Journey Review - The Journey of a Lifetime is About to Begin

by Stephen Heller PSN Featured

6 Comments 15 Votes 2744 Views 12/04/2012 Back to PSN Game Reviews

The journey of a lifetime is about to begin

The argument that video games should be considered art has been raging for years now, but never have I played a game as artistic as Journey. Acclaimed developer thatgamecompany is back at it again, bringing us their most ambitious creation to date, one that is surely going to change how many people view games for years to come. It may seem simple on the outside, but Journey is literally a window into the very essence of the human condition.

What Journey Got Right

Gorgeous settings - Hard to believe an adventure set in the middle of a desert could be so beautiful, but Journey stands head and shoulders above anything we've seen in recent times when it comes to visuals. Each "area" is lovingly crafted to immediately look and feel different, yet still be connected seamlessly to the previous area. The most impressive feature however would have to be the sand technology; dunes and loose grains of sand simply swell under the force of the wind, and each dune seems to react accordingly to your weight and presence. Journey is simply one of the greatest looking games we have seen, ever.

Get the Adobe Flash Player to see this video.

Ambiguous story - There are no lengthy dialogue scenes to sit through and no text screens to read when exploring the world of Journey. The story is drip-fed to the player via subtle glyphs that can be found in the game world. While these certainly point to some kind of " occurrence", even then the story is never exactly clear. That's not to say it's badly written; it's simply ambiguous which is what makes Journey such a unique experience. Each and every single player of the game will walk away with a different view of the events, and it will surely create a number of heated discussions of forums across the globe.

Amazing production values - It's not just slick visuals that pull players in to the world of Journey, it's amazing production values the whole way round. The score is simply amazing, controlling the mood of each area to a point that I'd highly recommend you play this game wearing a good set of headphones if possible. The minimalist approach when it comes to text, the fact there is no HUD at all, and the simple nature of the controls all aid to providing a thrilling and immersive experience.

Subtle online interaction - Take the journey alone or with a friend; when connected to the PSN you will randomly come across other players who are in the same area as you. One at a time, you can join forces with these players, recharging each other's abilities and exploring together. There is no way to communicate them other than a wordless chirp that can be activated by hitting the circle button. It may not seem like much, but these small interactions chance the experience significantly, changing Journey from an isolating experience into something quite social. It's a stark contrast, and one that was definitely worth exploring.

What Journey Got Wrong

Length vs. cost - Journey is a short affair - it should only take most gamers 2 hours to complete the quest, and at $20, that can seem a little steep to some people. I implore you to look at it a different way; would you rather pay $20 for 40 hours of mediocre gameplay, or for 2 hours of a sublime, original and breathtaking experience?

Not exactly a "game" - There are no scores, no enemies to defeat, no weapons and no power-ups to discover in Journey. It's an exploration-driven quest that should promote you to think and reflect upon the events that unfold. In some people's minds, it may not be the traditional form of a game, but rather a work of art instead.

The Final Verdict

Upon the completion of Journey, I simply sat back on my couch and contemplated the events that had just unfolded. Unlike other games that have a clear goal, story and conclusion, Journey let the player create their own story, taking in tidbits given out via our own interpretation of glyphs presented to us as we progress. It is through this innovative notion that Journey remains a mystery; a personal experience that is going to be completely different for everyone. If you own a PS3 and you don't believe video games can be art, then you simply need to play five minutes of this fantastic quest to see that you are wrong.

By Stephen Heller - Tweet @Heller_MMGN

Journey

Platform: PS3
Developer: thatgamecompany
Similar to: Flower
 
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

More Info on Journey

Journey Journey Journey Journey Journey Journey Journey

Journey Review - The Journey of a Lifetime is About to Begin Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
Only recently heard of this. I need to download it and go through it. Great review Heller.

Thanks @gamerguy I hope you enjoy it :)
Great review Heller, I am happy you enjoyed it so much! :)
Every PS3 owner should definitely not miss out on this experience, Journey truly is a unique and wondrous game.
I've stated it a few times now, but I haven't enjoyed a game like this in a long, long time!
It certainly is one of a kind, glad that it is selling well too!
My sister bought this about a week ago now, so I may as well try it out. Seems interesting.
I want it so bad, to bad I don't have a ps3 :(

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
  • Journey
  • Journey
  • Journey
  • Journey
  • Journey
  • Journey
  • Journey
  • Journey
  • Journey

Recently Read

Featured PS3 Content

Games of April: Your Most Anticipated?

Games of April: Your Most Anticipated?

27/03/2014 Polls 8 13
Publishers and tickets confirmed for EB Expo 2014
Gryllis 2 hours News 2 3
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil review

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil review

Gryllis 2 hours Reviews 2 3
Minecraft PS3 Edition set for retail disc release
Tano 5 hours News 2 6
Fox News implicates Dark Souls in murder

Fox News implicates Dark Souls in murder

Tano 6 hours News 3 5
Trials Fusion review

Trials Fusion review

Tano 8 hours Reviews 2 3
Sony has sold its share in Square Enix

Sony has sold its share in Square Enix

Gryllis 8 hours News 0 6
Destiny, Halo composer fired from Bungie

Destiny, Halo composer fired from Bungie ''without cause''

Gryllis 1 day News 0 6
Snoop Dogg to narrate Call of Duty: Ghosts, for realz

Snoop Dogg to narrate Call of Duty: Ghosts, for realz

Tano 1 day News 7 6

Community Content

A loser
03/03/2014 Blog 11 0

MMGN Updates

Status
Updating..
Username

Gryllis, Tano commented on 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil review

Gryllis 2 hours ago
Username

commented on Razer Blackwidow Ultimate Review

xxDrexlxx 3 hours ago
Username

MicDaMan is now Level 27!

MicDaMan 3 hours ago
Username

Gryllis, M@ndyz commented on Minecraft PS3 Edition set for retail disc release

Gryllis 4 hours ago
Username

SlappyWag, Tano, J053pH commented on Classic Fox News: 'Video type things', Dark Souls implicated in murder

SlappyWag 6 hours ago
Username

Silence, CybaCowboy commented on Sony's Shuhei Yoshida banned on Miiverse

Silence 17 hours ago
Username

DarkJibTEC, Toki commented on Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru to get a second season

DarkJibTEC 19 hours ago
Username

AnDrE_pSp posted a news - Ex-Halo developers turn their hand to iOS gaming with Third Eye Crime

GyroAndOuzo 22 hours ago
Username

AnDrE_pSp is now Level 15!

GyroAndOuzo 22 hours ago