If the world as you knew it was suddenly a picture painted of once what was, do you think we would continue the way we are going? Maybe some of us would change some things while others may and try to change everything that we could. Could the smallest of changes make the biggest of impacts or is it possible that maybe it’s already too late for the final outcome? Does developer Breaking Walls show us what it’s like when the world becomes a post-apocalyptic world and able to see the dangers from another view? Let’s find out with AWAY: The Survival Series for PlayStation 4 & 5.
AWAY: The Survival Series follows the story of a young sugar glider on a journey to save his family. Your adventures will take you across vast environments as you discover a vibrant world brimming with life. Advance through the world and complete the main story, or explore off the beaten path and embark on side quests to uncover AWAY’s hidden mysteries, hunt small prey, fight larger enemies, and use stealth and agility to sneak past apex predators unnoticed.
So before going out into the world of the unknown, there are just a few things that you should be aware of. For one, this is an adventure that is meant for you to explore, so need to rush. Take your time and have some fun. Second, if you can play in a darkened room to really see the beauty of nature come alive, then do so. And last, please make sure your DualShock 4 or DualSense controller is fully charged as you don’t want to go and make those leaps of faith or try and defend against creatures that want to attack you only to have your controller die and you fall to your death or have a creature outsmart you. With that said, let’s continue…
The controls for AWAY: The Survival Series are pretty simple. Jump with the X button, sprint with the Square button, attack with the O button, passes with the Triangle button, the L1 and L2 buttons to dodge, grab with the R2 buttons, and aim with the L2 buttons.
The first thing you will notice when you start AWAY: The Survival Series is not only how beautiful it really does look (especially on the PlayStation 5), but you are playing as a sugar glider and how your movements are narrated as it makes you feel like you are part of a live documentary in a way. I really do like how at the very beginning, you are in the middle of a storm around you as if the world around you at such a young age is not dangerous enough.
But playing as a marsupial aka a young Sugar Glider, you are following your mom and your sister that is on the ride of her life on her back trying to find a safe place to hide from the storm until something tragic happens. That’s when you really start your adventure as you try and search for a new home. Here is when you get to learn how to do the basics such as sprint, learn how to eat, and even attack that will help you on this island and you will need it. Also, if you do seem like you may be lost, just look for the glowing mushrooms as a way to get back on track of things.
There will be enemies that you do have to face like scorpions, snakes, spiders, etc…and this is where your dodging will come into play until the moment you can attack. But I like how the developer made this into a real David vs. Goliath with the boss battles and is something that you would honestly see out in nature.
Now, creatures such as the snakes and spiders you have to worry about as they are not the only enemies you will face. Nature can also be a challenging enemy as you will have to be able to jump across obstacles, be able to glide, and land, but you also have to be on the lookout for other animals such as foxes that would love to eat you as a snack, poisonous plants, and water as well. Sugar gliders and water do not mix too well and if you do not find some land or something else to climb onto, your life just may be over. Thankfully, the load times are very short, so make sure you eat whenever you get a chance to make sure your stamina and health are as full as can be.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. On the PlayStation 5, AWAY: The Survival Series really is a beautiful documentary brought to life. The amount of detail that was put into the environment from the water all the way to the ever so changing sky is something that needs to be seen. Also, in the Exploration Mode, you do get to explore as other creatures. So starting out as a spore and seeing the world as that creature just adds to the beauty of things. Sound-wise is also well presented here with hearing nature come to life as being invited into its playground of life. Then when you add the narrative audio feature on top of it to bring everything around you together nicely.
There are some things that I hope to get updated with a patch. First, the controls. For the most part, everything goes as you would think it would. But there were times when I would jump and it seems as though the jump wasn’t as high as it was previously or I would go forward only to have my sugar glider go to the left. Also, it seems that if you are right next to an object like a branch or a rock, that you can not jump straight up and have to move away from it in order to jump. Second, there were some (not all the time) that textures would go in and out. And the gliding at times seems, at times, to be a tad off. Gliding looks great, but if the controls for that gliding could just be a tad improved, it may help players that could get easily frustrated. Third, in the Exploration Mode, I did notice two times that it crashed on me. It didn’t cause me to not want to keep trying, but I did want to make note of it. I think it would be fun if this mode allowed for others to play at the same time and each player could take a form of a different creature and interact with the world and each other in different ways.
I also forgot, if you were not already aware, Perp Games comes with an AR Experience that really comes alive with the physical game or the downloadable artwork. Click the link to learn more about this experience from the partnership from Breaking Walls and publisher Perp Games, The United Nations, and Play4thePlanet Green Game Initiative.
AWAY: The Survival Series gives us a glimpse of the world through the eyes of another. It shows us that if we are not careful how we take care of the world that we live in, that sooner or later, we may become the endangered species. And at times when we can do more, shouldn’t we do our part?
AWAY: The Survival Series is out now digitally for the PlayStation 4 and 5 on the PlayStation Store and the physical edition can be found at a retailer near you or coming soon to the Perp Games Store. A review copy was provided. To learn more about Breaking Walls, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about the United Nations, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. To learn more about Playing4thePlanet Green Game Initiative, please visit their site and follow them on Twitter. And to learn more about Perp Games, please visit their site, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I am going to see what else I can explore.