With little context, ThatGameCompany dumps you in the desert, with only a shining light in the distance. The rest is literally up to you in their latest adventure for the PlayStation 3. After a string of successes with Flow & Flower this downloadable title from the PlayStation Network once again delivers the fundamental beauty that fans of That Game Company have come to expect. The story of Journey is simple, eloquent, and up for plenty of interpretation considering that there is no spoken dialog in the game whatsoever. What there is plenty of however, is imagery. Coupled with a simplistic control scheme, and a unique take on multiplayer, it’s definitely not your average downloadable title.
At its heart, Journey is a third person adventure. You’ll make your way across the desert, through frozen lands, and underground caverns, with little to no direction from the game itself, aside from subtle clues left behind by the developers and the in-plain view destination that always looms.
Journey’s greatest feat is in its implentation of multiplayer
Though Journey’s greatest feat is in its implementation of multiplayer. A variant of drop-in/drop-out co-op will have you meeting up with other travelers on your way. albeit in complete anonymity. A small light beacon will signal you that there is another player in close proximity to you, and you can either choose to work with them or go on your own way. The incentives for staying together are the ability to recharge each others scarves, as well as having two sets of eyes looking for glyphs that are strung throughout the campaign.
A tad on the short side, a single playthrough of Journey will only take you two hours
Whether you judge Journey on its satisfying pallete of beautiful art, it’s mold breaking twist on multiplayer, or its unique method or story telling, you’ll be hard pressed to find many faults with Jenova Chen’s latest vision. It might be That Game Company’s best targeted game for the core gaming audience, but with that said, it does come in a tad on the short side when speaking to the game’s length. With only around 2 hours of playtime needed to complete Journey, it doesn’t offer as much value as other games at the same price point.
But Journey is a trip worth taking, its a bite sized adventure that you won’t soon forget with plenty of replay value. Don’t be surprised if later this year, Journey is nominated with even biggest of titles, and gets at least a few nods for Game of the Year. Like other games from That Game Company, Journey takes a ton of risks straying from convention, but ultimately feels nearly perfect in every way.