An interactive parable, an anonymous online adventure to experience a person’s life passage and their intersections with other’s. Experience the wonder. Discover the journey.
This was an article that I wrote a while ago about the game “Journey”, created by thatgamecompany (http://thatgamecompany.com/) can be described into three words Lovely, Gorgeous and Wonderful.
Journey is Lovely, as though you are playing within an artwork. Waking up in a desert with no idea who, where, or when you are. There lays a majestic mountain far away in the distance, and from its top shines a bright light. In Journey, your one goal is to get to that mountain, whilst overcoming its gorgeous sand dunes. Simply running, walking, jumping and gliding through journey’s world is a lovely experience itself.
Journey is Gorgeous, a world with no explicit goals and no strict rules. Journey trusts the players. It treats them as a player, not just an audience. It trust them to explore the world without any time pressure and most of all it trusts them to find meaning in it without the need of any narrations. The game gives the players the objectives so subtlety to feel like you’re exploring on your own instinct. Journey respects the players will, without having massive sign posts pointing towards the finish line like most other games on the market.
Journey is Wonderful. The most wonderful part of Journey is having a different experience to others when playing the same game. Unlike most games Journey offers so much more to talk about. Journey has one of the most wonderful implementation of multiplayer. The moment you first see another anonymous person in Journey is truly magical. By stripping everything away, the game reminds us just how amazing it is that there’s another person in the game with you. By removing all identifying marks, reducing them to a simple avatar, and only allowing players to communicate using a single musical note, they have become even more interesting. Journey really creates a wonderful individual experience.
The major flaw to journey was its length. Players were finishing the game within 2 to 3 hours although the game would have lost some of its charm if it were too much longer. The main draw of the game was to share an adventure with someone creating a journey experience. If the game were to drag on too much longer then the odds of losing your partner at some point would have been much greater.
Another minor flaw to journey was how the partner system worked. The partner system brings in an anonymous player into your game or vice versa automatically, in which you are giving no means to communicate but only one musical note. The partners once brought into your game will be with you until the partner wonders off too far or finishes a map ahead of you. This partner cannot do any physical harm to your character but can annoy a player who are trying to discover new areas of the map through the calling by bringing attention to the end of the map.
Journey is a touching experience. It showed me how games can be a medium of expression. Sorry about my long rant but I highly advice you guys to try out the game! 15 dollars spent well.