisual impressiveness.

Indeed, the looks and the sounds are truly captivating, but scratch all that away and there’s just no substance to be found. Nothing but a mediocre offering caught desperately aping infinitely better examples of its genre. Its mawkish narrative, communicated via photographs and other imagery, might be enough to charm some folks, but it does little to inject actual life into the game.

The only original idea Unravel has going for it is Yarny’s stringy limitations. Yarny survives from wad of yarn to wad of yarn, requiring frequent checkpoints to rebuild itself after trailing a length of string everywhere it goes. A handful of puzzles require players to be mindful of this – choosing optimal routes to the next checkpoint to save on yarn and not get caught on a tight leash.

There was a lot of scope for this idea, and it could have made for an outstanding and clever experience. Unfortunately, I mean it when I say it’s a handful of puzzles, relegating what could have been the entire basis for a clever game to mere gimmick territory.

04

Unravel, quite frankly, comes off as too amateurish to capitalize on its own potential. The ridiculous tutorial, unpredictable physics, and obfuscating visual design are rookie mistakes, while the primitive puzzles that make up the majority of obstacles could be thrown together by any hobbyist game designer dicking around with basic tools.

Cloying adorability is Unravel‘s saving grace. Propped up on a crutch constructed from mawkish sentimentality, it gets away with a fair few missteps and manages to claw together a smattering of memorable moments.

This pretty shell, however, is undeniably a shell, and no amount of pretty little animations can make up for a total drought of engaging game design.

4/10
Subpar

Martina Veselá
Guest
Martina Veselá

Shame, I was quite looking forward to this. Oh well, if it’s bad then it’s bound to be free on PS+ at some point. I’ll grab it then.

Solipsis
Guest
Solipsis

If you were looking forward to it, why don’t you read other reviews?

The trailer represents the game very well, so if you like the trailer you will like the game.

Martina Veselá
Guest
Martina Veselá

I did watch and read several reviews and they all say the same thing: the game looks good but the gameplay kinda sucks. It’s just $20 so I might get it eventually, but for now I’m going with Firewatch.

Spiderman Three
Guest
Spiderman Three

Cool review Jean!

TΛPETRVE
Guest
TΛPETRVE

Funny, it’s not even like Jim’s opinion is in any way unique. Almost every outlet that isn’t busy drooling over the presentation has given it at least a lukewarm response, if not outright laughed it out of court.

Zippydsmlee
Guest

People like ignoring that….

MrInsecure
Guest
MrInsecure

This makes me sad, because both the character and the developer were goddamn adorable at E3. Oh well, back to the knitting needles, I suppose.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Dude, this game fuckin rocks. Stop listening to these pussy critics!!!

MrInsecure
Guest
MrInsecure

…who are you, and why are you so weirdly passionate about yarn?

Is there something you’d like to share with the class, Daniel?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I’m a reminder that you can FORM YOUR OWN FUCKIN OPINION AND NOT HAVE TO BLINDLY FOLLOW CRITICS

Yond
Guest
Yond

But the reason why we go to critics is to find an opinion on a game from someone like minded, that way we don’t waste money on something we don’t like. If I’m remembering correctly if you buy it on PSN or Xbox you can’t get a refund, literally wasted money.

Gorantharon
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Gorantharon

While I like reading critics who have similar opinions to mine, it often benefits me more reading reviews from people who don’t.

If at the end of the review all or most of the things that they find detrimental in a game are on a ,”whatever”, “not important to me”, or even “exactly what I WANT”, scale, that helps me more than a gushing endorsement.

A negative review will point those (percieved) flaws out as they need to explain them to give reason to their evalutation.

Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

yeah. But then why the fuck are you on a critic’s website screaming at them for having an opinion too? Its almost like you’re fine with people having an opinion so long as that opinion agrees with yours otherwise you just pretend they dont have an opinion.

TLDR : fuck off.

