If you have friends who play video games pretty frequently and you’ve never played Bastion, chances are one of those friends has yelled at you to play it right away. They were right to do so. As someone who was at the time just beginning to delve into the wide array of amazing games the indie downloadable scene had to offer, Bastion simultaneously sold me on the whole “genre” and spoiled me with riches that to this day are hard to match up to.
It’s difficult to isolate one or two aspects that this game excels at, so I’ll just start arbitrarily. The art and overall look of this game is beyond gorgeous. Every single aspect of Bastion that you lay your eyes on is brimming with beautiful colour and meticulous detail. All of this help construct the world of Bastion, and what a world it is!
Another aspect of this game that gets absolutely nailed is the gameplay mechanics. This is going to sound a little weird, but the gameplay can be compared to that of a fighting game. The controls are so tight and precise and you feel in total control of everything your player (AKA The Kid, really, that’s his name) is doing.
The difficulty is also handled in a really smart way. Instead of your typical easy/medium/hard difficulty options, there are idols you can activate, each one making the game just a little bit harder in different ways. One causes enemies to regenerate health, one causes each enemy to drop a small explosive on death. You can choose to activate any one of these idols, all ten, or anything in between and are rewarded with extra credits to spend on upgrades. The upgrade system built in to the weapons, but it doesn’t intrude on the gameplay. You check out some simple upgrades between missions and away you go. Different weapon loadouts can be used, all of which synergize really well and give you lots of options for how you want to play the game.
Beyond all that, any of that are the three main reason for playing this game. First, the music. Oh, the music. I tried to think of a way to describe it, but it would have fallen short. Just know that it fits the game perfectly and creates a great deal of unbelievably impactful moments. Just listen for yourself.
If you don’t listen to the album, just listen to the first song. That heavenly voice is that of actor Logan Cunningham as he portrays Rucks. He narrates just about everything you o in the game and It. Is. Amazing! Not just his ridiculously cool-sounding voice, but the dialogue written for that role is fantastic.
Which leads me to the story. the music, the gameplay, the voice-acting, all just play perfectly into the story of Caelondia and the Calamity. This game makes you care, it made me care. Damn it for doing that, because by the end I cared almost too much, I was emotional.
That friend I mentioned who yells at you to play this game? That’s me, friend. I bought copies of this game for two of my friends after i finished the first 20 minutes of it because I wanted them to experience it with me, so seriously, just go play it.