Unravel two was the gift that nobody saw coming at E3 2018 when it was announced during the E3 Press Conference and subsequently released that very same day. It’s the sequel to the lovable platformer of 2016 and takes not only Yarny but also a friend on a brand-new adventure. Coldwood Interactive are back at it again with the goal of telling an endearing story in a fun and charming way.
The story is told through visual and audio cues which play in the background as you traverse each level. For me this works one of two ways, in one way it makes it seem like the underlying narrative isn’t necessary. On the other hand, it provides a unique way to interactive with the events unfolding in the background. Controlling Yarny and his friend whilst they are in turn helping another story, almost like some story-ception, is rewarding. It is certainly possible to make it the entire way through and still not know what the hell the reason was, that’s how subtle the background scenes were portrayed.
Two Yarny’s make for an interesting gameplay dynamic, they are tied to each other via their yarn and as such use this to overcome obstacles in their path. The two are always present, regardless of playing in co-op or solo, the latter of which of course makes for a more difficult adventure which requires patience and good timing.
Controlling both characters is surprisingly a breeze when playing alone. You can choose to carry the other which does wonders in speeding up the pace and allow you to not feel held back by wanting to experience it on your own. Transferring between the two to beat the variety of puzzles that you find along the way is refreshing and absolutely refuses to come across as a chore. I appreciate the design and care put into ensuring a unique gameplay loop was delivered upon without it being too gimmicky.
In terms of mechanics there are numerous ones to take into account when playing, the tether between the two characters is what brings it all together and something to remember when trying to beat every roadblock. You can swing from pre-set interactive points as a separated Yarny or with them both combined via the carry option, or you can swing from each other. This provides a plethora of ways to go about your business of beating the game, using the level around you is key and forces you to think a little outside the box.
Fortunately for those who want to experience less challenge with more of a look towards a chilled-out adventure, tips are available at almost all times throughout which are certainly appreciated and allow all types of players to enjoy themselves.
I love the beauty of the world surrounding Yarny as he platforms his way to a hopeful victory. Not only in art style but in detail and resolution too. There are a range of different locations to explore that will vary in colour, brightness and overall aesthetic. From bright woodland areas to the darkened hallways of factories, with plenty in between. Water glistening, grass swaying and light flickering, coming together to create seamless immersion in a fantastic setting.
The sound design has also been given much care and attention as is apparent when playing. The music ignites this spark of emotion which does a lot for helping tell the story taking place between the two yarn filled beings and the background narrative.
Unravel two was the surprise of E3 that I didn’t know I wanted, I missed the first game and as such didn’t know what to expect when it was announced. I am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised, a small package with a charming presentation. It’s approximately a six-hour journey from beginning to end but one filled with delightful moments, head-scratching puzzles to overcome and a setting to lose yourself in.
OVERALL: 8/10 – GREAT
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Unravel two, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)