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Journey (PS3) Reviews


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#1 Audioboxer

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    Hermit Arcana

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 15:03

First one I've come across,

Please note: this review contains what some may define as spoilers. For the full Journey experience and to get the most out of your first playthrough, we recommend you go into the game without any prior knowledge or expectations.

Alone, Journey’s cloaked, expressionless character stands confused, isolated, amidst a huge desert. In the distance a mountain-top looms, its peak cleft, outlined by an otherworldly bright illumination. Through a brief series of simple, unobtrusive illustrations the game’s controls are passed on like a baton – they are simple, without fuss, and there’s no on-screen clutter to spoil the effect of the dazzling sandscape before you.

And so it begins, your epic trek towards the mountain. From the first spec of sand to the last flake of snow, developers thatgamecompany have managed to get more emotion and more life into a video game than anything else in recent memory; and the striking confidence that the game exudes drags you along for the ride without once letting you go, until the credits roll by two or three hours later.

Divided up into three acts, Journey takes what you think you might know about the game from the beta and various previews and turns it all around with an adroit deftness that few will see coming: the first third of the game introduces the various elements with an open approach to the level design, the second takes a much darker, refined and channeled tack and the final section changes everything.

Elements and mechanics come and go, but crucially nothing ever threatens to outstay its welcome.

Your character, initially devoid of much of his forthcoming agility, quickly becomes able to harness strange floating elements around him, granting the ability to jump and absorb, to heal and construct, to illuminate and open. Each area of the game contains a number of white glyphs that enhance such skills, and locating and collecting all of these might extend the game’s length, if such a seemingly trivial notion is important to the player.

Though everything about the game is foreign and alien, Journey, through the developers skill and no doubt months and months of refinement, manages to still be inviting and welcoming – even when the tale takes a much more sinister turn. It is, in short, a staggering achievement in storytelling, similar in notion to that of Flower, but much wider in scope.

What shines the most though, and becomes something that makes infinitely more sense once you’ve completed the game, is the way that other players, also lost in the world, appear within your game. Interactions involve little but a simple ‘call’ noise on the surface and a co-operative recharge of your ability to jump and fly, but there’s a delicious sense of togetherness and a certain amount of joyful abandon when you encounter another human amongst the sand, anonymous and unknown as they appear and remain.

Indeed, Journey’s ‘multiplayer’ has the uncanny knack of being able to portray a kind of freefall, reckless sensation that wouldn’t normally be present when another player is accompanied by a list of stats, tags and identification. You never know who you’re jumping with, dancing with, singing to. And it works beautifully – spending the duration of the game with a fellow Journeyer is an unrivaled, charming, serene experience.

There are no real puzzles in Journey’s main thread, the game designed so clearly as to prevent sticking points and backtracking, with the exposition funneled towards the end to keep up the pace. But the allure of some slightly vague trophies prompt a little experimentation, and the hidden glyphs and other aspects of the game are more easily discovered with a friend. Those that found Flower to be a a game worth exploring will connect with Journey more than most, and there’s a touching bit of fan service in there too.

The plot details themselves, though, are left purposefully open to a little dash of personal interpretation. Cut-scenes are subtle, developments are highlighted in the background and only on repeated runs does everything click into place with the kind of emerging resonance that brings a lump to your throat.

Thatgamecompany do this better than most, but it’s fair to say that after playing Journey everything else seems a little basic, wooden and – dare we suggest – patronising.

Visually, the game gradually switches from vast landscapes and distant horizons to close up, dark mechanised structures without flinching, always remaining consistently bewildering – and occasionally terrifying. The audio, too, gentle wind sweeps playing off against a rousing, building orchestral score deserves much merit – played in Dolby Surround as the game prompts is essential, but a good pair of surround headphones perhaps even more so.

Journey is a game where switches are never something you simply stand on; where darkness and emptiness can feel like an underwater cavern; where friends made of nothing but squares of cloth can mean everything. It’s a towering achievement, with the game constantly forming and rising upon itself and the player to an obvious but always seemingly out of reach crescendo, that distant mountain just another turn, step, climb and leap away.

