Puppeteer Impressions

Disappointing. I could probably stop right there. Puppeteer has filled me with buyer’s remorse after impulsively getting it in the PSN New Years Sale. I should have stopped after Brothers and Ni No Kuni but I was wowed by the price tag and, more regretfully, the discount. I always scoff when my wife comes home and tells me how much money was knocked off the coat she bought before telling me how much she actually spent, after all a £30 coat is still a £30 coat even if it started at £30,000, but I fell into the exact same trap. Viciously hoisted by my own petard.

The clever folks at Eurogamer summed it up a lot clearer than I could in their excellent review but Puppeteer is a clear case of vision exceeding mechanics. The theatrical presentation is beautiful and as stages progress it really feels like scenery is being madly shunted around by invisible stage hands with energetic characters being operated by master puppeteers. The silly story and script are like a chaotic pantomime and you can see the love that has been poured into the presentation aspect of the game. The problem is that it never stops. It seems that these actors don’t know when to leave the audience begging for more as cut scenes always feel that little bit too long. What’s worse is when you do get to do a bit of platforming the level design feels rudimentary and there is a lot of unexplored potential, particularly in the variety of heads that the main character can equip. Like I said, disappointing.

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