Thursday, 27 December 2012

GOTY No. 5 - Journey

This year has seen some very impressive technical achievements flourish in the video game industry, but the next 5 games in our top 5 GOTY 2012 List shone above the rest and are each in their own way, innovators moving this mode of entertainment to new heights previously unexplored in gaming.

 

The PlayStation Network exclusive Journey starts our top 5 countdown, providing a unique, emotional and thought provoking experience unlike any other this year. Journey tells the silent tale of a mysterious traveler as they try and reach a beautiful mountaintop in the distance. Providing little in terms of gameplay or story, Journey was intended by the developers Thatgamecompany to “evoke in the player a sense of smallness and wonder, and to forge an emotional connection between them and the anonymous players they meet along the way.”

Those of you who have not played Journey may be asking, “Yes yes, that’s all very well but, what kind of game is it?” and truth be told, there’s no simple answer. If you broke it down Journey is a puzzle exploration game but it’s impossible not to experience the deeper levels of this mesmerizing title as you meet other players along your journey and explore some of the most beautiful environments the industry has ever seen.

Coupled with stunning visuals Journey’s story is told through the medium of music. A beautiful ballad follows your character as you move deeper and deeper into the heart of the desert while communication between yourself and players is limited to serene singing. Somehow without any form of direct communication, players establish partnerships and help each other complete objectives without once ever doing anymore than whistling a tune or performing a jig – a truly magical feeling that you must experience.


Some have complained that Journey has a severe lack of gameplay and should be defined as an artistic venture as opposed to a video game. While this is a fairly reasonable comment to make for those expecting more interaction, it would also be fair to retort by stating that Thatgamecompany never intended to create that type of game and what they were trying to achieve had to be performed through this artistic medium. Whatever side of the fence you choose to sit on, it’s absolutely undeniable that Journey is visually stunning, blissful on the ears and a joy to experience. This is unlike anything you’ve played this year and as a result, thoroughly deserves praise as one of 2012’s absolute finest title.

Igor Kharin

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