Unravel, developed by Coldwood Interactive, is clearly a work of great passion. I fell in love with it almost immediately at its E3 2015 unveiling, presented by the adorably nervous yet clearly excited game creator, Martin Sahlin. Despite its gameplay faults, this passion shines through and I felt privileged to have played game that had had so much love poured into it. There’s probably not as much in the way of story as I would have appreciated, although it’s strong conceptually.
Unravel focuses on feelings of nostalgia, of love, family and the passing of time. It also touches on environmental and geopolitical issues, but signposts them more so than making deliberate, original commentary. That said, these themes all to correlate quite nicely and the closing sequence evoked Journey-like emotions, which is absolutely a compliment.Yarny however, adorable as he may be, seemed somewhat removed from the more human story being told in the photographs and memories you collect. There was charming symbolism behind the yarn – which is nicely explained by the conclusion of the game – but the sentient, supernatural bundle of yarn felt somewhat disconnected, whilst not overly bothersome.
All in all, the stories not quite what I hoped. It’s not doing anything that’s not already been done; it’s more charming and heartfelt than powerfully emotive. Perhaps I’ve just been spoilt by other games in the genre that have really pushed the boundaries of storytelling in games.The visual presentation is without a doubt the best thing going for Unravel.