Ashley Lewis
Guest
Ashley Lewis
“FORM YOUR OWN FUCKIN OPINION” *right below your comment is your other comment* “This game fuckin rocks. Go buy it people” Uh huh. So what you mean to say is, don’t listen to the REVIEWERS opinion, listen to MY opinion, because it’s mine and only mine is valid. Its ok to not like something, and its also ok to like something. Don’t have to get bent out about it, all of our opinion’s are valid. Don’t get made or feel bad if something you enjoy is disliked by someone else, maybe that person has just had too much of that… Read more »
Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

this. Fuck, I mean. I know my favorite videogame series, super robot wars, can be fucking unimaginative and derivative and isnt ever going to set the sales or review charts on fire. That doesnt mean I have a conniption when they dont get a 10/10 glowing review.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

It’s called Unravel. Dipshit

Cynthia McGarvie
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Cynthia McGarvie

I hope that made you feel special inside, Daniel.

Version_8
Guest
Version_8

The “feels” is strong with you.

Ashley Lewis
Guest
Ashley Lewis

Considering the fact that a small grammar mistake was your only problem with what I said, I’ll take that as a success!

Games are for fun, so stop getting angry at negative reviews from a D-list reviewer and go play a game you like have fun, don’t worry about what other people think of that game or you, you don’t need an excuse to like games or a specific game, that’s just you, have confidence in that.

That’s just my advice though c;

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I’m sorry, Ashley. I’ve just.. had it with critics. Especially people that review games they have no interest in. What’s the point? To lure people out of a genuinely fun experience that appealed to them before reading this review? It’s sick to me

Mulecenter78
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Mulecenter78

Excellent retort. The Unraveled vs. Unravel portion of Ashley’s comment is the Achilles heel of her argument.

Also isn’t it weird to get upset about Jim disliking a game while you’re up in arms about liking the same game? Seems like two sides of the same coin. If we read the same review I’d say Jim was a lot calmer about disliking Unraveled than you seem to be about liking it.

Taylor Dierks
Guest
Taylor Dierks

And most people even on this site have formed a fairly positive opinion of Jim’s critiqueing sensibilities. They wouldn’t read this review if they didn’t trust it to inform them so that could do just that, form their own opinion.

BTW, if you want people to take what you’re saying seriously, you should reconsider writing in all caps so much.

MrInsecure
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MrInsecure

If I’m free to follow or not follow critics, why are you so mad at Jim’s opinion?

Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

because the only true free opinion is to agree with him. Any other opinion and you’re just following like sheeple.

Version_8
Guest
Version_8

You are also a reminder why angry simpletons deem it necessary to use all CAPS to get their point across.

Schiller
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Schiller

Dude, get out of Jims safe space!!

Solipsis
Guest
Solipsis

Or, you know, you could just try the game if you were interested in it, instead of letting one person dictate what you play and don’t play.

Very close-minded approach to games.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Exactly. These pussies eat up whatever these critics SHIT OUT

Pitch
Guest
Pitch

Is there a demo available or would someone have to pay full price?

Solipsis
Guest
Solipsis

I actually have no idea if there is a demo. I didn’t see one on PS4 but I can’t vouch for Origin or any other platform it is on.

If you are on the fence, I’d highly suggest checking out more on the game. I went in blind because I felt like supporting this game regardless of how well it was received, and I am very happy with it!

Pitch
Guest
Pitch
That’s kind of my point. Without a demo I either buy a game blind or read reviews. The problem with buying a game blind is there is no standardized refund policy, so I can’t get my money back. Jim Sterling is just one review, but you seem really defensive towards it for the fact that he didn’t like the game. If the tables were turned and he were recommending this game, I don’t think you would be so adamant in telling people to be more informed and listen to more reviews. He’d already be telling people your opinion and that… Read more »
Solipsis
Guest
Solipsis
I’m suggesting people read other reviews for this specifically because of the overly cynical and exaggerated nature of this particular review. It’s not about my opinion being challenged. You’re making the assumption that I do not have that attitude. I think that we should always take in multiple sources when it comes to spending large sums of money… that is, unless it’s a subjective no-brainer. I am not going to drop $90 (CAD.. that dollar is horrid) on some weird game like the Division that has been vague for years on what exactly it offers just because I think it… Read more »
Pitch
Guest
Pitch
So first you say you agree with me that people should take in multiple reviews before making a purchase. But what strikes me as hypocritical is you want people to disregard one of those opinions entirely. So the reality is you don’t want people to read reviews when it doesn’t reflect your own personal experience. Questioning criticism leads to incredible discussion and I think you’ll find people will become more engaged when they can get a back-and-forth approach to a topic. When you simply dismiss criticism (“don’t listen to Jim Sterling he’s just wrong!”) you come off as blindly defending… Read more »
mickeyGfunk
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mickeyGfunk

