My friends have told me to play Journey over and over but I could never find the right time to sit down and do it. The other night, I had a couple hours to kill and a couple of ciders, so I sat down and cracked them both open. Now there will be a few spoilers in this but the game has been out for a while and it is two or two and a half hours long so go play it!
Before anything else, I immediately fell in love with Journey’s overall ascetic. The minimalist style is visually striking and although I usually don’t enjoy deserts in games, the way you freely float through the sand makes it feel like an ocean. One of my favorite things is the variety of environments that you visit in such a short time. Some are puzzle based, most are platforming, but all are unique and interesting.
As you complete each area, you come to a resting place where an new story beat is revealed to you through a vision from another character. The overarching “story” of the game is a little confusing but overall it makes sense in the end. It’s not my favorite part of Journey but it kind of creates its own story throughout the game, the story of you. You encounter monsters, mystery, depths, heights, power, and a friend just like you.
That’s right, make sure to play online because unannounced, someone distant will join your game and traverse the journey with you. It’s an incredible moment because unless you know it’s about to happen, it’s a complete surprise and you aren’t sure if its a CPU or a human. They go through all the trials alongside you, and in the end, collapse with you.
There isn’t necessarily an upgrade tree but as you are exploring you will find orbs that help you to jump or fly farther and it’s very rewarding towards the end when you can keep going further and further without touching the ground. This culminates in the final scene where you are just soaring through a vibrant landscape which directly contrasts the moment before when you can barely move and collapse in the snow with your friend. It’s an awesome feeling and great end to quite the adventure.
Overall, Journey makes me happy. It’s fun, daring, and satisfying in all the best ways. The only things I could ever knock it for are price and length but I think its worth the price and hits every note that it set out to. I give it 5 out of 5 scarves.