And then, ultimately, there’s a single, solitary moment of silence: the game’s defining few seconds; the bit that affects the most – the culmination of minutes of desperate, hopeless struggle. Never before has a game illustrated such tragic fragility with such humanity and character – Journey might live up to its name on many levels, but on the deepest, most personal level possible thatgamecompany manage to transcend all expectations.

Pros:

  • An amazing experience from start to finish
  • Wonderful graphics and sound
  • Even better online
Allegory and metaphors in games of this ilk are mostly, intentionally or not, subjective, but Journey for me is simple and defined without any ambiguity: we all have a simple beginning and a simpler end and are – as the nondescript, universal cloak the character wears throughout demonstrate – all created equal. It’s who we meet and what we do along the way with those people that matters above anything else.

And standing alone, in silence, can be heartbreaking.


10/10 - http://www.thesixtha...ew-journey-ps3/


#2 OP Audioboxer

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    Hermit Arcana

  • Joined: 01-December 03
  • Location: UK, Scotland

Posted 01 March 2012 - 15:22

OPM UK 10/10 - http://www.officialp...ney-ps3-review/
Spong 10/10 - http://spong.com/fea.../Review-Journey
ShopTo (Outstanding) - http://www.shoptonew..._medium=twitter
Eurogamer 9/10 - http://www.eurogamer...-journey-review
CVG 9/10 - http://www.computera...is-year-review/
Videogamer 9/10 - http://www.videogame...ney/review.html

#3 +Lingwo

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 15:29

I'm still undecided with this game. Still wondering what i'll get out of the game.
Going to pick it up though, i like the multiplayer aspect of it.

#4 +sanke1

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 15:32

Must buy!!!!!

#5 AbandonedTrolley

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 15:52

2 weeks till release and I cannot wait. This is the one game I've been waiting for this year.

#6 OP Audioboxer

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 16:57

IGN 9/10 - http://ps3.ign.com/a.../1219641p1.html
Video review - http://www.ign.com/v...ey-video-review

#7 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 18:30

2 weeks till release and I cannot wait. This is the one game I've been waiting for this year.

Absolutely. (Y)
Great to see the amazing reviews it is getting.

#8 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 19:17

I just read the Kotaku review, really, really, really looking forward to this game more than I was before.
Kotaku reviewer said they were able to play it twice already, and it only took about 2 hours each time. I know some people will have a major issue with that gameplay length, but to me if done as properly as it sounds like it is, that is literally perfect. I would rather have one outstanding night of gaming than 4 so-so nights personally. Again my time limitations have a lot to do with that change in preference, but it is now an option I welcome when done properly. Do not get me wrong, obviously 4 nights of outstanding gaming is ideal, it just seems like games are not delivering on that premise that much these days.

#9 etempest

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 19:20

Been looking forward to this game months ago when it was spot lighted on the PS3 advert.

#10 shakey

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    It's soooooo Educational

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 19:42

Really looking forward to this. Loved that Video review. Only helped reinforce my want.

#11 Muhammad Farrukh

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    The End is Nigh

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:08

This should be interesting.
I am gonna tell my friend to pick this up :p

#12 Muhammad Farrukh

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:32

Journey Review - A capital venture



In 1972, NASA scientists stuck a plaque on the Pioneer 10 space probe with information about human body structure, our sun's relative location in the galaxy, and a graphic depiction of hydrogen. A crash course on human civilization for an alien race to discover. If NASA asked me today what they should send into deep space for a crash course on video games, I would suggest Journey.
Journey is a third-person adventure game. You command a red-robed being who wakes up in the middle of a desert, with no knowledge of how they got there. Buffeted by harsh winds on all sides, there’s no choice but to push forward, up a massive sand dune. The summit reveals a sea of headstones scattered in the distance, leading towards a mountain with a powerful light shining from the top of it. Without a word uttered, your goal is clear.



Journey is a third-person adventure game. You command a red-robed being who wakes up in the middle of a desert, with no knowledge of how they got there. Buffeted by harsh winds on all sides, there’s no choice but to push forward, up a massive sand dune. The summit reveals a sea of headstones scattered in the distance, leading towards a mountain with a powerful light shining from the top of it. Without a word uttered, your goal is clear.