+1 for Pitch. the reason we read reviews is so we don’t waste the money on a game before finding out we don’t like it, so don’t call them “close-minded”

Solipsis
Guest
Solipsis
Except that a single review can only give you so much. If I listened to reviews, or specifically, one single review on some of my favourite games and movies and hell, even music, I never would’ve tried them. Jim clearly dislikes this game, and while I can’t say everything he says is wrong, and I can kinda see where he’s coming from on several aspects, I strongly disagree with his assessment of the way levels are designed, how emotional it is, and some of the mechanical issues I listed below in another comment. I’m saying this person is close-minded because… Read more »
Squinty
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Squinty

Why do you assume they listen to a single review?

Solipsis
Guest
Solipsis

By the wording of the comment.

But, if they didn’t listen to just this one review, fine, it doesn’t even apply to them.

Spider Jerusalem
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Spider Jerusalem

Hello, handsome. I like your avatar.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Jim Sterling.. You’re a COCK SUCKING BITCH… This game fuckin rocks. Go buy it people. Don’t listen to this cum basket

Aaron B
Guest
Aaron B

Okay. I’ll listen to you because you’re using caps lock and shouting slurs.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Thank you! People forget they’re allowed to form their own opinion on shit instead of TAKING ALL THESE SHITTY CRITICS WORD FOR IT

Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

“form your own opinion sheeple. Unless you slag this game then fuck you for being a shill”

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Yes! Now you get me!

Katharina Maple
Guest
Katharina Maple

I just imagine everyone having a polite dinner conversation in fine evening wear when you suddenly crash in yelling while wearing a bloody outfit made of bearskins.

Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

I just find it fucking hilarious he demands everyone form their own opinion on the game like theres absolutely no risk in hauling off and purchasing it, or like thhat we would all as one agree with him and not Jim if we kept an “open mind”. It reminds me of the fuckwaffles who think every male on earth who dares support womens rights is either a self-hating victim or out for pussy and couldnt possibly have virtuous motives..

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Man, so many great words in your vocabulary… But fuckwaffles? hahahaha

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Oh c’mon, like that’d be such a bad thing.. Who doesn’t like the story of the guy you never forget?

Even Luck
Guest
Even Luck

OOOOOOOHHHHHHH…..
I’m blue da ba dee da ba die da ba dee da ba die da ba dee da ba die da ba dee da ba die da ba dee da ba die

Cynthia McGarvie
Guest
Cynthia McGarvie

Sounds to me like you’re besties with the dev.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

=(

Fallen Prime
Guest
Fallen Prime
FIRST OF ALL. “they’re allowed to form their own opinion on shit” You say this in a comment chain that you started off by DEMANDING THAT PEOPLE BUY THE GAME. You just want them to obey YOU, not Jim. Second of all, as someone mentioned in another chain… this industry is tits when it comes to refunds, most venues flat-out not offering them. If someone picks up Unravel and ends up not liking it, all they have to show for it is a “meh” game stuck in their library and a hole in their wallet. That sale is all they… Read more »
Katharina Maple
Guest
Katharina Maple

Use your inside voice. You’re acting irrational.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Wake up. Stop eating whatever these critics shit out

Michael Campbell
Guest
Michael Campbell

Perhaps you should try using logic, or reason, instead of trying to insult people into blindly following you instead of “the critics”?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Good point

Jim Sterling
Guest

Haha, eat shit you pointless little dickhead.

Aaron B
Guest
Aaron B

PAID REVIEW

WHAT A JOKE

YOU’RE NOT A TRUE HARDCORE GAMER, JIM

Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

OMG JIM MAD MAX IS REVOLUTIONARY HOW DARE YOU

Even Luck
Guest
Even Luck

toga toga toga toga.

George
Guest
George

Just putting this out there…I would be your cock sucking bitch any day Jim.
😉

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

This right here with what you’re all saying inside.. Thanks, George for clarifying

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

This right here is what you’re all saying inside.. Thanks, George for clarifying

George
Guest
George

Oh, I’m not talking about the review…

ThEjOkErIsWiLd
Guest
ThEjOkErIsWiLd

Right, we shouldn’t listen to Jim, we should listen to you!

