[PS4] Away: Journey To The Unexpected Review

by Tracey

Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a very interesting first-person relaxing adventure on PS4 you should check out. Learn more in our Away: Journey to the Unexpected review!

Roguelike games can be a hit and miss for some players due to the tediousness of the main gameplay mechanics which often require replaying from scratch and losing all your progress. However, Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a much fairer roguelike experience, and one I think many will enjoy. The story has you investigating why some of the cute animals have turned into scary looking monsters. It turns out that the culprit is the corruption of a liquid that is a deliberate act of the evil corporation known as Labiworks. It is your job to fix the problem and return the animals back to their natural selves!

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You can follow the game’s story about friendship from your diary. You can also collect a friendship cube and when interacting with characters if you make the right dialogue choice you can end up recruiting other members into your party! This is certainly a very interesting gameplay mechanic for this colorful experience, and I do have to say this one is the cutest and more “feel good” game I have played in a long time!

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When you first boot up the game, you will find yourself looking around your bedroom from a first-person view. You can click on anything to gain some extra information, but the first thing you should do is go into the kitchen. After this, you’ll go down into the basement since it is there that the game truly begins. You will see this vast, open and very colorful world where you can go anywhere and explore anything. But before you get ahead of yourself, you should find that friendship cube so that you can recruit some party members! All interactions with the NPCs will grant you multiple choices for your answers, so be sure to pay attention!

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Scattered around the world are dungeons which are randomly generated after each time you die. Some dungeons can be quite long, while others are short and to the point. Once you complete all three dungeons, you will get to unlock the boss dungeon. The boss dungeon is vast, and it features a huge number of enemies within and a big bad boss at the end. In order to survive you will need to search the dungeon thoroughly for power-up extra hearts as you only start with three, but as you progress in the game, you will gain more hearts. You will certainly not win the boss fight with just three hearts, so you’ll need to try several times until you are strong enough. You CAN level up and upgrade our character with each run, so you’ll be able to withstand boss battles once you’ve improved.

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Recruiting new friends allows you to switch between different characters with the press of a button, and you also gain new abilities – for example the tree stump who can plant mines (I love this ability!). Whichever friend you select to switch to will allow you to see things through their point of view. For example, the aforementioned tree stump sees everything in sepia color, while the scientist’s point of view is through cracked glass. It’s definitely a great way to showcase each of the characters, changing how you view the world that surrounds you. On the downside, extra characters run on gauges, so when their gauge is empty you can’t use that character anymore as they have become too tired to fight on. You’ll need to plan accordingly and mix and match your team so that you can have some around to help you through the tougher battles.

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The enemies come in various shapes. Some will just charge at you as soon as they spot you, while others might throw projectiles at you – bombs are a popular option. As you progress in the game you will encounter larger enemies that will deal considerable damage, so you’ll need to pay attention to your health so that you can stay alive and well. If you do die, you’ll be back at the beginning. But since you can level up, with the game upgrading your character automatically as you do, you’ll end up being powerful enough to make the start of the game a lot easier. You will also unlock shortcuts along the way so that you don’t have to start back from scratch, which was a nice idea.

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What makes the game even more appealing is the fact that you are going to see characters that are 2D, interacting in a 3D world, which gives the game a very unique look that makes everything pop. Combat does become a bit more challenging because of this, but it’s not something that will overwhelm you since you’ll quickly get the hang of things. You can unlock new areas, and there is a shop available where you can buy stuff like a new friendship cube, a burger to top up your health, and fireworks to help you clear hordes at once.

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Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a short but wonderful experience with a lot of things for you to do and see. I found myself becoming quite addicted to the overall gameplay loop as I tried to unlock as many trophies as I could. The game, unfortunately, does not include a Platinum trophy, but please don’t let this keep you from playing this excellent game on PlayStation 4 since it’s a must-buy indie release.

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This Away: Journey to the Unexpected review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Playdius.

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