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While the PS3 is largely known for blockbuster titles full of guns and gore and cool people walking away from explosions, the platform is also making quite a name for itself as a home of smaller, experimental titles that blur the oft-trodden line between games and art. Studios like thatgamecompany have helped drag the hardcore console into this new space, and developers like Giant Sparrow look set to continue that legacy, with debut title The Unfinished Swan on show at E3.
Simultaneously throwing us forward into the future of gaming, with creative controls, a stunning art direction and innovative gameplay, The Unfinished Swan owes more than a little to the nostalgic heyday of PC gaming, with nods to titles like King's Quest, Myst and Zork (no, really). We caught up with Giant Sparrow Creative Director Ian Dallas, who told us a bit about his baby, which started life as a university project called WhiteSpace.
It is almost impossible to talk about Giant Sparrow and The Unfinished Swan without also talking about thatgamecompany and flOw, Flower and Journey. Both studios push the envelope in terms of creative, innovative works of interactive art (which go on to be ridiculously successful), but the similarities run deeper, thanks to their relationships with Sony.
Back in the day, Sony extended a hand to thatgamecompany based on an early prototype, inviting the young studio to be a part of an incubation project. A little while later, a similar three-game deal was offered to Giant Sparrow, and while we've been waiting for years to hear back, we're finally seeing the fruits of their labour.
Obviously, Giant Sparrow brings an awesome game to the PlayStation 3-exclusive table. In exchange, Sony is offering the developer a pretty hefty bunch of stuff: Office space, equipment, development advice and - of course - funding, which means the fledgling studio can concentrate entirely on making The Unfinished Swan, and making it as close to perfect as it can possibly be.
Just how close is yet to be seen, the game's still without a set release date, but we'll be keeping an eye out for it - you should definitely add this "first-person painter" to your wishlist.
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Jimmy the Geek