….wait, who the fuck are you again?

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I’ll tell you what I’m not… A D-List review that has an influence over people that can’t form their own opinions and choose their own experiences

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I’ll tell you what I’m not… A D-List reviewer that has an influence over people that can’t form their own opinions and choose their own experiences

Fallen Prime
Guest
Fallen Prime

See, it’s not even like he counts “D-list” as an insult.

H.E.V.nix
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H.E.V.nix

Hypocritical little fuck are we?

froyton
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froyton

Can you give me a detailed review explaining why I should buy the game? “This game fuckin rocks” is not sufficient, I’m afraid.

Mr Waffle
Guest
Mr Waffle

Damn… I’ll wait for it on PS Plus I guess.

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

Probably won’t take long, what with their track record of average 2D platformers.

Kristus
Guest
**I wrote this comment in response to a person who objected to the review because he didn’t agree with it. While I was typing however, the comment was removed. It’s a common occurrence and I feel that my point is valid for many people regardless of games. So I am posting it anyway. I’ve not played the game, and never heard of it before this review. From seeing the shots it certainly looks like a very good looking game. But what I took away from this review, was not so much that it was a game burdened by not being… Read more »
Katharina Maple
Guest
Katharina Maple

The game’s trailer did not indicate at all that it was a revolutionary puzzle platformer. I think if the trailer looked good to you, you’ll enjoy the game. However if you are expecting a game changer to the likes of Super Mario 64, you’ll be sorely let down. But that’s the majority of games. It’s a lovely emotional game with fantastic visuals. That’s exactly what I expected from seeing the trailer and that’s exactly what I got.

Kristus
Guest

That’s very nice. I’m not particularly interested in puzzle platformers as a genre myself. I enjoyed the beginning of Limbo for instance, but soon got rather tired of it. And the only reason I even finished it was through sheer determination.

I like puzzle games like Myst, but there is a strong narrative there that pushes it onward which I can’t say I’ve really seen done in these kind of games so far.

Katharina Maple
Guest
Katharina Maple
Ah yeah, I love point and click adventure games in the same vein as Myst as well, but they are definitely very different from these types of games. Fans of one might not be fans of the other. They are usually tougher too. A lot of these indie platformers (I know this isn’t technically an indie) are a big treat for me since they have such a unique look to them and generally aren’t horribly difficult. Also they don’t overstay their welcome like so many massive games these days. I put games like Unravel (Rain, Never Alone, Limbo, etc) in… Read more »
Max Whiteley
Guest
Max Whiteley

Why does Riven never get any love?

Solipsis
Guest
Solipsis

I deleted my comments because I don’t feel like waking up to 20 notifications about how much of an asshole I am for speaking my mind. It’s not fun for the ol’ mood.

It’s funny though, you call me arrogant for trying to inform people that Jim is exaggerating on almost all accounts and objectively misrepresenting the game, yet you felt felt it so necessary to post your massive wall of text despite my comments being gone.

Kristus
Guest
Like I said, I don’t care about the game. This is applicable for any game and any review. But what is an issue is people who can not accept that a reviewer might not share their opinion. And instead of accepting that you and the reviewer come from different perspectives on the matter. You instead go to invalidate the reviewer’s opinion in favor of putting yours on top of it as the “right” opinion. As I pointed out, neither of you are wrong in your different opinions of the game. But you’re not helping anyone by pretending that either of… Read more »
Solipsis
Guest
Solipsis
I don’t think you get it. There are a few things in the review that are just flat-out wrong. I agree with him on some of the review. The puzzles aren’t phenomenal and the platforming is pretty basic. It doesn’t blow you away and so far at least, it hasn’t done anything really unique. The game was never meant to be the next Portal. Why anyone thought it was going to be revolutionary is beyond me. The trailer shows a charming, simplistic platformer with lovely visuals and some great style. It delivers on everything it showed in my opinion. My… Read more »
Kristus
Guest
If you want your words to speak for themselves. Then I suggest you don’t delete your posts. But I don’t believe I put words in your mouth. Your post wasn’t a raging fit like Daniel up there is going through. But instead of responding to the article and discussing the points. You chose to act derisive towards the author of the article. Which is not very constructive. Feel free to express where your tastes differ. But there is really no reason to use it as a weapon. But thanks for going more into detail on your own objections to the… Read more »
Even Luck
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Even Luck
No I don’t think you get it, either. These reviews are based off his experiences with the games, not others. You may not have had any issues with the jump mechanics, but he did. You may not have had the issue with the objects stuck in the environment, but he did. I don’t understand why you and so many others on this site take issue with him misrepresenting the game. If he had said something along the lines of, “It’s an FPS where you shoot yarn out of your cock, 10/10,” then we’d have an issue. But clearly, his experience… Read more »
Solipsis
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Solipsis

