Journey creates a warm friendship between two complete strangers, and when the journey is over, it's sorely missed.

User Rating: 9.5 | Journey PS3
Journey is not exactly a game, in the sense that you have objectives to accomplish and suffer penalties for your failures, rather, it's a demonstration of just how emotionally powerful the gaming medium can be. For the first time, I was genuinely moved by a video game. Journey is, well, a journey. A journey of friendship, reliance, bonding, and warmth. Journey is a feel-good game that will likely put a smile on anyone's face.

The game here is simple. You are a robed figure, sexless, nameless, and speechless. You may chirp a musical note to communicate with your companion, should you find one. That is the only form of communication available in Journey's world. And a beautiful world it is. Journey is one of the best looking PlayStation 3 games I've ever seen. From the whipping, blustering sand and snow, to the breeze that gently ruffles your robes, the game is a demonstration of serenity. The attention to detail is fascinating. The sand and snow is trampled as you walk through it, and flows in the breeze like crystal clear water. The blazing sun shines across seas of sand like a golden blanket.

As you wander the world Journey creates, you may encounter another lone adventurer just like you. You're always online in Journey, so you are usually randomly paired with another player that stays with you until either of you leave the game. I've never played Journey without finding someone, so I'm not sure if it's possible to never find another player. When you find another player, all you can do to communicate with them is chirp by pressing "O" on the controller. That's it. They do not display their PSN ID and there is absolutely no way to know who they are. That is the beauty of Journey. You'll find yourself really becoming attached to your friend and that, I think, is how Journey touches the heart.

Throughout the game you'll come across golden symbols which add pieces to your scarf, making it longer. Your scarf is like an energy meter. When you press "X" on the controller you jump up into the air and temporarily gain the ability to fly. Your scarf meter depletes the longer you do this, however, but can be refilled by finding whirlwinds of scarves throughout the land, or if your partner preforms a "super chirp", as I call it, near you. By holding down the "O" button on the controller you can chirp louder. This is also used to activate certain special glyphs needed to activate platforms and cut-scenes that progress your current level.

Other than that Journey is a emotional wonder and should be played with that expectation. If you play Journey expecting a puzzle game or a platformer, you'll be sorely disappointed. But if you play Journey expecting to have your heartstrings tugged a little, to make an unknown companion; a new friend, than Journey is for you.

Journey is short, only about three hours in length. But what an adventure it is. I was skeptical of it because the length turned me off. And I still feel like Journey should have been a longer more involved gaming experience because I miss it so much having finished it. But what it does, it does better than any game. And the more support we provide Journey's creators, the better chance we'll have of perhaps seeing more wonderful games like Journey.

Take this Journey, you won't be disappointed.

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