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Journey is a simple, beautiful and enthralling experience. For those who have played That Game Company’s previous game, Flower, you will already know that the experience will be unforgettable. In fact, Journey starts with this girl that we control exploring a desert. There are sandstorms and destroyed cities. She charges up this magical power as she releases these mystical creatures and revives the land and gains the power to fly from one place to the next. The world is charged up and her flying abilities are prolonged as the journey continues. At every checkpoint, she enters into a world where she encounters (what we can assume) is a goddess or spirit that protects the land who guides her further towards her final objective: the top of the mountain. The story unfolds before her about the journey she will be destined to take.
Journey has no narrative. That Game Company truly masters the concept that a picture is worth a thousand words. I’d venture far enough that Journey is so powerful as we build a connection over the three hours of playing with our character and her journey that a picture might even be worth a million words. Journey is a magical experience. While it starts off slow and we can get an idea of the story as we revive little strands and small bits of magic about, by the time we release the magical dragon looking creatures or the jellyfishes, it is just out of the world. Until it gets grim and scary when we get giant rock looking serpents which pose as dangers to our journey especially the grueling experience at the end of walking through a terrible snowstorm.
There is no doubt that Journey is visually appealing. It is creative and beautiful. It helps the players be absorbed into the story and the journey itself. Another incredible element is the music it uses. It creates the atmosphere and the mood in the most subtle ways at certain parts and the most enchanting ways in others. It captures the magic and the beauty and even the danger so well.
Another fun element to Journey is meeting other players. Journey is a single player experience. While it is our own experience of it, along the way you will see another players just like you. It isn’t your shadow. Those are actual players playing the game at the same time at the same level and at the end of the game, the credits will tell you who you met. It is a nifty little bit to add in.
There are not enough words to praise how spectacular Journey is. While replaying it offers nothing new, the feeling you get from playing it and going through the journey, whether its the music or the character or the creatures is as magical as the last time you played. This is the value in a game. It is about creating an unforgettable experience that never gets old. This is Journey and it is an absolute must-play.
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
Genre: Adventure, art game
Mode(s): Single-player, multiplayer