Title: Unravel Two
Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (Reviewed)
Developer: ColdWood Interactive
Official Site: Unravel Two
Release Date: June 9, 2018
Where To Buy It: Microsoft Store, PlayStation Store ($19.99)
One of the best announcements from EA’s E3 2018 conference was the reveal of Unravel Two, and they did not disappoint. With its message of equality, empathy, understanding, and working together for a brighter world, this is a game that everyone should experience for themselves. Aside from its very clear message, Unravel Two is fun to play with challenging puzzles and platforming, the perfect soundtrack, and some gorgeous visuals.
Unravel Two follows not only one Yarny, but two! The two woolen creatures must work together to guide the light back home to brighten a dark world. Seamless couch co-op really heightens the experience as you use each other to further your progress and solve problems, but it is also playable on your own. Once the game is over, the head-scratching challenges will keep you coming back to unlock all of the customization options to build your own unique Yarny.
Not to worry, Unravel Two still has all of the things you loved in the first Unravel. Yarny is super easy to control, and there’s nothing more satisfying than the smooth, fluid swings and jumps from platform to platform. However, Coldwood Interactive did make the sequel a bit more challenging. There are new enemies that might require you to analyze a situation more closely before hopping in, and having another player to worry about definitely has its challenges.
That being said, these challenges are well worth it. I played the first level by myself before quickly deciding that this would be much more fun with a friend. Not only do you have two pairs of eyes looking for solutions to a problem, but you also have another person to take care of. Sometimes your choices can result in the death of your fellow Yarny, and that’s never fun. So, it creates a constant stream of communication with your partner to enforce a solid victory for both of you.
If you still haven’t been swayed to experience this with someone else, you can play on your own. However, this is a challenging game with a partner, and I can only imagine how impossible some puzzles would be by yourself. You will still play with both Yarnies, but you can switch back and forth between them. Or, you can just have one carry the other so you only control one. However, you can’t stay like that forever. So, for those planning on taking on Unravel Two by yourself, I could see you having a much more difficult time.
My one complaint is a small one, but it is still valid. Anyone familiar with the Unravel series knows there is a sort of backstory happening at the same time. In the first game, the backstory shows an older couple as their families grow and the place in which they live begins to change. It’s very sad, but there is still some hope and happiness to be taken from it. However, the events taking place in the background of Unravel Two are a bit cloudy. It focuses around two children who are suffering from abuse of some sort, but there doesn’t seem to be a linear story. But, luckily, it doesn’t really disrupt the story happening with the two Yarnies.
Once you’ve finished the game, take a moment to read through the beginning of the end credits. Unravel Two’s incredibly strong message is reiterated there as the developers write about the equality in the development process and the importance of this beautiful game.
Unravel Two really is something beautiful. I didn’t think it was possible to do better than the original, but they have created a truly different experience. It can be finished in one sitting, but there are plenty of challenges and goodies that will keep you coming back to the game. The soundtrack truly sets the mood; the graphics are crystal clear and absolutely beautiful; the gameplay is smooth and challenging (in the best way); most importantly, Unravel Two will have you looking out for the well-being of more than yourself, and that might be its biggest strength.
Verdict: Unravel Two was the sequel I didn’t even realize I needed, but it is so much bigger than that. Aside from the great puzzles and platforming aspects, beautiful graphics, and the perfect soundtrack, Unravel Two is a story of connection, empathy, equality, and understanding. This is one of those games that everyone needs to play purely for the message, but you’ll have an awesome time doing it. And definitely play it with a friend; it totally enhances the experience!
- Beautiful graphics
- Fun puzzles and platforming
- Awesome couch co-op experience
- It's a lot of work to play by yourself
- Unclear backstory