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AusGamers Games
Journey
Journey

PlayStation 3
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Official Site: http://thatgamecompany.com/g...
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertain...
Release Date:
2012
Journey Review
Review By @ 03:34pm 20/03/12
PS3
You might be looking at the score down below and asking yourself how can a release that runs for a mere few hours, skirting the boundaries of what a videogame actually is garner such high marks that it’s a hop, skip and a jump away from the likes of Batman: Arkham City and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? Valid point.

While some titles may have claimed to help forward the cause of videogames as an art-form, those dudes at Thatgamecompany have managed to spin gold with Journey, a game that is sure to leave an indelible impression upon anyone who plays it.

The set up is simplicity itself. You are a lone, cloaked wanderer about to embark on a pilgrimage, tasked by an elder (presumably spiritual by the way it radiates white light) entity, to the summit of a distant mountaintop. The story is related with no spoken or written words breaking the immersion. There’s no save points with the idea that you complete the trek in a single sitting, and you’ll want to.



A desolate wasteland is a fitting kick-off with little more than the beam of light emanating from the mountaintop as your focal point. Cloth is a large component of Journey with many ruined or swept away structures housing levers or creatures cut from the same… ahem… cloth as yourself. Interacting with these either sets them free of their cages or often opens pathways long closed as you navigate your surroundings to proceed onwards to the next meditation point.

While meditating you reflect on recent events with your tale’s progression told through beautiful hieroglyphics bringing with it an inherent sense of mysticism, mystique and almost childlike wonder. On your travels you’ll come across collectible highlighted glyphs. Seeking each of these out adds length to the cloth scarf wrapped around your neck allowing you to jump and glide greater distances, which are perhaps the only traditional “gaming” elements to Journey.

So Journey isn’t a game in the traditional sense. Following in the footsteps of its previous creations Flow and the tremendously underappreciated Flower, Thatgamecompany pushes the boundaries of what you perceive a game to be while offering a unique and introspective experience that stays with you long after you’ve planted your spiritual flag on the summit.

Visually it impresses with a subtle colour palate infused with warm earthy hues. Characters and structures are created with an impressive economy of line and are yet instantly recognisable. This is wonderfully complimented by a magnificent and poignant score by the Macedonia Radio Symphonic Orchestra that utterly envelops and immerses you, mimicking the physical peaks and valleys; the emotional highs and lows, you’ll traverse. It really is a triumph in understated design.



On your own Journey is a test of endurance of character as you approach your destination beckoning in the distance. The co-operative component allows two players to share the wonder and work together towards a common goal. I was lucky enough to encounter another pilgrim fairly early on and contrary to usual online selfishness, we both felt an unspoken and overwhelming urge to persevere onwards together.

Journey doesn’t penalise you for playing by yourself and only adds to the awesome in co-op. We became a unit joined at the hip as we reached dizzying highs and out of the way ledges, notified the other via musical chant of hidden glyphs and always made sure we operated in tandem for the hour and a half we gamed together. It was the single most memorable and unselfish gaming experience I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of and it’s one I won’t soon forget.

It still astounds me that a couple of hours of gameplay left such a profound impact. I found myself unconsciously pondering the trek whilst daydreaming – musing even -- over the spiritual implications and was eager to take it for another spin hoping to find another wanderer in the desert to share an unspoken pilgrimage with. Journey makes you feel like a leaf on the wind, helpless in the face of adversity -- small in the grand scheme of things. Embrace the elements, give yourself over to it and soar to new heights.
WHAT WE LIKED
It’s Zen
Stunning yet simple visuals
Wonderfully poignant score
Encourages co-operation
WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE
It ends
MORE...
WE GAVE IT:
9.3
OUT OF 10
AusGamers
Latest Comments
Eorl
Posted 04:00pm 20/3/12
I bought this two days ago, and I must say it is a absolutely beautiful game. I've finished it twice now and plan on playing it a few more times to get all the trophies, but boy is it just a excellent game. The lack of communication besides sound and symbols really makes it a whole different experience. I also noticed when a companion is touching you, your scarf regenerates, as well as when they emit their sound and vice versa.

Overall, a very, very artistic and great game. The people that claim video games can't be art, are so, so wrong.
ko-zee-ii
Posted 04:14pm 20/3/12
Completely agree. I'm one of those naysayers but titles like Flower and Journey put forward a rock solid case. It was a really hard review to write as I didn't want to spoil anything, rather let everyone discover the magic of it for themselves (particularly the nuances of co-op).
Sip
Posted 04:23pm 20/3/12
so PS3 only aye....f***.
Nerfy
Posted 04:28pm 20/3/12
so PS3 only aye....f***.

Yeah, boourns, after that glowing feedback. :/
Tollaz0r!
Posted 04:49pm 20/3/12

What we don't like:

It ends.



Pitty it is a PS3 exclusive.
Midda
Posted 05:48pm 20/3/12
I've put like 6 or 7 hours into this, even though it's only like a 2-3 hour game. The multiplayer is absolutely awesome too. Just wandering around and coming across another player is brilliant and completely seamless.

