Regardless of ones gaming appetite, it is truly hard to deny the latest gaming milestone which Thatgamecompany has reached with Journey. Telling a brief yet emotionally magical story of a lone character who embarks on an unforgettable journey, this latest PSN exclusive uniquely tugs at your heart while offering one of gaming’s most superb accomplishments.
With Journey, Thatgamecompany dismisses typical gaming mechanics by ignoring the common use of dialogue, scores, maps and leaderboards. You are an unnamed entity with the appearance of a piece of cloth with human like qualities with an unknown origin. Appearing in the middle of this endless desert your Journey begins as you head for a mysterious mountain peak shining its beacon of light from atop its apex.
Early on your character who we will refer to as ‘Journeyer’ comes across a power source of sorts enabling you to grow an extended scarf as a power source which gives Journeyer the ability to jump. Upon encountering more light sources which are scattered throughout your vast surroundings your scarf continues to grow giving Journeyer the temporal ability to fly. Along your journey you are eventually met by floating objects resembling swiftly steered magic carpets which appear to be made from the same cloth-like material which represents Journeyer. These objects have the ability of magically infusing your scarfs power as well as carry you along.
Journey begs explorations as you believe you can literally go as far as the eye can see. Of course our ambitions attempted just that and I strongly encourage it as you’ll uncover more of what is at the heart this adventure. Indeed PSN trophies and glyphs await. Traveling too far in what can be considered the wrong direction and you are smartly introduced to powerful desert winds which are impossible to penetrate. Instead of the traditional invisible walls approach, Thatgamecompany has added harsh winds to take their place keeping in line with the game core essence. It is really cool to watch Journeyer attempt to force its way through the difficult winds, the way in which Journeyer struggles against the wind is almost human-like.
While there is no dialogue, Journeyer communicates what seems to be a musical note to grab to the attention of the animated objects in this world. Just the same Journeyer can communicate to other journeyers who you eventually run into along your travels. These are in fact online controlled journeyers which the game seamlessly allow you to engage with as long as you’re signed into the network. You can take the journey together or by simply walking away the game keeps you on your quest taking the other player out of your journey’s reality. Simple yet amazing.
Journey is one of the most beautiful games of our time. From the tranquil landscapes of the desert sands which reacts realistically to the touch and of the wind and the expanded mountain vistas rounded out by the most exquisite musical score which evokes your emotions and Journey is more than just a video game. The games artistic approach many time left me staring at the screen in disbelief. The sun beating on the shimmering sands, winds carrying you great distances as the musical score charged you along while eventually introducing more harsh levels where struggle and eventual fatigue echoed the reality of life.
These and many other attentions to detail captivate the player. As though tossed into a painting from an unknown and ancient civilization, Journey grips you with surprises at every turn. For this inspired critic Journey tells a story of life with grace and boldness uniquely portrayed on an interactive canvas. In one of gaming’s most simplistic forms, one of the greatest achievements has been reached.
Journey is an unforgettable experience which I have now played through multiple times and every time it is nothing short of amazing. With an ending that rejoices triumph, Journey simply can’t be missed. Thatgamecompany has done the unthinkable, bravo!