That goal should be within reach to anyone who can hold a controller, courtesy of Journey’s design. Controls are limited to movement, jumping and shouting. Shouting emits a long or short pulse from your body, collecting energy needed to navigate the desert’s many obstacles. Control is explained with subtle diagrams at the beginning of Journey, so even controller-confused newcomers should have no trouble navigating its sandy expanses.
After that, you're free to wander. Journey's seemingly-endless desert is reminiscent of an open-world game. Journey isn’t that. You’re subtly guided towards landmarks, often surrounded by open spaces to play around in. You're left to your own pace, though free to collect energy, discover secrets and activate pieces of flowing fabric that allow you to progress deeper into the world.
That world is awe-inspiring. The bleak desert that makes Journey so identifiable from the start is soon populated with massive stone buildings and underground pathways as you delve deeper into the world, signs of a once-great civilization. Sand prevails, but it has a beauty of its own, flowing in the wind like water, pooling at your feet after a sharp fall. Any given moment could pass for a static work of art. It's a shame no one else is around to enjoy it.
But in the distance, approaching a menacing tower in the midst of a thunderstorm, I stumbled on another red-robed, flowing-caped wanderer.This unknown friend looked just like me. We could communicate, but only though in-game shouts, a long or short pulse emitted from our bodies. That was a good enough reason to stick together.
This was not an AI-controlled character. Journey provides multiplayer support by dropping other players into your game without your knowledge. There's no message that pops up, no on-screen indicator showing their user name. You can't voice chat with them. And all of these limitations are brilliant.
Journey creates a cohesive world. A friend’s yammering about the raise they didn’t get, or worse, a random tween blathering about the trophies they haven’t earned so far, would ruin that immersion. By limiting interactions between players, Journey developers thatgamecompany have found a way for everyone to get along. There's no way to grief other players in Journey. The worst you could do is continually shout next to another player, but that gives them more energy. It's *******-proof.
My silent friend and I climbed the menacing tower, using our shouts to guide one another in the right direction. Once at the top, we slid down a massive slope of loose sand, playful music lightening the mood of the harrowing task before us. We made it to the bottom safely, and my friend paused sat down in the shade. He needed a rest, but I was ready to push forward. So I did, leaving him to find his own adventure. I've never had a better multiplayer experience with a random player in my life.
Even alone, Journey's tale is dense with unforgettable moments. That slide down the slope is one of the lighter points, but there are also moments of danger (uncovering an ancient security system) and of friendship and discovery (meeting a flock of what can only be described as sand dolphins), all backed by a perfectly-timed musical score. I felt like I was in control of a Pixar movie in Journey. Like the first half of WALL-E, awash in a near-silent mix of emotions, in a mysterious world that revealed only a small sliver of its past to me.
It's not a challenging world. You can’t die in Journey. You can be hurt, which shortens your scarf, but you'll never have to reload a save. Journey isn't about that. It's about, well, the journey. The quest you take on. And the memories you gain along the way. It won't take more than three hours to make it to the end, but that three hours is more emotionally rich than 30 hours of the latest Zelda game. I played Journey in one sitting, and by the end I felt like I had just finished off a bottle of wine. I was weakened by what I had absorbed.
So what makes Journey ideal for that first contact with interstellar intelligence? It's universal. Without words, it promises to touch anyone that experiences it. Even watching someone else play leaves you gripped by the events on screen. Whether you've been playing games since childhood, play Angry Birds on the commute into work, or you just cruised the Xarthan Nebula with your new pulse engine and don't even know what a video game is, you'll be affected by this journey. It should be experienced by everyone. SCORE 10 OUT OF 10 by TheVerge

#13 madd-hatter

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 13:45

What's the U.S. pricing on this?

#14 Muhammad Farrukh

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    The End is Nigh

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 13:51

Publisher: Sony - Developer: thatgamecompany - Release Date: March 13th, 2012 - Price: $14.99 - Platforms: PlayStation 3/PSN

#15 TheLegendOfMart

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    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 01-October 01
  • Location: England

Posted 02 March 2012 - 13:53

So that's gonna be £15 on UK PSN, Pass.



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