Every once in a while a game comes along that makes your heart swell, that sends chills through your body, and captures you in sight, feel, and sound. One such game is thatgamecompany‘s PSN downloadable game: Journey. Donning a red robe, a long scarf, and the ability to chirp various notes, you slowly work your way to a mystifying and far off mountain.
Somewhere between gliding down golden dunes of sand and floating along red ribbons you realize that you are playing a game, not watching the most amazing animated indie film ever conceived. Among the artistic glory this game oozes you discover that there is indeed some mechanics to be had. Your scarf, while stylish, actually lengthens as you gather collectibles called glyphs. The longer your scarf the more times you can ‘flap’ you robe and fly into the sky which allows for a few shortcuts through levels and such.
You can recharge your scarf in a multitude of ways. You can run by a few scarf like bits that float in a cluster, touch any red ribbon type fabric, or get a little cozy with a friend. Wait, What? A friend? That’s right, this game also has multiplayer, but not in the way you’d expect it to be. As you work your way through the game you are matched with other online players that are in the same area that you happen to be. You are not aware of their name and have no way to communicate with them besides uttering a serious of chirps to try and get their attention. You don’t have to worry about people messing you up though, there is no way to inhibit a player, only help them. The process of other players entering and leaving your game is seamless and often your companion will change without your noticing. They list all the players you encountered at the end of the game and I assure you that there will be more than you think you met.
If you aren’t swept away by the visuals of this game then the music will finish the job. It’s a well known fact that strong games have strong soundtracks. To say that Journey’s soundtrack is simply “strong”, however, is to grossly understate how monumentally outstanding it truly is. Austin Wintory ties up the cinematic experience of the visuals with an emotional bow that leaves you breathless. It’s difficult to accurately describe in words something that was designed for the ears. I suggest you take a listen for yourself.
While this game is short (only about 90 minutes at most) you won’t feel as though you wasted any money at the modest price of $15.00. Between the beautiful visuals, heart tugging music, and fantastic platforming elements, Journey will scratch any itch you may be having and will leave you wanting more or, in my case, have you play twice more just to re-experience it. Get this game, you won’t regret a second of it.