Last Summer, word got out that after delivering two LittleBigPlanet games, developer Media Molecule was ready to “focus on some new ideas.” During Sony’s GamesCom Press Conference today, the world got its first look at one of those ideas, a papercraft-inspired Vita adventure game called Tearaway.
Though it’s set in a different world than the LittleBigPlanet games, and Sackboy is nowhere in sight, it’s easy to see that Tearaway is the work of Media Molecule. The game’s charming, vibrant, slightly off-kilter papercraft world is distinct from the found materials of LittleBigPlanet, but no less whimsical, and Tearaway’s protagonist, iota, is every bit as cute and expressive as Sackboy (let’s just hope his jumps are less “floaty”).
So, what’s Tearaway all about? A post on the Media Molecule website sets the stage for iota’s adventure.
“Tearaway is kind of like a buddy movie. It stars iota, a messenger from a paper dimension whose envelope head contains an urgent message to deliver…to you! It’s a very special message, and one that’s unique for each and every player. In order to read yours, you’ll need to take up the role of co-star and, together with iota, journey through the vibrant papery landscape–two buddies going on an epic adventure to deliver this important message.”
As the trailer at the top of the page makes clear, Tearaway is designed to take advantage of each and every bell and whistle Vita provides. Players will control the game using the system’s tilt sensors, touchscreen and rear touchpad, by blowing on and yelling at the Vita — even the camera gets in on the action. Vita’s rear touchpad controls have proven tricky for developers to master — as noted in our LittleBigPlanet Vita preview, they aren’t our favorite part of that game — though the way a player’s fingers break through into Tearaway’s world should help ameliorate some of the inherent clunkiness.
As we’ve come to expect from Media Molecule games, players will be able to personalize and customize every bit of Tearaway’s world. And how’s this for attention to detail: all of the papercraft constructs in the game can be created in real life (so long as you have the talent and/or patience). Head on over the the official Tearaway website to get started on your own papercraft elk, just like the one in the trailer.
It’s no secret that PlayStation Vita is struggling to gain any kind of foothold in the marketplace, and though Sony’s Jack Tretton deems the system’s sales “acceptable,” there is obviously room for significant improvement. So far, Sony’s emphasis on increasing the amount of content available for Vita (rather than cutting its price) has failed to pay dividends, because that content simply hasn’t materialized. Games like Tearaway could help, but only if they arrive in time — and, currently, Tearaway has no projected release date, leading us to suspect that it won’t be available until sometime next year. That’s a bit of a bummer, if only because this is one Vita game that we genuinely can’t wait to get our hands on.
Ranters, what are your first impressions of Tearaway? Is this the kind of software that can help Vita find its niche? Let us know in the comments below.
Tearaway is currently in development for the PlayStation Vita.
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