An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

It’s rather rare for a person to truly be able to defend something as being “revolutionary,” “game-changing.”  To make that claim, you have to be able to back it up.  And you have to be willing to show that you are not just saying this.  With this game, I am making the claim that it is game-changing.  I genuinely believe that Journey is game-changing in many respects.

This is a game that, like everything else thatgamecompany has made, has flown under the radar.  But, also like everything else they have done, it is different in every sense of the word.  It is so strange, to look at the works of thatgamecompany, and to try and have a single opinion of them.  It’s not really possible, to be honest.

The first game that I saw of theirs was flOw.  It was a game that put into practice a psychological theory by the same name.  While it was simple, and a little bit odd, it was fun.  Next came Flower.  This game is unlike any that I have ever seen, and a game that I play whenever I am feeling down.  That game puts you in the place of a gust, collecting flower petals and taking them to destinations.  It’s a simple, yet beautiful concept, and they use it perfectly.

Journey is their latest creation, and the name really does say it all.  This game is about a creature wandering the desert.  There are two strata to this game – mystery and beauty.  You are gradually learning about the fate that befell your people, along with trying to find your way to a mountain in the distant.

Your character roams vast stretches of desert, ruined cities, deep underground caverns that almost look like underwater places, and mountain peaks.  Each of these offers a vast array of visuals, and the poetry from this is amazing.  Each aspect of this game is beautiful, and doesn’t try to hide this.

What is truly amazing about this game is that the visuals are not shooting for realism.  They are shooting for poetry.  The cel-shading can be a little odd, but it always works perfectly.  The textures of the sands, the flowing of the snow, the gently movements of your arm-less character, they are all just so perfectly done, even though it in no way looks like a real person.  That is genuinely impressive.

So, why call it game-changing?  Why say that it is revolutionary?  Well, the reasons for that are simple.  The first is because this character you play never talks, but you are able to feel for him.  In one section, you are trying to climb a mountain peak.  You can clearly tell that the cold is weighing on him.  He is slowing down, getting sluggish.  You never know what his motivations are, but when you see how hard this journey is for him, you feel for the character.

Next is that the landscapes is so visceral, and makes you marvel at it.  Never before have a I seen something in a video game and thought to myself – wow.  That is unbelievable.  It really goes out of its way to try and make you feel like you are journeying with him, seeing what he (or she.  You know nothing about what kind of creature this is, which adds to the mystery) sees.  These aren’t just cool visuals, they are visuals that you are a part of.  Because this creature never speaks.  There isn’t two words of dialogue in this game.  It really is like you are there.

And the last reason is because this game leaves you with something to think about.  I’ve went through it at least four times now, and I still am pondering.  There is something constantly to debate, to wonder, to think about and to come to your own conclusions.  That is amazing, and definitely makes this game hopefully one of the first to come into the real of true artistry.

This is a great game, and I hope you all play it.

Peace out,

Lefty

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Comments on: "Lefty’s Review: Journey" (3)

  1. Mommyofone said:

    I just can’t believe people would stand up for this “woman,” I love samantha’s family, my heart and prayers for them to heal quickly are sent every day..and I certainly hope people leave up her pictures and such in remembrance of such a wonderful woman! I also hope that if that were to happen that it mocks kylie every day. For those who stand up for her…. What would you do if it was your friends or family, would you sit there quietly or would you stand up and fight for kind words to be said. Kylie is still alive… Samantha is not. Stop protecting someone who had this coming and knew it when she posted it. She deleted her facebook. But did
    any of you look into this, she had three facebook accounts, she also either had someone reply to her hardtail, or she set up an auto response message, she knew what she was doing.

    • Any chance you could copy this over to “What Constitutes Cruelty: The End of the Samantha Koenig Case?” While I dig the comment, it is on a totally unrelated post, and I doubt any others who read this post would get it.

  2. This game is perfect for a wannabe writer, because it makes you form your own story in your head.

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