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Journey Review


Thatgamecompany proves that not all those who wander are lost, with one of the most aesthetically and thematically beautiful videogames ever created

Posted by Matthew Sawrey (matski53) on Mar 23, 2012 - 12:29am EST (Mar 23, 2012 00:29)

Indeed Journey proffers many comparisons to its predecessor, Flower, as both titles progress through a similar emotional arc and are to some extent about returning life to areas of dilapidation. The remnants of Flow are also visible in the many scarf creature designs, but where those titles were an abstraction from common videogame themes (microbial ecology and petal propagating breezes); Journey is composed of much more common adventure game tropes. There are stealth sections, downhill slaloms and even subtle leveling up in what is Thatgamecompany’s most game-like experience to date. Progression is even broken up by a number of 8-bit cave painting styled cut-scenes, depicting visions of future challenges as well as past accomplishments.
 
Journey PS3

These features could potentially have sullied the simple purity of the journey had they not been introduced with such delicacy and subtlety by the designers, who display Valve levels of expertise in the natural introduction of new mechanics. It is only the collectable symbols littered throughout environments that somewhat detract from the experience, feeling unnecessary as content padding, artificially rewarding exploration instead of allowing a curiosity of visual design to draw your eye.

And speaking of visual design your retinas are consistently pleasured by the minimalistic and cleanly cell shaded landscapes of Journey. Its sand dunes glitter and flow in the wind with the texture of a viscous liquid and caverns of large upright cloth structures gently sway as underwater seaweed would. Throughout Journey is nothing short of a visual majesty to behold, and when combined with an orchestral soundtrack that aches with elegiac sadness and elates buoyant joy with perfect timing, Journey conveys the kind of ambiance you would expect from a spiritual experience. At once awe inspiringly grand and ethereal, yet invitingly simplistic and warm.
 
Journey PS3

Its maroon-shrouded central protagonist has all the distinction and simplicity of a classic 8-bit character design, with a silhouette as recognisable as Mario or Samus’s, it is essentially composed of three triangles, a large body and two long thin pin legs. It can often paint a figure of loneliness traversing this desolate land. But then Journey has another game-like feature; its implementation of co-operative play.
 

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Journey PS3 Screenshots

Journey PS3 Screenshots

Journey PS3 Screenshots

Journey PS3 Screenshots

SpectralShock - 4 days ago
Next up, the big show - E3 in June!
SpectralShock - 10 days ago
PAX East this weekend
Captain_Mark87 - 35 days ago
Titanfall has eaten all my spare time!!!
SpectralShock - 45 days ago
Lots of reviews coming this and next week!
with_teeth26 - 50 days ago
The first great challenge of Dark Souls 2 is determining the PC release date
Captain_Mark87 - 58 days ago
Titanfall was super fun. Strider review coming at you soon.
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Journey
Journey box art
Platform:
PlayStation 3

Our Score
User Score
90
Superb
NR
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Game Ranking
Journey is ranked #21 out of 706 total games.


21. Journey
PlayStation 3

22. Rayman Legends
Xbox 360
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Journey
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