You must’ve felt it. You know, like when you’re browsing the internet and, omg, there it is. It’s a photo of a kitten, wrapped up in some ragged scraps of toilet paper, its enormous, glittering eyesies almost bulging with purity and innocence and the most immaculate virtue, its so ferocious clawsies grasping at the camera, its floopsy bellysies wibbling your womblies.
AND YOU CAN’T EVEN AND YOU GET SO MAD AND YOU WANT TO SQUEEZE THE SHIT OUT OF IT, GRIND IT UP, AND SNORT IT.
It’s a real thing. And it’s also the defining feature of Unravel 2.
Platform/s: PS4, PC, Xbox One
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Developer: Coldwood Interactive
I mean, the game’s got a lot going on. It’s a puzzle platformer in which you must negotiate a series of increasingly difficult (but not too difficult) obstacles to complete levels, and supports solo and co-op play. The two characters are connected to each other by a loop of yarn, which complicates things sometimes, but only in terms of otherwise simple physics problems to be solved with some clever brainsing and coordination, and a super precise and responsive control system. Unlike a lot of other puzzle platformers, it’s never oblique or frustrating, and at any time, whether playing solo or co-op, the two characters can be spliced together to create a single character – precluding repetition if you’re on your own, and also a useful mechanic if you’re playing with somebody who perhaps isn’t the most competent with timing and elaborate manoeuvres. Not me.
There’s also some sort of meta narrative that plays out in the background as a sequence of memories, but it’s ambiguous and mostly irrelevant anyway when you’re busy being menaced by a homicidal turkey. Something about two kids who escape a care home or detention facility and get into even more trouble? I dunno, and it doesn’t much matter.
What does matter is how adorable Unravel 2 is. It’s almost obnoxiously charming. With its hyper vivid colour palette and unconventional macro lens perspective, the game’s whimsical and occasionally creepy environments are a consistent visual delight from start to finish, and the character animation is absolutely amazing – our woolly protagonists react to events and hazards with conspicuous emotion, their contextual movements subtle and elegant. Although without real purpose, they can also use emotes to interact with each other, including the most precious hug you’ve ever seen in a game, ever.
Sorry, I can’t help myself.
Ingenious co-op, puzzle, and level design
That hug emote, though
Unrelenting murderous rage
92Its uniquely poignant and enchanting presentation will warm your heart. And then burn it with black fury. But the nice kind.