A wonderfully suggestive epitome of art in games, the very definition of art, put in to one interactive experience...
Not only is it insanely polished, and essentially flawless in all possible ways, but it also embraces the erratic nature of the human race.
Art... art is the word that sums this game up. If you aren't interested in art, if you hate these types of incredibly deep "indie" games and find them pretentious, you can stop reading now. Because that is what makes this game so special.
Journey is, essentially, an online (it can of course also be played offline) co op adventure game.
Putting all of the silly "booo it's way too linear" semantics aside, this game is pretty much a generic action adventure game, it really is!
Movement? Check. Enemies? Check. Third Person view? Check. Collectibles? Check. Online Co op? Check.
These are all very familiar concepts that have been in the game industry for a while. Journey is not a groundbreaking game in the sense that it changes the very definition of the genre. But rather, a take on the action adventure genre. A game that doesn't involve death and killing, but instead the importance of life, love, and other more abstract concepts of life.
That's what it is, abstract. You can interpret this game however you want; as a meaningless journey that shows you the way, a game that match makes you with random players as you walk towards your goal, or a complex, less tangible experience full of underlying mechanics and depth.
It's a game where you actually have to think, you have to think about what you're seeing. It's not as superficial.
Now to the actual gameplay mechanics which I'm sure is something you are interested in.
Does this game have traditional mechanics? Yes, like I said, it's an action adventure game in third person.
However, to be more specific... Instead of just shooting your gun at random terrorists (did he just make a generalization of the current game industry? oh noes), you use energy, as for what this energy is, I'm not entirely sure.
The energy interacts with cloth, or other things built by the race of your player's character (more on this later). It allows you to seamlessly glide through the air as if the very air itself were a completely transparent liquid. Sort of like swimming. Though this energy is limited by the amount of segments you have on your "scarf". You collect energy by interacting with other creatures (or players as well) that are made of cloth, either by signalling them with a tune from your character, or by just approaching them/touching them.
This very concept of energy is an incentive for co op. When another player is with you (mind you players are COMPLETELY anonymous, no names, and no voice chatting allowed) you can interact with each other through tunes that are emitted by pressing the circle button. By doing so, not only do you send a cheerful sign of company, but you also give the player's scarf some extra energy to glide. Being extremely close to another is also important, by touching each other (almost cuddling hehe) both of you will gain energy for your scarf. Which is a very useful mechanic in the latter levels where energy is extremely important.
To extend your scarf you have to find these glowing symbols that are hidden throughout the world, basically like collectibles. Thus allowing you to glide longer.
Don't worry, I won't put any spoilers in this review, but considering the whole "story" is EXTREMELY suggestive and open to interpretation that spoiling it is nearly impossible and /or ineffective.
In between levels (it's worth noting that this game is quite short), you enter a sort of cutscene that is almost like a debriefing of what will happen in the next level, or just a completely abstract way of storytelling that explains to you what happened before everything turned in to a desert. The thing is, these cutscenes are so suggestive that turning them in to something tangible is nearly impossible. You cannot be objective with this game's story.~
Basically, you either take this game's story with a grain of salt, or you pay attention and figure out what's going on.
Once again, I should say, that this game is not for people who don't like art... because then the entire experience might even feel pointless and superficial.
Anyways, like the devs once said (thatgamecompany), this is a game that is supposed to bring people together.
And it does that perfectly
Visuals - 10/10
Umm... everything- 10/10
Thanks for reading, and please support thatgamecompany, BUY THIS GAME.
CAUSE IT'S GREAT.