I finished Journey no more than 2 hours ago. I came away from it with a feeling that hardly any other game has given me.
And I want you to play it as well.
Basically, it's a game where it's more "experience" than "game". It's an art game, but not pretentious. It's point 'A' to point 'B', but with enough
gameplay (and a genius online mechanic) to make it engaging. It's supposed to make you feel something, which it does. Genuine fear, sadness, happiness, whatever.
Play the demo of Flower (also for the PS3 and by the same developers) if you can. You might notice that you feel amazingly whimsical whilst playing. You're relaxed. Journey does this, but even better and with a broader range of emotions. You stop and awe at the environments, you meet strange and awesome creatures and, perhaps most importantly, you get emotionally invested with a real-life total stranger (ala the online mechanic) which you can't talk to or even see the name of. If he or she so much as even ignores you or, God help you, he or she leaves the game (which is represented by their avatar sitting down and slowly fading away)... you feel utter loneliness and, personally, I even wanted to cry a little when my first new friend decided to go so early on as he/she was incredibly friendly.
You might be thinking I'm taking it a little too seriously there. Crying over a player leaving your game? PA-HA! PSSHA! Right?!
But, think of it this way: how babies grow attached to one another. All they can do is touch eachother, play around and spout nonsense. Like that, in Journey, all you can do is huddle together, play around and sort of "ping" at eachother with the circle button. And, remember, you have no idea of this person's name or voice... your knowledge of your co-op partner doesn't extend any further than what you see, how he/she acts within the limits of the game and a couple whimsical *Ding!*'s.
You, innocently enough, grow attached to this other creature. So when my friendly fellow traveler left, I could not utter a single word, only stare at my screen for a second or two, carry on and be on the verge of tears until something else would catch my interest and I all but forget about it.
The game's also even more interesting than the trailers and screenshots let on.
Like I've said, I'm not gonna spoil anything... but just know you're in for something you probably aren't expecting and when you reach this epic Journey's end, you feel as if you are slowly being lifted out of the game and back into reality where you reflect on what just happened.
My recollection played out like an impromptu trailer within my head. The places I went to, things I saw, high points and low points, my two friends I made along the way and how we met and grew attached. It was an amazing time I had.
My only criticism of the game is not of it's short length (be prepared for that) or it's "lack" (but not really) of gameplay, but of a simple problem with the camera. Often enough, the camera will try to either shift towards your co-op partner or towards a random piece of scenery whilst I'm constantly trying to just do my own thing. There were even times where I was hard-pressed to see what was behind me because the camera kept wanting to look at where I was walking towards and I'm far too used to games giving me full control of the camera even while moving.
Granted, looking back, I had totally forgotten to use the PS gyro for the camera or to check out the Options menu, but I still had some problems possible due to my naivety.
But it's a perfect experience beyond that.
I honestly wish I could tell you of a couple moments that stick out to me and that will be with me forever as a gamer, I wish I could explain a few of the small touches thatgamecompany put into Journey that made the latter of the game the best part, but I don't think I can.
I don't say this very lightly, but sincerely: This game is beautiful and deserves as much praise as possible.
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