AWAY: The Survival Series | PS5 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
AWAY: The Survival Series is a single-player, action-adventure game developed by Breaking Walls and published by Game Seer Ventures. It is currently available on Windows PC, and PlayStation, and for the purpose of this review, I was playing on the PlayStation 5 version.
Glide through the air; scurry up trees; catch, kill and eat bugs and lizards; all the while soaking in the stunning environments that you have been given to explore. AWAY: The Survival Series puts you in the role of an adorable little Sugar Glider fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity ceases to exist and animals are left to their own devices to create the hierarchy that nature intended. AWAY: The Survival Series almost looks and feels like a nature documentary. It is narrated, David Attenbourough style, with a calming gentleman telling the story and quite honestly, who doesn’t LOVE David Attenbourgh documentaries?
Your adventure starts with a fairly simple and well directed tutorial where you're just a young joey following in his mother's footsteps as he learns the way of exploring the world and survival amongst predators much bigger than himself along with all the other massive challenges that a young sugar glider must overcome. The tutorial section was really good and didn’t exactly feel like a tutorial because it served a purpose to the story. Rather than feeling like you were being forced through a mundane tutorial section, the game actually kept it feeling organic because in reality, childhood is effectively a tutorial for life. After this tutorial system, disaster strikes and nature attacks in the form of an eagle who takes your mother and baby sister from you and you must fight alone to survive and hope that you can reunite your family.
Generally, the gameplay was really nice and felt fitting to the theme of being a Sugar Glider. The most frustrating thing for me was the gliding sections. Areas where you’d have to glide long distances felt slightly clunky and for a small, nimble Sugar Glider, I felt pretty immobile. Whilst this caused some frustration, after a few attempts I began to know what would work and what would throw me miles away and plummeting to certain death. I feel like at certain spots there could have been a little more given in the sense that we were given a massive map to explore but there was little reason or reward given for exploring. This means that AWAY: The Survival Series is quite a short play with around 5-10 hours of story. Whilst this is a critique, I hope it equally brings some comfort that there is a want for something more from this game because it is incredibly charming and endearing.
Initially, there were a lot of teething problems with the game with a lot of bugs to be found early on which caused me a lot of frustration. I could see the massive amount of love and passion that had gone into AWAY: The Survival Series and I could absolutely see the pure joy that it holds inside it which left me feeling slightly conflicted in terms of what this review should contain; do I show no mercy and hate the game because of some bugs? Or do I wait? Well, clearly I opted to wait because with just a very quick scroll through Twitter I found that they were pro-actively taking information from players to fix these bugs and that they had left all communication open in the attempts to fix their game. Within 2 weeks, all of the fun-sapping, enjoyment destroying bugs were gone and for that, I believe that Breaking Walls should be commended for the passion that has gone into their game because I thoroughly believe it translates into AWAY: The Survival Series. By and large, after these bugs were fixed I was able to appreciate and enjoy this stunning adventure and it didn’t feel like I’d put my hopes into something undeserving and thoroughly enjoyed it.
With the level of attention to detail and the visuals, it's very easy to forget that AWAY: The Survival Series is made by a small indie developer and isn’t a AAA title so expectations should be managed accordingly. With saying this, I think this speaks volumes about just how great a job Breaking Walls done with AWAY: The Survival Series and with how devoted they were - and I’m sure still are - to resolving issues and providing the fixes so that people can appreciate the game properly. If you're looking for something totally out of the ordinary and looking for something that really is a unique experience, AWAY: The Survival Series is something that would be a worthy contender. It would be a game that I’d recommend to people of a variety of skill levels and I don’t think it would be overly difficult for anyone looking for a slight change in pace.
Lj’s Rating: 4 spider snacks out of 5.
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Many thanks to Plan of Attack for the Review Key.