Developed by: Thatgamecompany
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date: 21st July 2015
Available on: PS4 (original game available on PS3)
By now, I’m assuming that many of you have played Journey. After all, it is an incredible piece of gaming and one of the most beautiful games ever created. For one reason or another, I had never had that chance. I’d missed out on playing Journey the first time; for one reason or another, I never got round to it. After sitting down and finally getting the chance to play through it, I was completely astounded by every facet of its beauty. The story, the music, the aesthetics and the emotion—Journey is more than a game, it is a connection to the core of your soul. This isn’t so much of a review—it is more a harmony of thoughts from my first ever experience with the game, and I hope it inspires you to go out and buy it.
The way the sun shone on the sand dunes as you descended them at a quickening pace, or the struggle through the snow storm did nothing but take my breath away. I’d never seen lighting used in such a way. The atmosphere created by Thatgamecompany’s art design is quite frankly a work of art. Pair that with the peaceful melodies of its score, and you are transported to a different world—a place where you can find peace.
As the game progresses, you become more involved in the tale and as things start to grow even more tense, the music builds and your link to the characters grows symbiotically. I cared so much for the unnamed protagonist. I didn’t want anything bad to come to them, and as things grew more difficult, I couldn’t stop feeling an inexplicable emotional bond—I’d never felt that before.
Something I had heard a little about since Journey was released 3 years ago, was the elements of its ‘multiplayer.’ I knew there would be times when you might be able to interact with other players in the world, but I didn’t know how moving and intimate the experience would be. I encountered three different companions on my travels. With the first two, I was still coming to grips with what my purpose was and therefore, having the chance to interact and travel with them became marred by my own self-discovery.
It wasn’t till about 20 minutes in that I met my third and final companion. I didn’t know anything about him or her. All that was relevant to me was that they, like I, were lost in this world and were looking to find that light in the mountain. I felt an instant bond to my companion; knowing nothing about them helped with the childlike wonderment of our relationship. When children make friends, there are no prerequisites or checklists they have to abide by or fill. There is only the instant bond made by the assumption that fun and adventure abound—simply by having the imagination and freedom to do so.
As we traversed through the happy and sad times, neither one of us would leave the other—we knew what was at stake, even if we weren’t sure what would be waiting for us at the end. There were times that I genuinely worried about them. I lost sight of them at certain points and I would head back through harsh weather to find them. We were in this together and I wasn’t going to finish this alone. We were fused together by a common goal and an instant connection—we would finish this concurrently no matter what.
In closing, I have been profoundly touched by the whole experience—never in my 20 plus years of gaming have I finished a game and sat in utter silence for an entire hour or so afterwards. I couldn’t shake the emotional effect of it, or the stunning aesthetics and the powerful soundtrack that accompanied me on my travels. I will always have those memories in my life. I will always have the time I shared with that other companion. I will always have those moments when the beauty of Journey left me speechless. I will always have this game in my life. To say Journey left me overwhelmed would be an understatement. I implore you, go and buy this game. You will not be disappointed. I promise you that.
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