Or he’s overstating it, which is what I was implying.

I don’t know how it’s even possible to get the objects stuck.

Katharina Maple
Guest
Katharina Maple

I wouldn’t take this review very seriously. Jim has awful taste when it comes to a lot of games. Fallout 4 is great according to him and in general he doesn’t seem to like a lot of charming smaller games. I would definitely read other reviews by people who actually enjoy the genre of games Unravel falls under.

Also, many of the negatives Jim lists could be seen as positives depending on what kind of game you are looking for. Just don’t see this review as the end all be all.

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

I think every single one of his fans knows that. He’s giving his opinion. That’s based on what he likes. People who find themselves having a lot in common with him will take something different from this than those who don’t.

That being said, I bought Fallout 4 on his recommendation. That was an error. It’s not a bad game, it’s just a bad Fallout.

Katharina Maple
Guest
Katharina Maple
“I think every single one of his fans knows that. He’s giving his opinion.” I’m just going by the comments I see on this post. So many people are saying that they won’t buy it now because of this review when they thought it looked good. If you thought it wasn’t your thing, then by all means don’t get it. But if you thought it looked good before this review then I really don’t think Jim should change your mind. And yeah, I also agree with Fallout 4 although I think it’s a pretty weak game in general. Especially as… Read more »
Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

That’s a fair point, I guess. He definitely shouldn’t be the only source of an opinion.

Fallout was a pretty good shooter, but I wanted an RPG.

Taylor Dierks
Guest
Taylor Dierks

As someone who also loves Fallout 4 to near-death, I can tell you I certainly found Jim’s review spot-on. I would’ve like dmore RPG elements in the game like more varied dialogue and quest endings of course, but I certainly wasn’t very disappointed by what we got.

But as for this review influencing people’s decisions wether or not to buy, those people clearly trust Jim’s critiqueing ability enough to dissuade them from anything the game’s PR could come up with to sell itself.

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

I was extremely disappointed with what I got. There felt like there were next to no RPG elements. Especially when everyone played the same character. That’s no fun.

I was never going to buy this for any reason other than I liked the guy who revealed it. That’s not quite enough to make me spend more than $5 on a 2D platformer.

Taylor Dierks
Guest
Taylor Dierks

I’m sorry you were so disappointed. Never a good feeling, specially for a game you were presumably looking forward to. I felt like they did a great job, considering the scope of what they were after. What particular RPG elements did you feel were lacking? I felt the dialogue was left wanting due to the constraints of having to voice the main protagonist, but was otherwise satisfied for the most part.

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass
I had actually been very sceptical, but caved when I saw the glowing day one reviews. The elements I felt were lacking were the skills and interesting perks of the previous games. The things that unlocked when skills reached a certain point. Rather than a percentage chance in dialogue, I liked being able to earn unique choices by how I specialised my character. There was no sense that any new characters were different to my last when I tried to replay it. Like you said, the dialogue options were extremely limited. In the past, you’d have several unique ones unlock… Read more »
Taylor Dierks
Guest
Taylor Dierks
I absolutely agree on all counts there. I just don’t know if Bethesda’s hands weren’t tied in the design though. Because for all the lack of replayability I lost due to the voiced character giving me a more structured narrative to the point of railroading, I know several people who couldn’t even get through a single play if the protagonist was mute, as that unfortunately destroys their ability to invest themselves in the character interactions when they are, audio-wise, one-sided. And I know others who were VERY bothered by how much content they feel was being gated off from them… Read more »
Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

I don’t understand that, not being invested in the character. It just meant that the character ended up being whatever they interpreted it to be.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain about not being able to access perks. I only ever saw them as things some future character would be able to explore. As for killing off a main NPC, that’s part of the game. The game shaped around that.

