Journey is ThatGameCompany’s third PSN game release following the well received Flow in 2007 and Flower in 2009. The best way you can describe Journey is that it’s a very unique concept that is unlike any other video game seen before it. Because of how unique the game is, will Journey appeal to a wider audience or just a select few?
Let’s find out as we take a look at the HOTs and NOTs of Journey in our full review of Journey.
Accessibility of Gameplay
One thing that this game provides are simple controls and an easy-to-follow storyline. This means just about anyone will be able to pick up and play Journey whenever they please. The game literally starts almost immediately with no dialogue or introductions to the characters. All you see is a vast desert and then a mysterious robed figure that resembles the Jawas from the Star Wars movies. The Jawa lookalike is the character you will be controlling throughout the entire game.
In case you were wondering why this is called “Journey”, the game will tell your objective once you start moving over the sandy hillside. A camera will zoom out and show a large mountain in the distance. You will then realize this is the ultimate goal of the entire game. The robed figure must travel across the vast lifeless desert to somehow get to this Mountain. Think of it like Lord of the Rings and how Sam and Frodo needed to get to Mount Doom. Although this robed figure’s “Journey” is a lot more peaceful as he/she does not have to deal with bloodthirsty orcs!
If you take a look at a lot of video games released these days, nearly all of them involve some type of violence. Even platform games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario you have to engage in some form of combat one way or another. In Journey, you goal is to simply explore the desert and solve some small puzzles to find the best way to get to the Mountain. There are no monsters in your way that you have to fight or anything like that. You just keep moving forward towards your goal trying to figure out why this robed figure wants to get to this Mountain so badly.
As mysterious and unique this whole game is, the multiplayer mode is also one that I’ve never come across before either. As you start on your Journey, anyone playing the game online can also be seen and you can join them on their Journey as well. You are unable to communicate with other players using words as the game will not allow you to do this. The game also doesn’t tell you who is online playing the game, to keep everything a mystery to both players. The only way you can “talk” to one another is by tapping the circle button. Each robed figure will then send out a signal to tell each other where they are. I really liked this co-op feature as the person I was playing with made the game a lot more fun than playing solo. We managed to play the entire game with each other and earned a trophy for this as a result. The mystery of your online partner is only revealed after the credits roll. If you wanted to make a new PSN friend via playing this game, remember to finish the game first.
Graphics and Artistic Style
2D graphics in today’s video game industry is very underrated in my opinion. Sure the likes of Uncharted 3 and Final Fantasy XIII-2 look amazing but some of my favourite looking games this generation have been 2D games. Blazblue: Continuum Shift, Eternal Sonata and even Gravity Rush on the PS Vita sure know how to make 2D style graphics look amazing. Journey is no different as the desert is wonderfully animated. Sand is usually hard to animate and make it look realistic but the designers for Journey have done a great job of capturing the movement of sand in Journey.
Very Short Game
We’re not allowed to go into too much detail about the game’s story and purpose, but I felt a little bit disappointed that the whole “Journey” ended so quickly. Although I had a head start playing the game as I previously played the beta and had help from an online friend, I managed to finish the game in roughly 75 minutes. Depending on your skill level, its likely most players will be able to finish Journey in roughly 1- 2 hours. This is the same length of gameplay Flower had and was the same criticism that game received as well. It would have been a little more rewarding if the game was a lt longer than it is.
Not A Game To Everyone’s Taste
Journey is a unique game although it’s highly likely not everyone will appreciate its unorthodox approach. There’s no dialogue, no many characters and hardly any action to be seen in this game whatsoever. The main goal is to simply explore and find a way up that mountain top and that’s it. Because of this, some gamers (like my brother), will feel like this game is boring. If you want to play a game with lots of action, you should look elsewhere.
Journey is a highly unique game that will appeal to gamers who are sick to death with the same old style of gameplay offered other games. It’s one of the only few games I’ve played where there is no violence nor is it based on any licensed products such as a sport or movie. Despite its lack of longevity, Journey is a game unlike any other game I’ve ever played before. If you’re an open minded type of gamer, the uniqueness of Journey may appeal to you as it offers something different with its gameplay, story and graphics.
[Editor’s Note: Journey was reviewed on the PlayStation 3 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Journey Review ,