It has been a little over five years since Media Molecule burst onto the gaming scene with the ground-breaking LittleBigPlanet, and the developers have done little else other than a sequel. During the years we have seen many technical demos created by the minds at Media Molecule, but until now we have not seen a new game come from the team. Could Tearaway possibly live up to the massive expectations?
The premise of Tearaway is fairly simple, you play as Iota (or Atoi), a character completely composed of paper, who lives in a world of paper and is surrounded by paper crafted creatures. He is a messenger, and his goal is to deliver this message to “You”. You (as in yourself) play a large role in this game, not only are you controlling everything that goes on, but you feature heavily in the story, and characters throughout the game will refer to you on several occasions. The developers really take advantage of the Vita’s inputs and use the camera to constantly put you into the game world as the “face in the sun” who is peering into their world. It is a brilliant touch, and one that makes you sure that this game could only exist on the Vita.
I never even thought about wanting a home console version, as the Vita is the perfect device for it. In fact I’d argue that this is probably one of the games that won’t work particularly well on the Vita TV, if it ever comes to the west. The power of the Vita is fully utilised, from tilt to touch and even both cameras play a key role in Tearaway. The art style is simply stunning and more unique than anything else like it out there. The art direction consists of folded paper or “origami” objects and creatures, and everything in the world of Tearaway can be recreated in paper and as a bonus collectable they even unlock plans for you to make the game characters “come-to-life” in reality.
You control Iota with the left stick in the typical manner, but there are occasions where you can “tear” into the world and either destroy enemies or move platforms with your fingers using the rear touch pad. On other occasions you can tap the rear touch pad to create a bounce pad, or you can peel away coverings or fold out platforms with the touch screen. My favourite use of the touch screen has to be the craft mode, which lets you create an item by drawing on a coloured piece of paper and cutting it out and sticking several bits together to make a sticker that you can customise Iota with, the options are almost endless.