Taylor Dierks
Guest
Taylor Dierks
Yeah, but many people who played the previous games felt the sheer length and size of the games necessitated them experiencing every possible outcome in their first playthrough, whether that be because they didn’t want to put the time into another playthrough or because they don’t feel like doing quests they’ve already done just to do quests they haven’t yet. They want their first playthrough to contain every worthwhile bit of content in the game’s world so they feel they didn’t miss out on anything. Choice is just much more of a burden than a feature to many folk. What… Read more »
Michael Treiger
Guest
Michael Treiger

i disagree, Fallout 4 is a crap shooter but the game’s very unique, there’s no other game in the market that offers what fallout 4 does, it doesnt have any direct competitors. Whether its an insufficient rpg or an insufficient shooter is besides the point, what it offers no other game offers, this is what i like best about bethesda gameworks games in general.

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

I seem to be one of few who liked the feel of combat in that game.

I don’t think it’s unique at all. I think it’s just a watered down version of the previous games.

It mixes together elements that many other games do much, much better and fails because of it.

Michael Treiger
Guest
Michael Treiger

Well from other Bethesda games yes with some new stuff added. Some stuff was watered down and other stuff improved that’s what i think.

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

The stuff they took out really wasn’t made up for by the new stuff. It still only felt like it was worth one playthrough. A comparatively brief one.

Quests didn’t have many options for how to complete them, it was always going to be the same character with the same few dialogue options, so many quests were the same ‘go here, kill these ghouls, find this thing, report back’ structure etc.

Kristus
Guest
Well, there are two ways to read that. That the game looks good can mean a lot of different things. The visuals come to mind, the game play as presented. But if the game play is reported to not be up to snuff. Then that can be cause for hesitation. Regardless of how you feel about the visual aspect. Those of you who questioned the review here hasn’t actually touched any of the actual criticism that Jim delivered to the game in his review. The way the game controls and how it got issues with presentation. These things can be… Read more »
Pitch
Guest
Pitch
I think you need to take a serious step back and realize what reviews mean to a lot of people. With so many different types of media available to consume, there’s just no way to sort through it all. Worse yet, pay full price for all these things. Reviews act as a filter, a way to gather evidence to help weed out the things that may or may not need a second look. Just like movie reviews, video game reviews are subject to taste and personal preference. If you go to rottentomatoes, you will see an enormous list of critics… Read more »
peter
Guest
peter

I guess it depends on how much the reviewers tastes align with yours. If you’ve never disagreed then I guess it could be good enough to base your decision on 1 review. However if you’ve disagreed in the past then it’s a good idea to check several more.

Jim Sterling
Guest

I hope that made you feel better. <3

Katharina Maple
Guest
Katharina Maple

It did. <3

SHODAN
Guest
SHODAN

To what degree must one be childish and immature to provide such an ill-formed and hostile reply? I would have hoped years in the industry would have made you see that some people simply don’t like what you like. And yet to reply to such a well-meant argument in such a cynical way. Mr. Sterling, you’re smaller than you’ve ever been. You’ve stooped lower than my 8 year old cousin who eats his own buggers.

CyanManta
Guest
CyanManta

Okay, if you like the game and you’re secure in your opinion, why do you care what Jim has to say? Why do you care what ANY critic has to say?

Pitch
Guest
Pitch

It all comes down to personal validation. They feel if someone criticizes something they enjoy, they themselves are being criticized. They become just as defensive as they would if you called them an idiot, because in their eyes that’s where the conversation has turned. You are calling them an idiot for liking a bad thing.

But nobody is saying anything remotely close to that. We all just want to discuss video games, the good and the bad. Learn from mistakes.

Shiggins
Guest
Shiggins

I would have loved to see Jim review the new Digimon game that came out in Western countries.