I also found it interesting how even though you have no knowledge about the person you're playing with, and almost no means of communication, the connection you make just seems that much stronger. I stuck with the same person the entire way through my second playthrough. I had only intended to play for a little while to get a few extra trophies, but as soon as the other player appeared, we just set off and explored until the very end.

The big reveals of the environment don't lose their impact when you've already seen them either, it still looks just as amazing.
iconocast
Posted 06:23pm 20/3/12
still dont have a console, hrrrm meby i should get one...
Eorl
Posted 06:33pm 20/3/12
I've put like 6 or 7 hours into this, even though it's only like a 2-3 hour game. The multiplayer is absolutely awesome too. Just wandering around and coming across another player is brilliant and completely seamless.

I also found it interesting how even though you have no knowledge about the person you're playing with, and almost no means of communication, the connection you make just seems that much stronger. I stuck with the same person the entire way through my second playthrough. I had only intended to play for a little while to get a few extra trophies, but as soon as the other player appeared, we just set off and explored until the very end.

The big reveals of the environment don't lose their impact when you've already seen them either, it still looks just as amazing.

Everytime I slide down past that column monument, it just...so beautiful.
Midda
Posted 06:59pm 20/3/12
Yeah, and the very end of the sliding level where you go off the end of a cliff, and the camera changes to reveal the city in the distance as you fall down underground. Awesome.
jackflash
Posted 08:03pm 20/3/12
I found the Penny-Arcade comic related to this quite relevant, do you smoke the ganja before or after completion?
Romper
Posted 08:42pm 20/3/12
This is one of those games that you HAVE to share the experience with others, especially non-gamers. This game is absolutely beautiful to watch and it has to be one of the easier games that you'll play.

Very simple tutorial if you can call it that - just on how to move and jump/tweet and the rest is up to you to explore.

The multi-player in this game is unique and I wish more games created the same sort of co-op experience as this one. I like how the ending credits lets you know who the people were that you connected with during your 'journey' - nice touch to put it at the end instead of some out of place name bubble.

Extremely impressed with this game, which I bought on a whim, so much so I may get their other titles.
Nerfy
Posted 08:52pm 20/3/12
God damnit PS3 owners, talk it up more.

/wonders if watching it on youtube will suffice.
Khel
Posted 10:54pm 20/3/12
Haha, the Penny Arcade comic made me laugh, but yeah I might have to actually get this now. I'd written it off as some kind of wishy-washy artsy experimental thing that wouldn't appeal to me, but given the responses in this thread, I'll have to give it a go.

Khel
Posted 05:53pm 08/4/12
Just bought it and played through it this afternoon, very very cool, unlike anything I've played before. The guy I was playing with kept getting eaten by the big thing with the spotlight, to the point where his scarf was just a tiny little nub and mine was a glorious, flowing mane of scarfyness. It amused me. I made sure to twirl my beautiful long scarf around in his face whenever I got the chance.

I don't think it quite moved me to the same degree as it has others though, I've had a few facebook friends post about how its the only video game that made them cry, and I don't get, there was nothing in it that made me want to get all teary. Maybe its an artist thing, cos they were all artists, I dunno. Very cool nonetheless.
Nerfy
Posted 06:10pm 08/4/12
Is it somewhat of an interactive movie? Or is the gameplay an important part of the experience? I've been temped to just watch a recording given the oddly enthusiastic feedback about this one (don't have any consoles, pc4lyfe).
Dazhel
Posted 06:24pm 08/4/12
Very simple tutorial if you can call it that - just on how to move and jump/tweet


Smart move there on the part of TGC, these days Gen Z won't touch many games if they don't have twitter integration.
Outlaw
Posted 06:57pm 08/4/12
The game play is good once you figure out how it all works. Coop with 2 white cloaks and you can fly constantly.
Midda
Posted 09:04pm 08/4/12
I don't think it quite moved me to the same degree as it has others though, I've had a few facebook friends post about how its the only video game that made them cry, and I don't get, there was nothing in it that made me want to get all teary. Maybe its an artist thing, cos they were all artists, I dunno. Very cool nonetheless.

Not sure what would have made them cry. I got goosebumps a few times from a combination of the music and the awesome reveals, but getting teary from it seems like a bit of a stretch. Maybe they were on their periods.
Outlaw
Posted 01:34pm 09/4/12
I don't get the crying thing as well. If you browse the Journey forums you'll notice its full of softc****. (more so than ausgamers/qlg) oyesidid
Eorl
Posted 02:09pm 09/4/12
Smart move there on the part of TGC, these days Gen Z won't touch many games if they don't have twitter integration.

Icwutudidthar. Yeah I didn't get teary, but the ending was a tad sad, ending a journey always is.
Dazhel
Posted 02:14pm 09/4/12
I'm teary because it looks good and it's not on PC or 360 :`(
Midda
Posted 09:18pm 09/4/12
And probably never will be. It's owned by Sony.
Eorl
Posted 09:37pm 09/4/12
And probably never will be. It's owned by Sony.

Not "owned" by Sony, but the developers had 3 titles made only on Sony.
Midda
Posted 10:46pm 09/4/12
I meant the game, not the developer. Sony had TGC under contract to make them three games. I'm pretty sure Sony own the rights to all three.
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