50 Gamechangers The Unfinished Swan feature image

Published on January 25th, 2014 | by Nidde


50 gamechangers: The Unfinished Swan

Scan of The Unfinished Swan from LeveL #74

The Unfinished Swan

Format: PS3
Developer: Giant Sparrow
Premiere: 2012

Ian Dallas has a pretty special ability: he can make the blind see. In The Unfinished Swan the whole world is like a white canvas, like a painting that hasn’t been started yet. Not until you throw black paint on it does the environment emerge, not until then does the game turn three dimensional and the rooms become possible to navigate. That games sometime feels like stepping into a painting has never been as apparent as it is here.

Image and text scanned and translated from LeveL, issue 76

The Unfinished Swan started out in the true indie fashion, with curiosity and vision. It first began with an XNA tech demo, which was later expanded into a game that went into the finals for students at Independent Games Festival. It did not win at IGF, but the attention was enough to gather Sonys attention. And this is where it gets tricky, because Sony got Giant Sparrow, the company established behind the game, what is called an “incubation deal”, which means that they will provide an office, equipment, funding and assistance from one of their own development houses; in this case Santa Monica Studios. So does it still qualify as indie? One of those time where we don’t really know for sure, because the gray-area is so murky that we can’t see the line.

Nevertheless, the game was released on the Playstation 3 on October 16 of 2012 and racked up 79 by the critics over on metacritic.com, with several statements that the game may be a little too short with its 4-5 hour campaign. But all seem to agree that it is a beautiful experience.

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About the Author

For 500 days, from January 1st, 2013, until May 16th, 2014, Nidde will set aside all AAA-titles and only play indie games to find out if the indie scene can replace the big budget landscape.

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