Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Journey Review

Ever since I played thatgamecompany's Journey back around April, I've been wanting to review it, but I'm not really sure how to approach it, since it's been reviewed many times, and they all basically say the same thing, but since I don't want my blog to die, I'll just sort of say whatever.

One of the most critically applauded areas of the game is the visuals, and I can't disagree. They aren't quite realistic, but still are quite impressive - more like a painting than a photo. That being said, the distinct visual style doesn't take away from the immersion - in fact, it's executed so well that it really adds to the game. Particularly the ending scene (I won't spoil it, just take my word for it, or play the game if you haven't!). I think what gives it its distinct feel is the texturing, which is much more minimal than your average game. The only thing is, sometimes there are some wonky camera angles, like a nice view inside a block or something. But that doesn't happen if you don't try to put the camera there, I guess.

I'm sure you've heard before about how awesome the music is, and how it's really haunting and stuff. I don't want to reiterate, but it really is. There have been great video game soundtracks before, but I'd go as far as to say that this is the greatest video game soundtrack of all time. I mean, even the emotional ending of Puccini's La Boheme can't compare to the emotional ending of "Apotheosis".
One thing, however, that hasn't been mentioned are the sound effects themselves. There aren't an overwhelming amount, but they do their job nicely. They're convincing, and there are some memorable ones, certainly. I can't really complain in that regard, except maybe the player interaction noise gets annoying sometimes.

I'm not really sure what exactly the story is, but that's a good thing, maybe. Obviously, you're trying to get to a mountain, but with all these ruins and cutscenes, it really hints at something deeper. It's not a huge narrative, but rather it implies that something huge and mysterious happened a long time ago. It really makes you think.

All that being said, I have missed one critical part, which is other characters. Remember, it is online, so you can encounter other people. In that regard, though, you might be a bit disappointed, because it seems quite rare now that I ever meet someone in-game, and even when I do, they leave fairly quickly. I guess I can't blame people, because with no new content, there's not really any reason to keep playing. For that reason, it kind of seems like thatgamecompany wanted to make an awesome online game, but they never really thought through the implications of doing so. "The curse of the online game", if you will.

Awesome game, looks beautiful, great soundtrack, mysterious, a bit lonely, buy it now!

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