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An unforgettable 'Journey'

By Jason Bogdan
On March 28, 2012


When one thinks about the adventures video games take you on, the thoughts that likely pop up are all the bloodthirsty aliens, psychedelic colors and otherworldly powers that all but abandon a simple notion like walking. And yet, developers at Thatgamecompany made an unforgettable pure experience of a game with "Journey," a game about going from one destination to the next with your character's own two feet.

So what makes Journey such an ephemeral game with so little presented to you? To put it simply, it's the masterful way everything is presented. 

There's no knowledge given about who or what is the hooded being set out across the sunny desert, and yet, you will still care. With the visually poetic cutscenes and emotional weight behind every last step on the hot sand, all the implications are presented with the player's imagination to fill in all the blanks.

There are no loading screens, hitchy framerates, bugs or any other hindrences of games to bring the player back to reality. Everything put into this game has clearly been polished with a finely tuned comb, two fold. 

The graphics are just a beauty with the fantasy charm of "The Legend of Zelda" and the best graphical finesse the PS3 can churn out. In other words, trying to take your eyes off the screen will be a challenge in of itself. Once you press "Start," there's nothing but the vast valleys to overcome, with a very poignant and touching finale to close off the 2 hour experience. 

Yes, that is correct. This fifteen dollar video game only has the length of a movie. But like a good film or short story, Journey is meant to be played in one sitting with all the memorable moments that can easily be gone back to. But one thing that can't be replicated is your experience with an anonymous partner in the co-op multiplayer. 

No, there's no matchmaking selection process. Essentially, if you are connected to the Internet, you'll randomly come in contact with another person going about the campaign on the same beat. There's no method to talk to one another, but the magic is in how natural the teamwork will come together with no room for angered criticism. It just brings an emotional bond that you just don't ever see in other games.

I realize at this point that I've gone on this long of the review without mentioning the part of "Journey" when you actually play it. Well, don't worry, the controls like everything else move without a hitch as you go about the game with intriguing puzzles alongside jump and "whistle" mechanics to make the wonderful aesthetics never lose its luster. However, Journey isn't about "playing" it; it's about the unforgettable experience a great journey brings. But, understandably, Journey is a unique art film of a video game that won't be what some are looking for. And for those who are in that boat, my sincerest condolences. They'll miss out on a masterpiece.

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