The Unfinished Swan

Spotlight

Key events

VideoVideo: Games that do mental health right

Hellblade isn't the first to tackle this complex topic.

Hellblade, Ninja Theory's next game, focuses heavily on the mental health of main character Senua. It's an interesting premise and one I hope is executed successfully. In making this design choice, Ninja Theory has placed itself among a number of other developers who have attempted, in a variety of ways, to portray mental health issues in a constructive manner.

Journey and The Unfinished Swan confirmed for PS4

Journey and The Unfinished Swan confirmed for PS4

Santa Monica studio games coming as remasters in the near future.

Journey and The Unfinished Swan, two games that emerged from under the umbrella of Sony's Santa Monica studio, are both headed to PlayStation 4, it has been confirmed.

The news is hardly a surprise - both games were listed towards the end of July by Sony, presumably in error - but the official announcement brings a few more details. Both games will be playable at Gamescom this week, and both run in 1080p on the PlayStation 4. There's no word on whether they'll also boast a 60fps frame-rate.

Tricky Pixel is handling the Journey port, while Armature Studio is dealing with the PlayStation 4 version of The Unfinished Swan. There's no firm date on either release, though they're promised this year. We may well see them take their place at Sony's Gamescom conference, which takes place later today.

Read more

Inside Santa Monica Studios, Sony's development commune

It's famed for God of War - but the first party developer is responsible for so much more.

There's no showbiz, and zero spectacle. There never really is inside a development studio, no matter how bombastic the games they produce are - but there's something slightly different about Sony's Santa Monica studio, a small two-storey stretch of red brick tucked away on the outskirts of Los Angeles' Mid-City. For a developer that's built its empire on a foundation of shredded intestines, shattered eyesockets and to the war cries of angry Greek gods, there's an unnerving sense of peace throughout the offices.

The Unfinished Swan review

While Sony has frequently been dragged over the coals during this hardware generation - sometimes with good cause, often without - the one thing it can most definitely be praised for is its dedication to the quirkier, artier end of the gaming spectrum. Few would have thought that such a corporate Goliath would excel at shepherding these delicate projects into the limelight, but from Flower to Noby Noby Boy to Journey to Linger in Shadows, the PlayStation Network has been the only console storefront to really carve out a niche for arthouse projects.

The Unfinished Swan definitely fits into that category, first seeing the light of day at the Independent Games Festival in 2008, after which Sony took it under its wing. What made it stand out back then was how beautiful and stark it looked; it sets you in a brilliant white and apparently empty game world where your only interaction is to lob balls of paint. These splatter against the unseen geometry of the world, revealing the shapes around you.

It's an absolutely charming effect. The first stage finds you carefully picking your way through an invisible rural landscape rendered piece by piece in jet black splashes against a white canvas. It is, quite frankly, stunning - all the more so when you turn around and see the path you've splashed through the void. Benches, reeds, rocks and trees all emerge from the emptiness, delicately textured and hauntingly melancholy. You could take any screenshot from this introductory section and hang it in a gallery. It's that wonderful.

Read more

The Unfinished Swan release date announced

The Unfinished Swan release date announced

Live a week early for PS Plus subscribers.

The Unfinished Swan launches in Europe on 24th October 2012, Sony has announced.

The curious PlayStation Network paint throwing game costs 9.99 / €12.99.

If you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber the game launches a week early on 17th October.

Read more

The Unfinished Swan's new trailer shows more colours

The Unfinished Swan's new trailer shows more colours

Not your garden variety puzzler.

Stylish indie exploration-based puzzler The Unfinished Swan has revealed a new level in its recent Gamescom trailer below.

Initially Giant Sparrow's offering appeared to be about finding your way through a monochromatic environment, but this new trailer shows off parts of its slightly more colourful second level demoed at E3 a couple months back.

In this world, there are are just enough lines and shadows to construe the sterile environment while you spray blots of water around to grow vines.

Read more

The Unfinished Swan Preview: PS3's New Indie Marvel

In comedy, they say, timing is everything. And so, too, in gaming, if you're Giant Sparrow's Ian Dallas.

"Some of my most powerful experiences growing up were games and I thought I was going to go in as a writer," he says. "Coming out of college there weren't really a lot of interesting jobs as a writer in games and I figured that, five or ten years later, that might be different."

So he started writing comedy instead. "I worked in TV, which is super-fun - you're just in a room with a bunch of other guys trying to make each other laugh for 40 hours a week or often much more. But one thing led to another and I discovered programming."

Read more

Sony unveils PSN exclusive The Unfinished Swan with debut trailer

Sony unveils PSN exclusive The Unfinished Swan with debut trailer

After the first 15 minutes "things get really weird".

Sony has unveiled PlayStation Network exclusive The Unfinished Swan, from indie developer Giant Sparrow.

The Unfinished Swan is a first-person painting game that sees the player chuck black balls of paint onto white surfaces to reveal the environment. You play a boy names Monroe who's chasing a swan that stepped out of a painting and into a "surreal, unfinished world".

Sony has signed Giant Sparrow in a deal creative director Ian Dallas likened to the now complete deal thatgamecompany signed with the PlayStation 3 maker to create PSN games Flow, Flower and Journey.

Read more