Journey isn’t really a game, but rather an interactive experience. And it’s perfect

journey

Originally released in 2012 on the Playstation 3, Journey is a voyage of discovery with very little to light the way. That’s not an issue though as you just kind of know what you’re supposed to do.

You control a mysterious robed figure who is initially wandering through the desert. There is no set-up or story to follow, just a distant mountain that is your assumed destination, so off you go.

Collecting glowing orbs along the way will give the scarf you are wearing extra length. This is a good thing as it allows you to jump and float for longer to reach higher vantage points. When floating, the pattern on your scarf disappears. The only way to bring the pattern back is by collecting floating pieces of material or by interacting with the creatures you come across. Interacting is possibly too strong a word for how you deal with other inhabitants of the world. You can send out a pulse which they respond to, but it’s hardly a sit-down chat with tea and biscuits.

While this may sound dull, Journey is a beautiful game, if game is the right word. It’s more of an interactive experience as you move from desert, to dark underground aquatic areas and onto windswept snowy mountains. The minimal design is gorgeously sparse. The controls are simply to jump and float or to pulse to interact. And it doesn’t need much more than that.
do, on occasion, come across other players if you are online. You can’t really communicate in any meaningful way, but there is something comforting about meeting a fellow traveller, even if it can cause bouts of serious scarf envy when you come across a character with an unusually long one swinging about in the breeze.

The musical score is classical and gentle, moving with ebbs and flows according to your character’s situation which adds to the overall ambience of this stunning title.

Journey isn’t the longest game and don’t expect and clear conclusions, but this is a title to be savoured and re-played again and again. It’s also a title to show to those who question the artistic merits of video games. Simply perfect.

stars5
Tricky Pixels
Playstation 4
£11.99 (7+)

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