Russian studio perelesoq has been developing the adventure game Torn Away for four years. During this time, the team survived the difficulties of the pandemic, the departure of some employees, and almost lost the right to play. However, in the end, the game makers managed to save their project and release it in its final form. We share our impressions of the passage in the review.
- Developer: perelesoq
- Publisher: perelesoq, Hawthorn Games
- Release date: September 29, 2023
The plot of Torn Away begins in Stalingrad , in 1941. A little girl Asya is having lunch with her parents, and then, like a bolt from the blue, a message arrives – the war has begun. Next, the father goes to the front, the Germans occupy the city, and now the heroine and her mother are already being taken to the west, to a labor camp.
The game authentically conveys a view of war through the eyes of a child. Asya constantly consults with her only friend, Comrade Mitten (in essence, with her inner voice), tries not to lose optimism and does not give up hope of returning to her native land. The developers were inspired by the diaries of Soviet children who survived the Great Patriotic War, and the girl was wonderfully voiced by actress Marta Kozlova, who previously played the main role in the film “Anna’s War.”
Sometimes you want to criticize Torn Away for its too sketchy story and some omissions, but it is impossible not to admit that the game very realistically demonstrates the horrors of war, and does it without blood and unnecessary cruelty. Asya’s difficult situation is very easy to understand, and during the passage you will probably get a lump in your throat many times.
As for the gameplay, the project is a hybrid of genres , where point and click, side-view platformer , and first-person walking simulator coexist . Some episodes offer leisurely exploration of an area, collecting items and using them to solve puzzles , others focus on stealth challenges where you need to hide from German soldiers, or dynamic scenes in which Asya runs away from being chased.
And here the title has a number of problems. So, point and click is annoying because it is impossible to make the girl move faster, especially when you need to explore several rooms. Episodes with chases and jumping over obstacles became my personal hell: the heroine either fails to jump to the right place, or, on the contrary, due to inertia, slides a little further than necessary and falls into the abyss. I also had to alternate between a gamepad and a keyboard with a mouse , since some actions, like repairing Mittens, are more convenient to perform with the mouse, whereas during the escape it is more comfortable to use a gamepad.
These problems are insignificant, and they are not capable of seriously spoiling the impressions of the game, since the authors quickly alternate episodes and do not dwell on the game mechanics for a long time. However, when you restart a checkpoint for the tenth time due to crooked controls, you feel the urge to, if not delete the game, then at least turn it off for a while.
Torn Away, like its main character, has a difficult fate. This left the project feeling rough and slightly unpolished. At the same time, it impresses with its atmosphere and spontaneity. Among the huge number of shooters and strategies about military operations during the Second World War , such a pacifist game feels something fresh and unusual .