It's been a tough year for me in terms of finding that one game that I truly loved as I am still desperately trying to find my Game of the Year. My journey (get it?) now leads me to Journey. Regarded as the best indie games of all time, and possibly the best game of the year, I thought I would give it a shot. Due to some financial issue I wasn't able to purchase this game early on ($15 is a lot when you have no income!) but now I have some cash to spare.
Journey caught my attention because of it's unique gameplay, beautiful art design and score. I am growing ever so tired of these generic war shooters that flood the market so Journey should be a nice change of pace from those frantic and chaotic games.
Journey is very accessible to any age group. All you really need to do is push up on the left joy stick to walk, press X to fly, and press/hold O to "sing". In order to fly you must collect these glowing orb like pieces that are scattered throughout the areas. These objects add length to your scarf, the longer it gets the longer you fly. Singing activates various puzzles/creatures and helps replenish your scarf's powers.
While you walk, fly and sing your way to your final destination you will encounter strange cloth creatures that will assist you...even another play will join you on your quest through a beautiful sculpted world. From a sun setting desert, to a dark and eerie underground cave, to a white-out snowy mountain, all followed by a gorgeous score that fits the mood and tone of the area.
You will have to solve some minor, and very simple puzzles to progress to the next area which is one of my gripes with Journey....It's far too simple and easy. Maybe some find it charming, but to me, I need some more depth to the gameplay. Nothing halted my progression onward, I didn't have to stop and think about how I solve a specific puzzle, there was really no danger or death either. It's a very straight forward, linear experience.
The multiplayer in this game is....different. You can't really communicate with each other and mashing the "O" the button is really the best and only way to communicate. There really isn't a benefit from having another traveler joining in your game, but even so, you grow attached to the voiceless player. It's also a bit fun to just mess around and explore the world with another companion.
Although the game is good, I wouldn't call it great. There was something missing during my play through that many other have experienced, and that is the emotional aspect. Many reviewers and gamers alike have stated how much of an impact this game left on them whether it be sadness, joy, or laughter. I talked how good the music was but it still didn't really dictate how I felt, it didn't have that power behind it. Sure at times I felt some joy, a small level of fear, but nothing that stuck to me. Unfortunately, I felt little emotion during my time with Journey which ultimately hindered my level of enjoyment and appreciation towards the game.