Check out the review on my blog!
Bastion is a wonderfully diverse game that offers up a great deal of flexibility in how you approach its many challenges.
- Beautiful artistic style
- Varied stages offer unexpected challenges
- Lots of weapons and other unlockables
- Numerous ways to customize your character and your experience.
- Leaderboard requirements are needlessly obtuse.
Bastion is a game that's confident in what it has to offer--and for good reason. It's a beautifully detailed action role-playing game that doesn't waste your time with anything less than its best. Simplicity and variety permeate the entire game to create a wildly customizable experience that always leaves you excited for what's coming up next. Stages consistently end on a high note, and the number of ways you can tweak your character is extensive. There's a lot to discover in Bastion, and even after you've seen it all, it's still a game that's hard to put down.
While you were sleeping, the world ended. As The Kid, a rare survivor of the catastrophic Calamity, your best chance for survival lies with the bastion--a massive, floating island hovering untouched in the sky. The only problem is this: It's not yet finished, and its remaining pieces are scattered across a ruined and hostile landscape. With your very first steps this damaged world springs to life as the pieces of old bridges, stairways, and city streets reform at your feet thanks to a small piece of the bastion The Kid carries on his back. In addition to its visual appeal, this technique very subtly drives the player forward and helps direct your progress.
Combat requires that you stay light on your feet. Its challenge stems from spatial awareness and knowing which targets to strike first. While the world of Bastion does rise up around you, it only extends so far. The danger of falling over the edge is always present--thankfully, the penalty for this is only a slight loss of health. Some enemies like attacking in swarms, others lay down constant strings of projectiles that can box you into a corner. All throughout your time in Bastion new and varied enemies are introduced. To survive, the game forces you to act quickly and lash out at those most likely to lay on the hurt with a variety of different weapons.
The Kid can bring along two weapons at any given time, as well as one secret technique. You earn new armaments to equip at a constant pace throughout, and each has its advantages. For instance, the hammer may be powerful, but it has a low attack rate. On the flip side, the sword is incredibly fast, but it doesn't deal as much raw damage. This lets you tailor your loadout to suit your style or address a particular challenge. Upgrading your weapons helps with that as well. Each weapon has five tiers of upgrades, with each tier broken into two improvements. The first tier of the hammer is a choice between extra damage or critical hit chance. While you can only have one of the two improvements active at a time, the game lets you switch back and forth between them at will. It's a welcome bit of flexibility that is too often lost in other role-playing adventures.
Each weapon also unlocks its own challenge stage. These stages test your martial prowess and teach you some new tricks with each armament--though they are hit or miss. The best are puzzles that force you to destroy targets in certain patterns to earn the best time. Others just test how fast you can mash a button. For your efforts, you can earn upgrade items or even secret techniques. Most of these techniques are tied to a specific weapon and are generally powerful attacks performed at the expense of collectable potions. You might unlock the ability to fire ricocheting shots from your bow or perform 360-degree swipes with your sword, for example.