Thursday, April 5, 2012

Purchased Journey, went on journey...finished!!


While the release dates from ThatGameCompany are lengthy and sporadic, their games are ironically not.  Given their track record of Flow and Flower, however, you can safely assume that whatever they create will be breath-taking.  After what seems like a lifetime, their laitest game piece of art, Journey, was recently released on PSN, and I finally got a chance to experience it.

From the start, Journey is meant to be a visual experience uncluttered by absolutely anything game-related.  Apart from a couple of button icons and the PS3 controller at the very beginning to dictate control and camera, nothing else pollutes the screen, leaving everything open and free for exploration.

The first thing that will get to you is the sand.  It encompasses your entire environment, obscuring that which has been, so easily disturbed with every footstep.  Under heavy winds, the desert appears to have a life of its own, almost "breathing" as the land seemingly pulsates neath your feet.  I spent my first 5 minutes just walking around, allowing the grains of sand to fall where I walked, daring to enter areas other than the path ahead.

I want to go on and explain things, but this game deserves much more than any one review can ever describe.  I will say, however, that the multiplayer aspect is refreshingly simple.  In your game's travels, you may run into another player also experiencing the game as you are.  There's no objective, no requirement, no incentive to really interact with the other player; you can choose to play with them and experience the game together, or ignore them completely.  In fact, your only real interaction is releasing your aura in short bursts, as if performing morse code.

I think after my first playthrough, I've interacted with 5 other online players in my travels.  And while completing the game won't take you very long at all, the experience itself is like a small indie movie short - brief, concise, and leaves an impression on you like nothing any full-length movie/game can.
Post a Comment