Away: The Survival Series was a surprisingly interesting game shown during Sony’s State of Play today. The team at Breaking Walls has worked for three years to let you go on a journey in a dangerous world – our own. Narrative and gameplay choices are designed around allowing the player to live a nature documentary. This is the adventure of a small sugar glider, which wikipedia tells me is a “nocturnal gliding possum” that prefers “sugary foods”.
As a sugar glider, you are part of the natural world, and it’s a jungle out there. You will be both predator and prey. If you choose not to interact with other animals, they will continue to live out their own lives, and you can watch those interactions with other animals with less wisdom or stealth than you.
There is a lot of care in what you see and hear. The visual style appears to be over the shoulder, and the developer has worked hard to ensure your ground level view is filled with details. Whether it’s a leaves, grass, or caves, they are pushing to put you in the heart of that environment, even if you are running, sneaking, or gliding through it.
The music is composed by Mike Raznick. He has composed music for games, but they sought him out due to his previous work on actual nature documentaries, Life and Planet Earth II. There’s some realism for you. You can hear some of it in between fake David Attenborough’s narration. (The narrator is fine. It’s actually a nice touch.)
Away: The Survival Series caught my attention during the State of Play, and this may be one of the biggest strengths of the format. With all the other games that would have been announced or displayed at E3, this game probably would have been lost in the big name shuffle. I hope it’s as cool as it looks, and it looks like a really different type of game.
There is no release date for Away: The Survival Series, but, after three years in development, we should know more soon.
Jason became terminally addicted to videogames after receiving the NES at an early age. This addiction grew to include PC gaming and was cemented with the launch of the PS2. From then on, he was afflicted with epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never becoming skillful, but never able to quit. He continues to play games (poorly) and share his passion for them to anyone willing to listen.