IcarusLives
Guest
IcarusLives
This review is a bit ridiculous. I’ve been reading your stuff since early Dtoid and while I think you’re generally on point, this is definitely an exception. Unravel may not revolutionize puzzle platforming, but it is definitely a charming and enjoyable platformer with some great music and wonderful aesthetic. It’s quirky and full of heart, whether or not it does anything truly innovative. (Which I think is amusing considering how you forgive such tepid pieces of garbage like Dynasty Warriors, which are the amalgamation of everything bad in this industry that you so vehemently fight for in the Jimquisition videos).… Read more »
treeroy
Guest
treeroy

“Jim doesn’t share the same point of view as me, therefore his review is ridiculous!”

IcarusLives
Guest
IcarusLives

Not what I’m saying.

He’s being overly critical of Unravel for not innovating or mixing things up enough when there are so many games right now that don’t innovate further poison this industry, that don’t get such negativity.

I expect a ton of hate for my comment though. I just felt like saying it when I see a sea of comments that are dismissing it outright because of the review.

I like the game quite a bit and I think people should try it out! I also like Jim and make sure to thank God for him on a nightly basis.

dennett316
Guest
dennett316
He tore Mad Max a new one for not doing anything new as well, and has said the same of other games that a lot of people like. It’s also a bit much to blame Jim for people’s reactions to this review. If people want to take just Jim’s view into account to dismiss the game…who cares? If those people haven’t seen footage, or read other reviews, then how likely is it they were going to buy the thing anyway? Even if they haven’t….so what? If they trust Jim’s judgement enough for whatever reason – they feel he has similar… Read more »
raphsere
Guest
raphsere

Wow, Jim was right: people DO always brings up Dynasty Warriors when trying to invalidate his opinion.

dennett316
Guest
dennett316

I’m sure Vanquish will get brought up next. Then Mad Max.

squirrel_killer
Guest
squirrel_killer
Look not liking Vanquished is the highest form of heresy possible to commit. I’d put it high enough on the list to export Jim to a planet of his own to carry out exterminatious (can you tell what one of my hobbies is?) centered on his fat ass. That said, I don’t see how someone liking one game but hating another discredits them as a valid source. I only agree with Jim 60% of the time, and I normally know exactly where I’d disagree reading his reviews. Jim is usually spot on when it comes to describing gameplay, even if… Read more »
Nathan Aldana
Guest
Nathan Aldana

which is funny given I consider dynasty warriors Gundam and One Piece Musou warriors some of my best ‘I need mindless fun” games.

TimRobbins
Guest
TimRobbins

Thought I might need to install Origin there for a second. Maybe if another origin humble rolls around. Can’t be arsed to deal with another mediocre PC platform limited to a mediocre publisher who makes mediocre games.

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

Oh man, are you saying Unravel has unraveled?!

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

I think he’s saying it wasn’t tight en… It was too loosely… It’s shite. He reckons it’s shite.

SilentPony
Guest
SilentPony

That’s not a yarn pun! Stop stringing this along!

Kevin Wilson
Guest
Kevin Wilson

mmmm do I have any yarn puns?…….Nope, I’m a frayed knot

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m knot buying into this.

Fuck.

Susy Q
Guest
Susy Q

Awww I was planning on getting this to feel the FEELZ but I guess i’ll just watch the let’s play of it.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Hey what the fuck!! You’re just gonna give up over some douches opinion? I played the game and and freaking loved it!

Sylocat
Guest

I wonder if they could put in a level editor. I’d be interested to see if the players could do any better at designing puzzles for this thing.

squirrel_killer
Guest
squirrel_killer

Most likely. That’s why Little Big Planet is the only game I have more hours into than Skyrim.

Astralfury
Guest
Astralfury

Jim, so in short would you say it’s…Frayed around the edges?

Michael Treiger
Guest
Michael Treiger

Will there be a review of The Witness? anyway this flew totally under my radar as i’m currently detoxing from puzzle games after finishing The Witness

Chip Self
Guest
Chip Self

I was excited to play this…until I found it was Origin exclusive on PC, and I read the myriad of mixed reviews.

Shame, really.

Michael Treiger
Guest
Michael Treiger

Origin isn’t that bad, they do decent sales like on Steam and it isn’t very intrusive

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

I’ve only ever had problems with Origin. Stopping downloads without telling me, downloading an update every single time I launch it, etc.

Plus, I’ve mostly used it for Battlefield, and for some reason it insisted on also launching a browser to find games. I’ve just avoided it as much as I can now.

