Video game portrays life


First is birth, being thrust into an unknown world, with no idea where you are. Next, the adolescent years, meeting people who become your friends, who then disappear into the endlessly shifting sands of time, leading into the adult years, a time of challenges. Finally, we enter our elder years, the winter of our lives, and eventually, death, and ascension to the afterlife to be reborn again and start anew.

This is “Journey.”

“Journey” is a 2012 art/platforming game released by indie game company thatgamecompany, also responsible for the hit indie games “Flow” and “Flower.”

Journey” is roughly based off the religion of Buddhism, a concept I’ve never seen used in a video game, and the idea works perfectly.

“Journey” is an astounding game. The graphics are a one of a kind style, and what amazes me is the attention to detail that they put in. Each grain of sand is clear, and the wind blowing sand across the desert, the moonlight filtering into an underground city through cracks in the roof of the cave, the storm at the end … all of it is worthy of more praise than words could ever say. The attention put into the graphics doesn’t take away from the story whatsoever, a feat that is rarely accomplished.

Another great concept in “Journey” is the multiplayer. It’s great because in most games, you see the names of players in your server. But “Journey” isn’t most games. In “Journey,” you’re matched with a random, anonymous player from around the world, and you can help each other or go alone, lending a real-life feel to the game.

From the very beginning, where a lone star falls to the desert, and the character spying the mountain’s bright gate-like light, to the ending sequence, the game never fails to stir the emotions, from the carefreeness that comes with sliding down a hill of sand, to the suspense you feel when being chased by war machines; the awe-inspiring ending sequence even managed to bring tears to my eyes. The ending sequence is beautiful and the kind of ending I wish every game could have.

As for the character, you never see your face, never hear your voice and never know your gender. “Journey” lets you think of your character as yourself, and I found myself growing attached to the character, and at the end I found myself even talking to the character, telling it to go on, that it could make it, even as I felt its heartbeat slowly dwindling away in the controller, which is another cool mechanic that is only experienced during the mountain-climbing-to-your-death sequence

If I had to describe “Journey” (which I have to), I would say that it is perfection incarnate in the game world, and a word that is thrown around too often, and nobody even knows the meaning of anymore: awesome. Anyone with a PlayStation 3 should buy “Journey” off the PlayStation Store so they can experience the “Journey” for themselves.