Now it is fair to say that I have mentioned this game on the Podcast on more than one occasion, it is also true that I have been watching the progress of this since it was first announced. Duke and Chinny have given me grief regarding my almost fanatical obsession with this game, which culminated in me spending three hours inputting codes into my PC to try and get into the Beta.
Well the wait is almost over, the scores are in and it is a very healthy 92 at Metacritic.
I don’t want to be misconstrued as generic or uninspired when I say that Journey is an awesome game. In the most classical, archaic sense of the word, Journey is a beautiful, evocative and unequivocally transcendental experience.
It’s one of the few games you’ll genuinely reflect on after completion, and an object lesson in how less can be more when it comes to crafting narrative and eliciting investment. This is a game about which I would change nothing, and I can’t remember having said that too many times before.
Where Journey truly excels is in its top-of-the-range visuals, inventive world and its tonal breadth. One moment you will find yourself avoiding the spotlights of menacing, sentient war machines 20 times your size in a barely lit dungeon, and the next plodding through the harsh mountain peaks with almost no visibility, all accompanied by a genuine sense of dread as your character visibly starts to die and can barely walk anymore.
Journey is a defiant bridge between art and game, managing to emotionally connect without being cloying, and succeeding in being mysterious without becoming pretentiously vague and obfuscating. Journey’s interactive, visual, and aural elements work together, rather than fight with each other, in order to provide a flowing, seamless, influential, and utterly exhilarating experience…This is interactive art. This is how it’s done.
If Journey is about God, then God has played an awful lot of video games. One of the most fascinating things about thatgamecompany’s sand-blown chunk of spiritual eye candy isn’t that it reinvents gaming, or extends the medium’s reach: it’s that it takes old ideas – sometimes very old ideas – and repackages them in clever, stylish, and unexpected ways.
Journey celebrates the poignancy of nature, it startles you with the unexpected, and empowers you in an exhilarating, unforgettable conclusion…The hours spent completing Journey will create memories that last for years.
Journey’s real issue, if it has one, goes much deeper than that. It’s a resolutely linear game in which your range of interactions is minimal. For some, that will make it a pretty but hollow novelty; boring, perhaps. But for those who play games to explore strange lands, see beautiful sights and to immerse themselves – for however brief a time – in a new world, Journey is perfect. And what’s more, they’ll find someone like them to share it with.