Journey (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 13.03.2017 4

Review for Journey on PlayStation 4

Thatgamecompany doesn't play by the rules, a cliché statement that almost doesn't need to be stated. Its first game, Flow, takes the player on the journey that is evolution, while the follow up, Flower, lets them take to the sky and just enjoy nature. The question was, then, could the developer do something unique and fantastic a third time? The answer was no. It could create one of the most unique and fantastic games of all time, and outdo itself several times over.

Journey is gorgeous. From the desert to the depths to the snowy mountains, Journey left no detail unrealised. From the first time you see the sand slip out from underneath the controllable avatar, players will be lost in the gorgeous scenery, which is just as awe inspiring as it is cryptic.

The point of the gameplay is that far off in the distance, atop a mountain, is a light. This beacon is your only discernible goal, but as the name implies, it's not about the goal, it's about the journey - and for a game that only takes an hour or two to beat first time through, what a journey it is. As a weird, shaman looking creature, players will solve simple puzzles, and grow their cape. The cape growing, of course, is very important, as it allows the character to fly, which opens the game up considerably.

Beyond venturing into the great unknown, there isn't much else to do in Journey, which many could view as a bad thing. To this end, one would be missing the point. Journey is all about overcoming trials, many of which are purely mental, which is one reason its multiplayer is so incredible.

Screenshot for Journey on PlayStation 4

Instead of finding someone online, perhaps waiting twenty minutes for another player to join the same server as you, the other player is just dropped into your game. You can't communicate beyond simple chirping noises and flashes of light, but it's surprising how well you can manage this. Keep a companion long enough, and the language you share will be a common tongue, one shared with another human being that you'll probably never truly know. It's a beautiful sentiment, which transcends any of the worries that come with meeting people. Instead, you will bond over a common goal, helping one another reach the finale in unison.

Journey, however, isn't perfect. Because the game is more meditative than anything else, it is impossible to die. This is bizarre, and some could say a major selling point for the game. However, there's no feeling of risk and reward because of this. Also, beyond some collectibles, there's not a lot of reason to go back through the game, unless intending on becoming a sort of tour guide for the ruins of this world. It would have been nice to have a bit more to do, but, as previously mentioned, perhaps that's missing the point.

Screenshot for Journey on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Journey is a masterpiece, one that still holds up well years after it came out. It's indicative of the industry that there still doesn't feel like there's anything else like it. Many could call it the original walking simulator, but in reality, it was a game that proved that what we perceive as a game or not may be wildly wrong. It's hard to find an experience that can make being wrong so enjoyable.

Developer

Tricky Pixels

Publisher

SCEE

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I have still never gotten around to playing Journey, however this review has convinced me to finally get into it and experience it for the first time.

You won't regret it, it's really the only experience out there like it, which I find is somewhat difficult to say about too many games these days.  However, if you end up really liking it and want something close, Abzu is sort of in the ball park (I haven't finished it yet so I can't say definitively but it has a similar vibe).

Great little experience. Me and a friend also purposely tried to play with each other, entering and re-entering the point at which it places you in the world with another user. Eventually, we got it and played through the game together. That was also pretty fun, trying to race each other through parts.

Haha don't know how I'd feel with allowing users into my world. Kinda like the whole eeriness of being alone in this large and desolate land. I managed to get hands-on with the game for an hour or so. Loving it so far!

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