The Beauty Isn’t In The Destination But The Journey – Journey Review
By Garrett Green On 13 Apr, 2012 At 06:35 AM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWhile many of the general public would argue against video games as an art form, many of us gamers would say that many games today are just as artistic as any movie, novel, or even a painting with how beautiful some environments are becoming.  There is no better an argument of artistic games than thatgamecompany’s Journey.  This painting in motion is not only beautiful, but emotional as you discover the world and it’s one inhabitant.

Journey begins with a red-cloaked nameless character waking up in the middle of the desert with no discernible landmarks other than a mountain in the distance with a light source emanating from its peak, and that’s it. There are no other hints, no dialogue, no HUD, nothing. And that is the beauty of this game.  It so drastically different from what is expected from a game, that it stands out and shines. Along the way you will find hidden mosaics that gives you little clues about who you are and what is happening. At the end of each level, more descriptions through mosaics are shown to you, but nothing is ever definitively said. It is up to the player to read between the lines to figure out what is going on.

To say this game is beautiful is an understatement.  This game is drop dead gorgeous, and it’s amazing to see how Thatgamecompany can take a very small detail in the environment and make it amazing. In their previous title, Flower, they made grass look incredible. I know it’s a little silly to be in awe of grass, but to animate each individual blade of grass and with the scope of each levels was incredible.  In Journey sand draws the same kind of inspiration.  At times it looks like each individual grain of sand is animated.  The lighting is great and really shines its true colors in the “Slope Level” The way the sunset is bouncing off the sand as you slide around caverns is amazing. And it’s not just the visuals, the score is also great.  Art, in many of its forms, is what this game is all about.

There is a power up system, in which you find what appears to be glowing scriptures that make your scarf longer. The longer your scarf is, the higher and longer you can jump.  Also there are cloth creatures that you find and free along the way recharge your jumping ability.  The only other ability you have is releasing a type of shock wave that can help you solve puzzles.  The simplicity of the game makes the emotional connection take center stage and stand out more. There is also multiplayer, so to speak.  If you are connected to the internet while you are playing, there is a chance you may run into another player.  There is no voice chat, no names being displayed, and no way to communicate other than your shock wave. And what you do from there is completely up to you, whether that’s working together to finish the game or just passing each other by.

This game is what you show to anyone who scoffs at the notion of a game being art. However, this game may not be for everyone. It is slow paced to really build up the emotional context, and some people may not like that. But at $14.99 I encourage everyone with a PlayStation to get this game. This is one of the best downloadable titles to date.  Journey is available now on the PlayStation Network.

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