Rating: 5/5 Stars
Summary: A journey through an alien land of sand, the past and future set on a path of beauty. A path you not need to cross alone.
Review: Journey is a beautiful, breathtaking game. It’s entirely possible to leave the review as that line, because at the core that’s all I can say. The graphics of the game are stunning, combining with emotional music to become an example how the medium is for a form of art when done right. While it is possible to play the game alone there is unique feature of the game, when you are connected to the internet your “journey” will join with another random player in the world. The bonus of playing with another person is a sense of comrade with your silent companion and the ability to help generate the ability to fly.
Now I have to beg you, if you plan on going into this game to be surprised read no further. It will not take very long; the game’s length is only about two to three hours. But please, DO NOT read below anymore if that’s your choice
When I played the game I didn’t know what to expect other than the visuals were supposed to be beautiful and that I’d likely end up playing with some random stranger. What I got were scenery that caught my breath, and a stranger who for a short time was a friend. The story is that you are a member of an alien race on the path to a mountain in the distance while exploring the ruins of your civilization; lost so long ago the sands have consumed it. Along the way you, and the person your journey with, learn the history from ancient glyphs and ancestors that red cloth powered everything. It’s what allows the player to fly for short times, but the supply of it is limited. And desiring it all led to a war and the creation of guardians, giant living stone creatures that are first met in and dark underwater-like level. The cry from one of those creatures and atmosphere giving me the chill of dread that I haven’t had in a game in so long, but I thankfully had a partner on the journey. But soon after that dark area the journey leads base of the frigid mountain, where the wind roars and pushing you and your partner back. And the guardians roam the skies and the only safety from their blasts is inside others of their kind broken to pieces. But at the end of that area is where my heart felt the most emotion, because after getting past all that danger and beauty on the journey the bit of red cloth you have to fly is ripped away by a blizzard’s wind along with your partner’s. And you keep going up, the movements of both getting slower and slower till finally one of you falls. And for me the first to go was my partner, I was so caught up in the game I actually let out a small “no” of horror and disbelief. It was then that I realized that the game ended in death, or so it appeared. The screen went white and the six ancestors empowered me, shooting past the guardians and directly to the mountaintop alone. After the dim blizzard of death I’d just left the sight of sun shining on the mountain peaks was just beautiful. For the first time the snow wasn’t something to fear, but enjoy as the sights were taken in. And at the end of the path, the true end of the game, was again a slow walk into white. But instead of the choking death of a dark blizzard, it was a walk into the light streaming through a crevice in the mountain. At which point you become a slow stream of light, slowly retracing your path through the land while listening to music that made me want to cry at least one tear. The game ends with you back at the opening screen, asking if you wish to start a new journey. The game has no dialogue and the ending is really left up for interpretation. Did the game end in death to be reborn, the fact that game ends back in the beginning being symbolic of the cycle life leading to death and back? Or did the character survive and went on changed by the knowledge and experiences of the journey? I honestly can’t say, but now that I’ve told you about it I hope you get to experience it soon.