AWAY: The Survival Series, the review of the glider game

In the video game industry it often happens that the dynamics imposed by the market become yokes that creatives are no longer able to submit to. The examples are numerous and Breaking Walls is added to the long list of software houses founded by a small number of programmers. Behind this project we find the three co-founders Nathanaël Dufour, Laurent Bernier and Sebastien Nadeau, people who for one reason or another worked on the Far Cry series, Assassin's Creed and Prince Of Persia.

La AWAY: The Survival Series review deals with their first work, successfully funded on Kickstarter, where it raised 135.000 of the 60.000 Canadian dollars set and above all convinced the publisher Game Seer to inject one and a half million US dollars into this ambitious project.

AWAY begins by introducing a puppy of sugar glider (otherwise known as the flying squirrel) returning to his lair after a hike with his father. A tremendous gust of wind destroys the alcove and carries away the adult male, leaving the female and the two cubs to grapple with the tough game of survival. What in the first few minutes would seem to be an interactive documentary on the life of the delicious flying animals, also thanks to the voiceover that comments on their every movement, soon takes on more playful and less realistic contours. In fact, the world has profoundly changed about twenty years earlier, due to an unspecified event that made the ecosystem even more inhospitable, erasing all human forms. But the heart, especially the small one of the gliders, continues to beat strongly, proving that life always wins.

The one chosen by the developers is a sort of middle ground between the two styles and, in all honesty, we would have preferred a story that is closer to reality, also in relation to the documentary cut to the Discovery Channel.

More platform than survival

AWAY: The Survival Series, the review of the glider game
One of the most difficult sequences in the game

While AWAY may seem like a copy of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey at first glance, in practice it is a very different experience. It could in fact be cataloged as an extremely guided platform game: the survival derivation that has accompanied it since the presentation, which took place over two years ago, is barely sketched and consists of feeding the squirrel with a few berries. In addition to jumping from one trunk to another, taking advantage of its incredible ability to lift and the peculiar glide, the glider will have to deal with the pitfalls of nature, hiding in the foliage to escape predators such as eagles and foxes, or facing openly snakes and scorpions. Fortunately, there is the sixth sense which, once activated, allows you to highlight the dangerous areas of the level.

There would also be secondary missions that it turns out to be barely sketched (nothing to do with an open world environment), as well as skills that are unlocked simply by performing elementary actions such as running or fighting, but do not appreciably change the behavior of the 'animal. There was probably more layering in the early designs of Breaking Walls that has been abandoned in favor of a more linear structure. That's not necessarily bad, but certain ideas shouldn't have been left on a dead end, but rather completely removed.

Il problem greater than AWAY, however, is to be found elsewhere, and in this case in the control system, confusing to the limits of what is acceptable. Our glider, in fact, often gets stuck in the branches or under the rocks, or goes off on its own during glides. Not to mention the combat phase made unmanageable by the lack of the command that blocks the view on the selected enemy. This creates situations bordering on frustration: pressing a button with a moment's delay can force you to repeat entire sections of the game. Unfortunately, there are other even more serious bugs, mostly related to the commands (it may happen that the squirrel stops attacking), or to the activation of certain events (for example we were able to proceed in the level not respecting the deliveries imposed by the game).

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
  • Memory: 32 GB of RAM
  • Scheda video: AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT

Minimum requirements

  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • Memory: 6 GB of RAM
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660
  • Memory: 15 GB of available space

Recommended Requirements

  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i7 4th Gen + or AMD Ryzen 1600
  • Memory: 6 GB of RAM
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • DirectX: 12 version
  • Memory: 15 GB of available space

Soft tail

AWAY: The Survival Series, the review of the glider game
Clash of the Titans

At times the graphics of AWAY is really noteworthy, especially when you consider the smallness of the development team. Thanks to the high level of detail of the protagonist, with a mention for the very realistic tail hair. The proximity of the frame means that the eye falls above all in that area, and in the landscape on the horizon that can offer some truly breathtaking views, especially at the beginning of the adventure. Focusing also on the surrounding fauna, however, one realizes that not all animals have been given the same care, especially secondary ones such as lizards and spiders. The animations would also need some refinement because, especially during the jumps, they are jerky and unnatural. The glider moves within an earthly paradise minimally conditioned by the catastrophic events mentioned by the narrator. Sure, there are grass-covered helicopter carcasses here and there, or some "out of place" whale skeletons, but overall it's hard to think that the world of AWAY is the result of a global catastrophe.

Overall, however, the result obtained with the Unreal Engine is very valid even if you pay dearly in terms of hardware resources. At the highest quality, at Ultra HD resolution, our reference system stopped just above 40 frames per second and in this case there are not even the magical supersampling technologies to relieve the load of the video card. On less vitaminized systems, expect slowdowns if you're not willing to come to terms with graphics settings.

AWAY: The Survival Series, the review of the glider game
A herd of deer bursts into Away

The soundtrack, created by Mike Raznik, makes its presence felt positively especially in the final and most eventful part of the game. Until then the headphones are filled with the narrative voice (in English only) that respects the canons of the science communicator in the Discovery Channel style, so it's good. The subtitles are bad, not so much for the quality of the translation (even if there are some terms left in the original language), but because they are often not synchronized with the spoken word and some sentences are completely missing. It takes just over six hours to complete the story, plus a handful for the uninteresting exploration mode.


Tested version PC Windows Digital Delivery Steam Price 29,99 €


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Your vote

The premises of AWAY: The Survival Series would also be interesting, too bad for the apocalyptic twist of the plot: it would have been better to stay more faithful to reality. The real problem, however, is the control system, bordering on tolerability: unacceptable for a 2021 title. Good graphics (higher than the average of independent productions) but heavy are not enough to overcome playability problems, also exacerbated by some solvable bugs but annoying. A slip that we would not have expected from a group of long-time developers, also in consideration of the important budget available. In two words, we could define the first Breaking Walls game as a wasted opportunity.


  • Graphically valid
  • Interesting basic idea
  • Good all the audio sector
  • Inaccurate control system
  • A few bugs too many
  • Some ideas only sketchy
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