Away: Journey to the Unexpected tries to do a lot at once, which is a tall task for a game mostly built by just a pair of people. Ultimately, its strange direction lends to the charm of it all, but it's also clear the game is lacking in a few key areas — namely, shoddy combat and inconsistent level randomization. Still, it was billed as a "feel-good" indie and I'd have to agree. Despite its faults, I'm happy to have played this weird game.
In the beginning you experience a lot of fun and a decent amount of arcady excitement. But rather sooner than later you discover that all the elements seem hastily connected, thus giving the impression of a disharmonic gaming experience.
The visual aesthetic of Away: Journey to the Unexpected sold me right away, as it’s absolutely gorgeous with its blend of 2D and 3D and bright colorful environments and characters. Below the surface though, the rest of the experience is as bland and uninspired as you can imagine a boy fighting with a stick would be. It’s tough to recommend when it’s only redeeming quality is how pretty it looks, like a gorgeous date you picked up that happens to have a terrible personality and annoys you.
The game is described as a feel good RPG, but in truth, and due to the sheer number of poorly implemented mechanics, it’s more like an RPG that looks good, but feels terrible. The combat is all over the place, the pacing is questionable at best, and the core ‘buddy-up’ system just fails to excite. It doesn’t help matters that its random generation is puddle deep, making it overly repetitive as a result. Pass this by.
Overall, Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a bit of a mess, and what’s even more disappointing is that the trailers of the game have made it really seem like the feel-good FPS game that the developers have aimed for. But the poorly thought out combat mixed, with a lacklustre gameplay loop make the hours spent, frustrating to say the least. While there are some aspects of the game that are well executed like the art and music, Away is a tough game to recommend.
SummaryAway: Journey to the Unexpected is a feel-good FPS game that combines action, negotiation and slightly roguish elements, presented in an animated style. Progress through the levels and the story, choose your path, but above all, recruit allies. All the strange characters you meet in game can be played in first person, and it’s up to you ...