Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Puppeteer - PlayStation 3
With its stunning presentation, wonderful art style and delightful theatrical flourishes, Puppeteer has upstaged many big name titles this year to become one of my favourite games of 2013.
Essentially, it’s a side-scrolling platform caper, but there's so much style packed into this dark, twisted pantomime that Puppeteer often feels like a completely different beast. The game follows the adventures of Kutaro, a young scamp whose soul is taken by the evil - and wonderfully named - Moon Bear King and poured into the discombobulated body of a wooden puppet.
What makes Puppeteer so special is that all the action takes place on stage in a quaint theatre, where an unseen audience whoop, cheer and applaud valiant deeds, and gasp and squeal in terror as the Moon Bear King and his minions wreak havoc. It's a quite brilliant touch and helps give Puppeteer a truly marvellous atmosphere.
Because of the game's setting, Acts are introduced by the parting of red velvet curtains, while background sets shift and change on the fly with a handmade charm not seen since Sackboy bumbled his way on to the PlayStation 3 back in 2008.
The first is Ying Yang, a bedraggled feline Who the player controls via the right stick. This magical flying cat can interact with the backdrops, allowing the player to uncover secrets, snuffle out hidden golden shards and free the children who have been imprisoned by the grizzly Moon Bear King.
Kutaro also gets his little wooden hands on Cerberus early in the game - a pair of enchanted scissors which enables our puppet hero to cut through environments and slice up troublesome foes. But that's not all, as you make your way through the game, Kutaro uncovers more knick-knacks to help him on his quest.
As if this wasn't enough for Kutaro to contend with, the cheeky rapscallion has lost his head and is forced to collect makeshift noggins as he scampers around. Each of these imaginative objects is imbued with special powers and experimenting with them and watching the accompanying animation is another of Puppeteer's visual charms.
Collected heads can also be viewed, each one featuring a lovely little vignette and the models can be spun and manipulated for a closer peek at the exquisite art style. Puppeteer is also the first game since Batman: Arkham City that I played through in 3D and it truly shines. The depth of the theatre sets look splendid, while objects and characters are thrown around the screen making making it a visual treat from start to finish.
It's a spellbinding title that has me completely smitten. Even with the imminent launch of the next generation of consoles and the promise of bigger and better games, this magical title will definitely be in my top 10 come the end of the year... oh yes it will!