http://thatgamecompany.com/wp-content/themes/thatgamecompany/_include/img/journey/journey-game-screenshot-10.jpg
A few of us this week have played Journey (scheduled through the awesome event system) and will be sharing our thoughts. Anyone who wants to share can comment below or in a new post, whatever strikes your fancy.

This post contains spoilers, so tune out now if you don't want them. I don't want to hide all the text with the spoiler option because of the text above. You have been warned!

The one thing that comes through for me more strongly than anything in Journey is the sense of purpose, though that's never known to the player or the player character (that we know of). All we know is that we must strive for it. There's never any dialogue, but you can still almost feel your character's sense of wonder as the world you traverse changes. Perhaps that just means thatgamecompany did a great job with putting you in the game.

The graphics are absolutely stunning. The first time through, it didn't really click just how beautiful the game is, but the second time through, knowing more about what I could expect, I was able to just enjoy the visuals way more than I had in the past.

There's nothing in the gameplay that hasn't been done before in the past, really. It controls basically how you would expect, and the controls work marvelously. The puzzles scattered about aren't very challenging, but they serve their purpose.

The big wildcard with this game was the multiplayer. As you progress you may join someone's game, or be joined by them. You never know who it is, and you can't talk to them. The only form of communication is the "ping" system. You can ping at them to your heart's content, but without some other context, your companion will have no idea what's being said. People have tried (and thankfully, failed) to come up with a ping language, so you can tell people specific things, but this misses the point entirely-- the point is that you are two strangers who must communicate without any kind of language. That adds to the tension.

My first time playing the game, I had been playing with a single person for about an hour, when suddenly the connection messed up on someone's end, and I was alone. This, for me, was a very brief traumatic moment, much like the loss of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII or any other death in a plot-driven game. This was the only other character that had any importance to me in this game, and now that character was gone. In a flash, I went from "NOOOOOOO" to realizing what was going on, and it was over. But for that brief second I realized I had come to care about this other player.

Journey is one of my favorite games of this generation, if not all generations. It's one of the few games I'd give a perfect 10, and it's one that I'm considering buying in hard copy even though I own it digitally, because in 10 years who knows if the PSN will still be available? I want to know I can play this whenever I want.

I highly recommend this to anyone. It may not appeal to you if you only like in-your-face action, but if you're interested in deeper experiences, definitely give it a play.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 06/26/2013 at 07:16am

Journey is as beautiful an expression of the cycle of life and death as I have ever seen. One can easily forget that it is being delivered through a digital medium. Ribbons of texture and color offer a seemingly tactile connection, made even more real by the sounds of a breathing world. I love that I can start a session in Journey now, and it still feels new and fresh to me. Maybe because there isn't any pressure to complete specific objectives. You can hop in and out, and even just a little taste can leave you satisfied. It's brief enough to play multiple times, and it's engaging enough to enjoy playing each and every time. Funny you mention picking up a hard copy, Travis, as I was thinking the same thing. It would be a shame to not have access to this in the future.

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