After winning many site’s Game of the Year award more than two months ago, one could argue all the praises have been sung, and the choir has already gotten old, and died.
I understand these boards move lickedy-split, but I was late to the party on this one. After finishing it a month ago, not a day has gone by that I don’t actively (or sub-consciously) ponder it. Journey is a fantastic game, and I’m writing this article to pound that idea in deeper, but to also readdress what makes it so special.
Our daily surroundings are packed with competition. Everyone is vying for the best grades, best image, best job, best bank account, and then you come home. You turn on the TV, you watch two teams try to get a leg up on each other as the commercial breaks fight for your attention. You go on System Wars and call each other segregative names. After that, you might relax, turn on your game system and
You shoot at each other, race against each other, or otherwise grab at some quantitative value that lets you know how great you are. Hell, even co-op games have a scoreboard to evaluate how much player you bright to the team.
Now, competition is natural, and we need it for progress. Do our games need it?
In some cases, sure. But not all the time in every game release. Think of all the competitive multiplayer games you know, and all the co-op ones. If you’re like me, you see some camaraderie matched against boatloads of digital warfare.
You don’t beat another player in Journey. In fact, you worry every time they slip off your vision. You chirp back and forth as you navigate the world and survive together.
At times there are moments of mutual wonderment as you simultaneously slow down to gawk at the intoxicating visuals and sound. At the end of the game, you both walk toward the end of your journey as light swells the screen-space, the games display of death. You feel a sense of loss after the game ends because, hey, that was it. That was your journey.
What is a fun, little game is really drops hints on how the rest of our lives will go. Ebbs and flows of amazement, and despair. Companionship and solitude. Life, and eventually, death.
Despite what you prefer in a multiplayer setting, this paints a much better picture for humanity. All those people you compete with everyday, you’re really just experiencing something amazing with them all of the time. Instead of getting headshots, you walk beside each other.
Would it be so much to ask for more games like this?
Yeah, but its cheap. If you had to plunk down a full 60 bones, Id hesitate. Its not the case, you pay a minimal cost for a game, and you get something great. When the Mona Lisa was finished, I dont think anyone called it crap because the dimensions weren’t large enough.
I promise you this: Halos competitive multiplayer will last longer. I can also promise you it wont stay lodged in your brain the way Journey does.
If you want a game that goes on and on and has promises of never-ending gameplay, you’ve got most of contemporary gaming to choose from. This game doesn’t go on for very long, and neither does your lifeline.
Dat sensory orgasm
I’m hardly sure what new can be said. Even if the symbology slid past you, the visuals and soundscape won’t.
Feel free to argue against anything else but this. This game looks amazing. This game sounds amazing. This game has a really, really good camera.
Shout and holler about tessellation this, and high resolution that. Journey makes an impression that goes beyond all technical nit-picking. You never find yourself taking the visuals in bits, but rather as a whole. That is because this is a visual/auditory composition not just a fun past time.
The only thing like it
This gen [almost] is over, and we’ve got a lot of great software. However, all of those games are like some other game. Either in a series, or by inspiration. Journey comes in at the end, and stands alone as a unique, singular experience. Sure, there are elements of a platformer, and the sliding sequences are like the Cool Boarders games, but its special, all things considered.
Is it one of the generations best? It is for me. I waited a whole generation to feel that sense of awe I got with Shadow of the Colossus, and here it is.
If you have played it and loved it, move along, wise one. If you played it and didn’t like it, well, kill yourself. Just kidding but I hope this offered a new perspective if it wasn’t there.
If you haven’t played it, then you must.
1. Multiplayer is symbolic of human life.
2. Pinnacle for games as art.
3. You should probably check it out.
4. Keep supporting this kind of game.