Yesterday I played through and finished The Journey on Playstation 3. A game never sticks in my mind after playing it. Games are just a source of entertainment for me. They aren’t “art” and they certainly don’t ever hit me on an emotional level. I didn’t have a second thought for the little sisters in Bioshock, I just wanted that Adam. I don’t ponder on the loss of comrades in Call of Duty or Halo Reach and I know it sounds heartless but losing my dog in Fable 2 meant fuck all to me.
Why on earth then am I still thinking about Journey and the connection I had with my co-op partner? I didn’t even know this person. I have never spoken to, seen or know the person I played through the game with. The total amount of contact I have had with this other person is a few beeps and boops to get his/ her attention during the 2 hours of game time i spent with the person. But for some reason that experience. That 2 hours is sticking in my mind as the best co-op experience I have ever had in a game.
That is a real achievement for That Game Company, they have made a person who plays games without feeling have a real emotional attachment in a game. That is something that will stick with me forever. The thing I am wondering now is why? Why is it that this game has stuck in my mind so much? What is it about Journey that sticks it in my mind as a very emotional, artistic experience?
The answer to that question is I don’t honestly know, it could be the lack of contact with the other player. Just the one note that you can press or hold to get your partners attention. The fact that I cannot hear my “friend”, can't hear the person calling me a fag or dick for getting caught by the monster and losing all of my scarf. In the scenario he is not being a dick to me verbally so I never really have a negative opinion of him. Or is it the fact that it is just the two players alone in the wilderness helping each other out. Does it create that bond that stuck in my mind. A bond that worries me when I think I have lost my partner because I have been pushed off of a platform by the wind. Only to later be relieved seeing my “mate” sat waiting for me on the same platform chirping away looking for me.
No matter what it is Journey has stuck in my mind and will forever stick in my mind for being the game that actually made me feel emotional about a game. In Journey I was not just going through the motions I actually had feelings for the game. I don’t think I will ever play Journey again. I don’t want to spoil my memories of the game.