This weekend saw PlayStation Access arrive in Birmingham, showing off all that’s best for Sony’s consoles. Posem attended the event and very kindly offered to share his opinions with us. Below you can find the first part of his experience, and we’ll return tomorrow with the exciting conclusion.
PlayStation Access is an event which you may or may not be familiar with. It’s much like Beta Rooms from last year (which I also attended) and yet seems so much more than it. The premise of the event itself is simple; you apply for free tickets online, hopefully win them and then turn up at the supplied address on a certain date, to play unreleased games for a few hours. Oh, and you get free stuff as well. If the awesome bells aren’t ringing already then you need to see a doctor; mine were hammering when the email came through to say I was successful in getting in.
It was a wet Saturday morning in August, in Birmingham. A short train ride from Coventry for me, followed by a speedy trip through the Bull-Ring and onto the venue. From outside it was a simple brick warehouse on the side of the road, with a random queue standing beside it.
I joined the back of the queue with my friend Joel, a few minutes later it began to rain and everyone resigned themselves to ‘glum mode’. I have to admit PlayStation fans are a hardy bunch, we all huddled up to the wall not daring to budge and lose our place in the line, gradually getting wetter as the rain persisted. A shout from someone in a red Resistance 3 T-shirt indicated that we could all come queue inside, probably because they didn’t want soggy gamers ruining the upholstery. Whatever the reason was, we were in.
Instantly I could tell this was different to the gaming events I was used to, it was a lot darker inside with the only ambience coming from brightly coloured neon strips punctuating the darkness. The furniture was all black, with PlayStation branding on everything from the sofas to the bar; the atmosphere was moodier, hardier, but more cheerful than any other event I’ve been to.
The first game I got my hands on (I use the term loosely, the venue was sparsely populated so you could easily jump on a game with no queuing needed) was Journey. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since the first sketchy screenshots appeared online; however playing the game was a different experience entirely. It was interesting to say the least; I was in the middle of a desert with nothing around and no clue what to do.
A certain amount of discovery led me to find out that I could trudge forwards slowly in the sand, and I eventually discovered that pressing a button (I’m still unsure which one) let my player jump and emit a kind of bubble or expanding shield. It only survived briefly and didn’t seem to do anything, but it was progress. There were also objects on the far horizon, some kind of pillar graveyard, yet when I ran towards them they disappeared as a mirage.
Journey itself was a fantastic thing to play with, but after 10 minutes of aimlessly doing nothing in the sand I expected a prompt or some kind of hint (even a slight button hint) but nope, nothing at all. I was frustrated, so gave up playing it. I still love the game and will buy it on day one, but sadly my brief experience at Access with it was daunting to say the least.
Whether it was the lack of help or inability to fathom the controls because they just simply weren’t there to discover. I honestly pressed everything and tried everything I could think of, but I could only make the little thing trudge around in a depressing fashion in the sand, or show off by making expanding bubbles after briefly mashing the controls. You’ll either like Journey a lot, or not at all.