The sun is setting, and the dense trees are casting long shadows across the forest. My fire is fading, too, its light flickering in the gloom. From the bushes, I hear a growl, low, and hungry.
I have one question. How do I survive the night?
That’s the same question we at 17-BIT want you to ask yourself while you’re playing our brand new VR survival game, Song in the Smoke, coming to PS VR in 2021.
Song in the Smoke’s world is a beautiful, yet deadly one, but fortunately, it also gives the player a range of options to keep themselves alive for another day. I cycle through them quickly as the monster in the bushes comes closer.
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.
Or I could turn the tables by trying to hunt what is hunting me. I can hide from the beast, and then find it by tracking its scent and following its footprints, taking the time to crouch and sharpen my senses in the cover of long grass, before lining up a shot with my bow and loosing an arrow into its heart.
Or maybe I should explore, try to find a new camping spot before the sun goes down. I saw a strange green glow on top of a cliff yesterday, but night was closing in and I needed to get back to the warmth of my fire. There’s still some daylight, I could climb that rock face and uncover its mysteries, taking a torch to light my way and scare off the beasts of the night.
Survive or die
The first priority is always survival in Song in the Smoke. That means hunting and scavenging for food to stave off hunger, and it means choosing safe campsite locations to sleep at to avoid exhaustion. It also means concocting antidotes and healing tonics for poison and injuries, as well as staying warm, crafting clothes and building fires as I move from forests, through plateaus, to frozen peaks.
It also means defending myself against attacks from the predators that share this world with me. Song in the Smoke’s beasts move with a weight that’s only possible in VR, and their attacks feel like being hit by a furry train. But while they’ve got their teeth and claws, I’ve got a weapon of my own – a crafted club – that I can use to block and parry their attacks. Facing down 200 kilograms of angry lion isn’t easy, but if I time my deflection just right, I can disorient the beast long enough to escape his attention. Or I could even strike back, swinging my club with my Move controller to send him running for safety with his tail between their legs. If I’m really lucky, my blow might take him down for good, allowing me to plunder his corpse for trophies and other valuable resources.
It’s a dangerous world, but thanks to PS VR, my survival is put into my own two hands. 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