Journey was originally released by Thatgamecompany on PS3 back in 2012, and along with their other games Flow (2006) and flower (2009), had undergone a remastering to be re-released on your PS4 at 1080p with a smooth 60fps.
As is typical with games created by Thatgamecompany, journey doesn’t really kick off with much of a story behind it. Journey quite literally starts with your character, climbing a sandy hill, to see a great mountain in the distance, at that point you know that’s where you want to go, and your journey will begin, where the beauty and story of the world is waiting to be discovered. There is a story to be found through playing the game and also finding ancient glyphs that are scattered throughout the game, however I’m going to leave that for you to discover If you haven’t already played the game.
The game itself is even more beautiful that it was on the PS3, with fantastic art direction, every moment looks breath-taking, with it’s vivid colours and its new 60fps buttery smooth movement it’s a treat when sliding down sandy mountain peaks watching the sun set and reflect magically glimmering upon ancient ruins to a truly moving and dynamic soundtrack. There is no real talking in terms of “voice acting” within the game, and very little to interact with, so the audio really steps forward in this regard in conveying all the emotional weight to its situations, weather it me a light hearted ambiance with light drum beats and frolicking harp melodies, to powerful pieces that really put your heart in your throat. If after all of this, you still think the game would still be a bit lonely, don’t worry… you’re never truly alone.
Journey features a very unique multiplayer experience that blends in seamlessly with the single player. After the opening section, it’s very likely that in your travels, you’ll run into a single another player, and the both of you will then team up and go through your journey together. The beauty of this is that there is no way for the players to properly communicate. Aside from the small song you can sing at varying volumes, and you don’t find out the players gamer name until after your journey is compete. There’s no inviting people you know into your game, it’s always a stranger. All you know, is that you both have the same objective. This works so well with this game, as all the players love to stick together, and it adds so much to a play through when, on rare occasion, you finish the entire game in one sitting, with the same person. It really feels like you’ve shared an experience with someone, and each one is different. Another benefit to this mechanic, is it helps you in the mission to discover more about the world you find yourself in. There’s a variety of symbols, glyphs, and secrets to find, and sometimes you’ll come across a player who knows where some are that you don’t, and in turn some that you know that they don’t. This adds to the repalyability of the game as well. The symbols in particular play a significant role as they expand the length of your scarf that gives you the temporary power of flight. Discovering these along with the other things hidden through your journey yields some major rewards including the transcendence trophy, which also gives you a different cloak and regenerating scarf. If you ever come across a player dressed in white, you’ll want to stick close to them, as they know where you want to go to really get the best out of your play through.
The games runtime from start to finish is wildly varying. A normal play through would likely take a exploring type about 2.5 hours, however it is entirely possible to rush though and finish in about an hour. This however, is not what the game is about. It’s not about getting from point A to point B like some mindless fetch quest, it’s about the Journey, and what you discover in your journey, uncover the history of where you are, who you are, working with another to explore and eventually, reach the top of that mountain that you saw in the distance, and just had to summit. At a price of £9.99, you can’t go wrong with this truly beautiful and unique game, and if you already bought the ps3 version, the PS4 version is free!
This is a Journey you’ll want to take again and again.