Journey Review

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: thatgamecompany

Platform: PSN

Release Date: March 13, 2012

Rating: E forEveryone

Players: Single Player (2 online)

-Geoff Barry

An Epic Journey That Comes Up Just Shy of Greatness.

In this PSN exclusive we tackle the role of a red-hooded character and his/her trek over a gorgeous landscape with surreal storytelling. The goal of our mysterious and speechless robed figure is to get to the top of a distant mountain. If you prefer to go at it alone, I would recommend signing out of PSN before doing so because other players online will drop into your game at any point in time. Playing the campaign alone the first time is a good way to nab collectibles and trophies. However, having a partner can be beneficial because some of the areas are large, and at times, it can be confusing as to which direction is the correct one. What really bothered me with the multiplayer was that there was really no way to communicate. I couldn’t even look up my partner’s online ID until I had completed the campaign, so it was tough to feel any connection with other players.

What we know about thatgamecompany is that they know how to make visually stunning games. With Flow and Flower already on their resume, Journey had high expectations to reach the same level as those titles. Without a doubt, the developer produced a beautiful game. Sand isn’t normally that attractive, but this game took it and made something special. The underground scenes were even better. The blue just glowed on my screen, despite not playing on an HD television. Hands down, Journey is the prettiest game I’ve played this year. 

The storytelling was confusing. I got the basic idea of what was going on, but without any form of dialogue or subtitles it was very difficult to grasp the whole idea. At the end of each level the character would sit and watch the events unfold in front of them. Even with multiple play-throughs I’m still not 100% on what was being told. 

I was disappointed at the lack of difficulty. There was really no test throughout the short 2-4 hour journey. The hardest part was timing out the strong gusts of wind with walking to areas that would prevent me from getting blown back. Also, when I’m playing an adventure game I like to be able to jump as much as I can, but unless I found launch spot, I was slowly walking the entire time and it got to be quite a drag. However, that shouldn’t take away from how fun it was when floating up in the air. It was a blast while jumping from spot to spot, climbing higher and higher, or even sliding down slopes until reaching the destination. When not walking a slow, constant pace, the gameplay was very enjoyable.

Journey is not your typical hardcore gamer title. It’s an enjoyable experience that will leave a stunning, burning image in your mind. With top-of-the-line graphics and a fun soundtrack, you’ll have a tough time finding a game that’ll take your breath away. It’s a budget game that goes as far as you take it. Is it a time sink? No, but it’s the quality that needs to be paid attention to. It’s bug free and nearly flawless. There are a few things that I would have liked to see done differently, but it’s not enough to take credit away from a true work of art that belongs in a museum of gaming beauty.

Verdict: 83%