PAX West 2017: Second Shot – Away: Journey to the Unexpected (Nintendo Switch)

We took our first look at Away: Journey to the Unexpected earlier this year at PAX East—you can find that first impressions review here. Naturally, with PAX West almost six months later, we wanted to see what, if anything, had changed or improved since that experience.

The demo area was almost exactly the same as in the first impressions demo, so we won’t spend a ton of time on that—however, it’s worth mentioning that overall, the colors are sharper, the art designs sink deeper into their stylization and are less harsh on the eyes.

Our biggest criticism of the first demo was that, despite the immersive intent of the game, the actual gameplay left much to be desired. The combat was inconsistent and the enemy attacks were so bizarre that it was almost impossible to approach with strategy—especially at such an early stage.

The good news is that these elements have been greatly improved since PAX East. I didn’t find myself dying after being approached by only two enemies, and the attacks actually worked—the controls were responsive and much more intuitive than previously, depending less on split second timing and more on correct execution of the attack. In a cartoon-style game, you don’t expect hair-splitting precision, so it was nice to see this addressed.

The humor and heart remained the same, and the general positive atmosphere of the game was still very evident. After the first impression, the game was not one that I would have sought out or chosen to play above others—after the second shot, I’m intrigued. I’m not convinced I would seek it on purpose, but that said, there’s still time before the game’s release—which tells me that there may be even greater improvements to come. By the time release day rolls around, this might be the perfect title for a chill Sunday afternoon.


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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