Journey Review

Posted: April 9, 2012 by E-mann in REVIEWS
Tags: ,

Journey is the third and final game in thatgamecompany’s exclusive deal with Sony.  Does Journey live up to the charm and beauty of its predecessors or does it shine brighter than them all?

In Journey you play a wandering nomad in a vast desert.  Your goal (it seems) is to make your way to a mountain far in the distance.  As you travel and complete levels you meet a large being dressed similarly to you, though it is wearing white.  This being shows pictographs of a previous culture and their story.  As you “Journey” your quest in some ways mirrors the images you see at the end of each chapter.

The world of Journey is beautiful and mysterious.  You travel from hot deserts, dank caves, to amazing snow covered peaks, all beautifully rendered.  The sand in this game is a sight to behold.  At times it almost seems like water in the way it shimmers and the way your character can essentially surf on it .

Not much is known about what you are doing but that’s the whole fun of this game.  Discovery. There is no dialogue or text.  The game is told through visuals. Even the controls are communicated visually.

Similar to old games, you are given simple actions and it’s on you to figure out how far these abilities go when the difficulty ramps up.  There are only two actions you can do in Journey, fly and call.  The fly ability is dependent on your energy which is represented visually by a scarf.  You can extend the scarf by finding hidden glyphs.  The longer the scarf the longer you can fly.  When the glow decreases on your scarf you need to replenish its energy.  The call ability is used to interact with the environment.  When you call, you send out energy which activates things or calls cloth creatures to you.  Most of the time you will be freeing cloth creatures which is to your benefit because they recharge your powers as well as help you get to areas you couldn’t normally access.

There is an online multiplayer aspect to Journey though you have no control over who you meet or play with.  You can’t even really communicate except for the call ability.  There is no speech, you can only really use it to catch the other player’s attention.  But it’s to your benefit to stay with who you meet.  When two players are next to each other they recharge each other’s scarf energy.  If you charge the call ability you can instantly replenish the other player’s power. If you get a good rhythm going (flying and recharging) you move quicker over terrain, can get to high places and even skip difficult areas.  I really liked Journey’s interesting take on online multiplayer and found myself waiting for players to walk into my game so we could team up.

Journey in some ways mirrors life.  There is no plan, no tutorial on what you can and can’t do.  Life is what you make of it and that becomes your meaning.  You just need to pick a direction and go and find out for yourself.  Some may find the non handholding nature of Journey confusing and or annoying.  Journey is not about instant satisfaction, it is not fast paced.  Be patient let it do what it needs to do and you will enjoy the journey that Journey takes you on.

Liked

  • Graphics and art style
  • Pacing
  • Multiplayer

Disliked

  • Short play time

Journey was developed by thatgamecompany and published by Sony.  It was released exclusively on the Playstation 3 and is available now on the Playstation network store for $14.99.  The copy played for this review was downloaded from the PSN.

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Comments
  1. your second picture, the sand-sliding sequence, was definitely one of my favorite portions of the game (if I had to pick a particular portion) and definitely highlights the sheer beauty of this game

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