There are hundreds of quotes about how the journey takes precedence over the destination and JOURNEY from thatgamecompany embodies this precisely. Journey, a Sony PlayStation exclusive, embraces placing the player in a position to interpret the game as they will and react in a way that is completely personal to the user.
As I said, there is much up to your own interpretation and the story is a huge part of that. The basics are that you see a large light off in the distance at the summit of a mountain and you are trying to get to that light. Again, how you get to that light is where your experience will matter most. Your character’s skills are limited to the scarf around your neck. The scarf holds a charge that allows you to jump and float around the environments for a short time. Other than your jump/float, the only other skill is to make a pulse/call to recharge your scarf and interact with the environment. This short skill list will give you time to immerse yourself in all that Journey has to offer.
The art style and music are exceptional. From the very beginning, you will immediately feel a part of the world. There is an amazing interplay between the gorgeous environments, your character and the music. I honestly have not felt an environment as alive as this in a very long time. There are many times you will simply stop to admire the effects and interaction of your character in the world. Your breath will literally be taken away.
There is also a multiplayer aspect to Journey that completely changes the dynamic of the game. At any time, you may be dynamically partnered with someone else who is in the same chapter you are. I walked into an underground area and standing there was a person, just like me; the only difference being that upon making the pulse/call, our symbols were different. Other than making the pulse, we had no other way of communicating. It felt reassuring to travel with someone else – to follow their lead or take the lead myself if they looked confused or lost. What is amazing about Journey’s co-op system is that I never felt that solo or with a friend was “better.” They were entirely different and rewarding experiences. It was nice also to see who I played with at the end of my journey (Thanks Alto!).
Journey is going to challenge how you think and feel about video games. If you were to simply try to “blow through” the game from start to finish, you will easily complete the game in less than two hours. That isn’t what Journey is about. You are really meant to complete the adventure in one sitting. The game wants you to have one solid, whole experience. Then it wants you to have another…and another.
Overall, Journey is an amazing gaming experience that is full of gorgeous environments and fluid game play. With that said, this game is not for everyone. With a $15 price point, I am hard pressed to recommend this title to everyone, but if you want an unique experience that will challenge your assumptions about gaming and leave you in awe – this is a must purchase.
Journey was developed by thatgamecompany and will be available on March 13, 2012 for $14.99 exclusively on the PlayStation Network.
Interview with thatgamecompany’s
Genova Chan & Kellee Santiago from VGA 2009