Fen
Guest
Fen

“Plus, I’ve mostly used it for Battlefield, and for some reason it insisted on also launching a browser to find games”
That’s the way Battlefield is designed, nothing to do with Origin.

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

I get that, but it’s still associated with it and made me dark on the whole thing.

Chip Self
Guest
Chip Self

I’ve never been able to get games on it to run smoothly; I just don’t see at as an alternative to Steam in its current form.

Michael Treiger
Guest
Michael Treiger

well its not an alternative to steam as it has a pathetically small library. If an EA game doesnt run smoothly its almost always EA’s fault rather than the shop.

SHODAN
Guest
SHODAN

Origin is objectively a million times better than Steam…unless you have a shrine dedicated to GabeN in your house.

Dooid
Guest
Dooid

Poor Yarney 😢 Can’t say I agree but I see where you’re coming from, it’s puzzle elements are certainly it’s weakest link. However, I think the general aesthetic, varied levels and Yarney charm pulls you through the 5 hours gameplay. I thought it was good value for €20

Aiwass
Guest
Aiwass

It’s a shame. I loved the guy who presented it. He was just adorable. The character, too. It’s just that these 2D puzzle platformers are so overdone and boring. Unravel really needed to do something spectacular to stand out and it doesn’t seem like it has.

Maybe I’m just incredibly fucking sick of the shitty 2D platformers Playstation Plus has given since I subscribed.

Daavpuke
Guest
Unravel is a pure effort in marketing that actually otherwise is a bland platformer with no real value? Who could’ve told you that, except for me, like the second it was announced? Seriously, almost every press bit was about either how lovable Yarny is supposed to be, trotting them around the world, or how quirky the designer with their hand-tattoo is. Because they’re not like normal devs; this one’s got a tattoo on their hand. Rarely did the game actually show anything beyond the simple line throwing/connecting. Likely because it just wasn’t there. I have no idea how just some… Read more »
Robert Barton
Guest
Robert Barton

Well to be fair it seemed like a really neat and unique concept on paper and in the gameplay demo as it had
1. A unique photorealistic visual style not really seen in previous plat formers
2. Physics based platforming based on having a large string of yarn following you that you use to manipulate and pull the objects around you

Seemed promising at first glance I guess

LazyGamer
Guest
LazyGamer

4/10? You monster. http://i.imgur.com/yNMBsa2.jpg

It’s one of the best games EA has funded this year. The graphics, gameplay and soundtrack are wonderfully done.

Only fault I have is some of the puzzles are really tough, I had to look on youtube to get them done. But maybe that was just me.

I rate is a solid 7/10.

Zippydsmlee
Guest

And that tells everyone how bad all the EA games are…

Duster
Guest
Duster

“It’s one of the best games EA has funded this year.”

IT’S FEBRUARY 10TH.

HisDivineOrder
Guest
HisDivineOrder

It is in fact one of the best almost-indie games EA published all week.

Gorantharon
Guest
Gorantharon

A lot of good points here.

LazyGamer
Guest
LazyGamer

Then i’m not wrong. 😀

Ivan Filipe Stefani
Guest
Ivan Filipe Stefani

Hahahahaha you my friend, is awesome.

Leon the Brave
Guest
Leon the Brave

So is everyone still playing LittleBigPlanet?

Mika Rose
Guest
Mika Rose
“Worse, you’ll put up with terrible physics along the way, and a protagonist with jumps so wonky you’d swear their surname was Belmont.” Ok, I laughed A LOT at that. I’m so disappointed!! I was really excited to see your Unravel review, and it’s unfortunate that it did not live up to the hype of a puzzle platformer with a touching story we all wanted. I’ve been following the twitter account since E3 and it’s been heavily promoted in the last weeks. I will still play the game myself, but do take your personal opinion and review into high regard,… Read more »
Coalton Ross
Guest
Coalton Ross

So it’s basically this year’s equivalent of Yoshi’s Woolly World?

Mika Rose
Guest
Mika Rose

Hah, that’s a good way to put it. Even though I wasn’t as hyped for the Yoshi game, I was still sad it wasn’t as fun as it should have been.

vonSanneck
Guest
vonSanneck

Seems like an aesthetics first kind of game development gone wrong…

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