It’s hard to review a game like Journey because it does so many things that are just difficult to convey into words. Journey is the latest game from ThatGameCompany, responsible for previous games Flower and Flow. In Journey, you are a person or creature in cloth that has the simple goal of reaching the top of a mountain. It’s as simple as that, but in the hour and a half it takes to beat Journey, it becomes one of the most meaningful and emotionally driven goals I’ve ever experienced in a game. You will explore vast landscapes, dark temples, and push your way through a terrible snowstorm.
More than likely, you won’t be traveling alone. Journey doesn’t let you just call a buddy to play cooperatively with, it will be with a complete stranger, with no knowledge of who they even are. There is also no way to communicate in a traditional multiplayer setting. You are limited to the simple act of emitting bursts of energy through a simple press of the circle button. This burst of energy’s primary use is to activate certain events as you progress through the world, as well as enable the other player to fly. When you both communicate with this simple method, it is no longer just flying through the air, it becomes a beautiful dance in the sky. Communication with the other player was something magical when traversing through Journey’s world. There were moments where I was genuinely scared that I lost the other player, but then they would emit energy to signal their location, I felt like I had found a long lost friend.
While Journey provides you with the simple goal of reaching the top of a mountain. The world tells you stories of how the world came to be, and where previous attempts to reach the top of the mountain have failed. There is also, of course, the story of the experience your partner and you share along the way.
Journey’s gameplay is also complimented by a powerful score that really sets the tone of your adventure. It is very rare in games to have such a strong connection to what is happening on screen while evoking emotions that sync so harmoniously to the story telling.
There is something to be said about Journey’s design and what makes it so successful. From the depth of the worlds history to its vast vistas. Journey has a heart and soul, it relies on very simple mechanics that express so much. As much as I’d love to share my experience, I would be doing a great injustice to you and your experience. Journey is a classic and a game that needs to played by all people who would consider themselves gamers. It is a masterpiece in art, music, story telling, and has the most unique brand of multiplayer. Stop reading this, go play Journey for yourself, and experience one of the most beautiful games ever created.