Survival games are effectively ten a penny on PC and console these days, but we haven’t seen the genre extend to PlayStation VR all that much. Song in the Smoke aims to fill that gap in the market, promising a “beautiful yet deadly” world that you’ll need to navigate. Developed by 17-Bit Studios, of Galak-Z fame, it’s all about getting through one day and making it to the next.
Fortunately, you’ll be afforded lots of methods to make it through the next 24 hours. As producer Rich McCormick explains on the PlayStation Blog: “I could craft a stronger weapon. I have a tree branch, and could take my knife to it, carve it down into the perfect shape for a new bow, before stringing it with sinew that I dried yesterday. Or should I break the wood, snapping it in two with a motion of my hands, before burning it for vital warmth, hoping that the flames last all night and keep whatever is stalking me at bay.”
Danger is at every corner, but in addition to keeping yourself safe, you’ll also need to hunt food and cook meals. Unlike other similar survival games on consoles, 17-Bit Studios believes that PSVR makes its effort more tactile. McCormick explains: “I eat by bringing food to my real-life mouth; turn herbs into tonics by mashing them with tools and pouring them into containers, and carve wood by taking a knife to its surface.”
It looks like an interesting effort, and while this gameplay loop isn’t as original as it once was, it’s not something we’ve seen in virtual reality – at least, not on the PlayStation 4. The production values are obviously somewhat limited by Sony’s hardware, but there’s potential here – we’re eager to learn more.
One thing to note is that 17-Bit Studios has recruited Katsuya Terada to create some original artwork for this game. Nintendo fans will recognise his style from his work on The Legend of Zelda, but if not, you can see some examples through here. Pretty neat!