Finally Journey is available to download for everyone on the PlayStation Network. The eagerly anticipated downloadable game from ThatGameCompany was expected in late 2011 but thank god it's finally here, the even better news is that it's freakin awesome!
II can't recommend this game highly enough. I downloaded it today and have already been lucky enough to have the time to play through it once, if you've been thinking about buying it, just stop reading now and go do it. I've really been looking forward to it for a while now and even took time out of my play through Mass Effect 3 to play it.
There's no real story to Journey, well not initially anyway, bits and pieces are revealed along the way, but it's open to your interpretation. More importantly is the overall experience of you planted in the desert, with your goal ahead of you, the looming mountain in the distance. Along the way the desert environment changes as the sun goes down creating stunning visual changes to the already beautiful environment. It's just beautiful to behold.
You have 2 main controls, aside from general running around. You can jump and you can 'talk', though talking is more of a chirp, but you can affect things in the world by chirping that alow you to progress. You can also sing a little song as the chirp changes note. Along the way you may meet up with a companion who you can choose to ignore or Journey along with, the beauty of this is that they are real people also playing through (so long as you're signed in). I was informed at the end of the game that i had 'Journeyed' with 8 other PSN users. The online co-op is beautifully integrated in this way and it really does feel special when travelling with a companion that you are sharing this experience with someone.
The visual style speaks for itself, its amazing to look at. I thought the desert scenes in Uncharted3 looked stunning but this is about 10 times better looking than those scenes! The music deserves a mention too, haunting and beautiful cello melodies accompany your pilgrimage and your characters chirping provides you with an instrument to play yourself.
With a playing time of 2hrs, the game's a little short for the Â£9.99 i payed, but i think like a film the game is designed to be completed in one sitting and enjoyed in a similar way. After all you'd pay about the same to go to the cinema for 2hrs enjoyment or for a DVD so the price is completely justifiable.
On a side note i recall a piece thatgamecompany's president Kellee Santiago wrote a while back regarding movie reviewing legend Roger Ebert and his continuing stance that 'Video Games cannot be art'. Ebert has irked many a game fan over the last few years for statements regarding this despite haveing only played a handful of video games. Thatgamecompany's previous indie games flOw and Flower would both be considered art by many a game fan. You can check out the piece here.
The point i was trying to get to is that Journey is a work of art (suck on that Ebert), it's probably the only video game out there that you could compare to a film like experience in length and cost and provides an experience that is truly something to behold. Expect Journey to win a shedload of awards in 2012.
Go buy it, it has to be experienced
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