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WeView: Journey

A journey to the top or to a flop?

There was an awful lot of love for Journey here at TSA Towers when it was released, and with good reason. thatgamecompany were trying something that felt fairly new and unique, and pulled it off remarkably well; it’s basically what they do as a studio. Even by their own ridiculously high standards Journey was a bit special though. I mean a game where you’re navigating a creature that looks surprisingly like a Jawa from Star Wars across a mystical desert with flying cloth? That was either going to be amazing or very, very weird.

Fortunately we thought it was the former, a game that had managed to build a fantastic experience out of quite possibly the weirdest concept since, well, Flower. Even without their experimentation with multiplayer thatgamecompany were onto something special, but the emotional connections that people have managed to build with each other even when almost no in-game communication exists is really something astonishing and quite touching.

In our review of the game Alex managed to find not a single thing he could list as a ‘con’ when playing, and could only praise the title. He gave the game a 10/10, something the text of his review more than justified. In fact here’s a short extract from that very text for you to mull over:

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.

Despite the praise that Alex heaped on the game, I’m more than willing to accept that there may be some of you out there who just couldn’t click with the sand based exploration. Perhaps there was just something about the game’s overall style that you couldn’t get on with, or you found the lack of meaningful communication frustrating rather than enchanting. Maybe you felt that you just couldn’t connect with the other players that seem so key to the experience.

Whether you loved, hated or couldn’t care less about Journey, we’d like to hear what you thought after playing it. No matter where you fall on the scale, you can share your opinion by dropping a comment below before Sunday afternoon. Once you’ve formed your comment, you’ll need to attach a rating to the game. With WeView we use the Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It system, rather than a numeric scale. Simply pick whichever of those categories best reflects your views on the game and add it to your comment; voilà, you’re done.

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  1. Mundham
    Since: Feb 2011

    The first game since FFVII to make me cry (at 39 goddammit!), the feeling of camaraderie, exploration, helping and being helped, and loss of a friend you’ll never meet again, all intricately woven into a two-hour span of my life.
    Simply the most evocative game I’ve ever experienced. Oh, and gave me reason to by Flower (itself an amazing experience).
    Buy It. Please.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 13:53.
  2. matthangzhou
    Since: Sep 2010

    Make sure you have a few hours uninterrupted spare to play it through in it’s entirety and enjoy! BUY IT!

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 14:11.
  3. Sympo
    Since: Aug 2009

    Had a great random encounter with a player that greatly helped.. was lost though after getting past that tower but we found eachother now we continued but suddenly the mysterious player was gone, I was so lost… sad face :(

    Graphics are wonderful to look at, the sand is the best ever seen and the whole game is quite peaceful rather than the quite samey expereinces from Rpgs, Shooters and Racers.Stress-free I would say and fresh.

    Rent? Avoid? Bargain Bin?

    No way its worth buying for £11.99

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 14:44.
  4. Tanzil
    Since: Mar 2010

    full on legendary. a brilliant experience in every way.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 16:31.
  5. elpablo79
    Since: May 2009

    I found Journey a fascinating game. Well, I say game, but in many ways I find it more of an experience. Sure, gameplay elements are there to be seen, and are done very well, but it is the journey (see what I did there?!) itself which I found so captivating. In many ways it made me think of Pixar and Studio Ghibli movies. Journey is full of character and charm, and I really could not believe at the end that I had encountered 8 separate players. From the simple wandering, to the discoveries and the perils, Journey is a wonderful, delightful and very unique gem. BUY IT

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 16:34.
  6. simplebob
    Since: Mar 2009

    After 3 playthroughs I have a nagging feeling that I didnt enjoy this as much as I thought I would. I came away from the game feeling slightly empty and I’m honestly not sure why. Whatever the reason, I cannot argue that Journey is a beautiful digital experience, artistic and emotive. I dont regret my purchase in the least. Maybe I just need to spend more time with it. I can see this isnt for everyone, but those seeking a little beauty amongst the guns, death and mayhem of 21st century entertainment should definetly Buy It.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 16:52.
  7. Sitorimon
    Since: Jul 2011

    Buy It, Buy It, Buy It. Absolutely spell-bindingly brilliant. An exercise in art of a digital, musical, sonic and emotional form.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 17:52.
  8. Kennykazey
    Since: Mar 2010

    Simply beautiful.

    Buy it.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 18:33.
  9. Kreisash
    Since: May 2010

    I think Journey was… is a fairly difficult one to pin down. I can’t help but feel that my expectations for the third game from That Game Company were were built to expect greatness and nothing less. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great game, in the right frame of mind, but I wonder if it should have been greater still.

    It was meant to be this gorgeous game, open, anonymous and to a certain degree undefined. There was even talk that some of it required co-operation to access. I can’t help but feel that I was a little disappointed when I found this had changed in the final game.

    So my first hands on impressions left me feeling a touch ambivalent. However, it was still a beautiful world, which in it’s own way was undefined, unspoken, open to interpretation. After getting over what I thought it was going to be, I started to enjoy what it gave me and it was an unparalleled experience.

    I love the open co-op system, unassuming and at the same time compelling. You ask and expect nothing of each other yet you build an attachment with this nameless face. It allows you to connect on a whole different level.

    It is short, but at the same time any longer would have spoiled it.
    I would recommend a play through with an open mind and no expectations. Playing through twice in its entirety also helps as you appreciate and understand much more the second time through. Also the chance of helping others and passing on as others may have done for you.

    I’ll say it again… an unparalleled experience.
    Buy it.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 19:10.
  10. MadBoJangles
    Since: Nov 2009

    BUY IT.
    It really is amazing.
    After reading the constant gushing on here, I expected to be let down big time, but it didn’t disappoint. Mesmerising, beautiful, haunting…words struggle to do it justice.

    Comment posted on 22/05/2012 at 20:51.

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