Puzzling together what you must accomplish in each chapter is what makes The Unfinished Swan such a wonderful experience. There's a real sense of bewilderment the game inspires as the game evolves from scene to scene. However, there are certain issues that prevent it from feeling as cohesive as other PlayStation Network exclusives. Firstly, there's failure in the game. While that does add a sense of tension to the latter chapters, it feels oddly inconsistent. You can plummet thousands of feet without a problem, but taking a step into water will kill you, for example. The art style is also a hodgepodge of rather disparate styles. While likely intentional, it's odd to see how the human characters clash with the environment and the animals that inhabit it. The effect comes off as less whimsical than it was probably meant to be. Finally, the story does little to satisfy, with the game's final chapter explaining all the wrong things in great detail. The Unfinished Swan could have benefited from making the narrative a bit more introspective, and a bit more vague. While it may not be "the next Journey," The Unfinished Swan is a promising first game from a new studio. And although it may have its shortcomings, it's definitely a game worth experiencing--if only to uncover the game's numerous surprises.
The game grows beyond this look rather quickly
This review was based on final downloadable code provided by the publisher. The Unfinished Swan is available exclusively on PlayStation Network. The game will be available to PlayStation Plus members on October 16, and everyone else on October 23.