Journey is like nothing I've ever played before. It's bananas.
I heard so much of the game and have been wanting to play it for so long, and I finally got my chance today.
It was almost surreal when I met my first partner. I was just standing in an empty desert looking for floating things to make my jump come back, and then I hear "dingdingdingDONG" and turn around and this guy is slowly making his way towards me. It was surreal because... it just was. In any other video game, he would have a shank or a gun or something and I'd already be dead. But this guy, or girl, just comes up to me to let me know he/she's there. All of the dings and dongs later and we've communicated. No voice, no text. All through the use of random notes that change depending on how hard you hold down circle.
We stood around each other for a couple of minutes, realizing "Holy crap it's someone else" before getting back to the task at hand. We went around, collecting floating sashes to finish the level together. Then we finished the next level. But at the very end of that second level, me and my partner had to part ways, as he appeared to go AFK and never came back. It created a sense of guilt in me. Here we were, working together and getting it done, and I just left him. I did wait for about 20 minutes, but, when it came time to go, I went.
It was really sad. What if this player was new like me? What if he had no idea what was going on and I abandoned him? What if on his screen, I wasn't moving? But I left anyway. The second player I met ended up roughly the same way. After developing our own communication system, using the dings and dongs provided, he made it clear that we had to find our way out of this dungeon, or whatever it was. It wasn't going to be easy, however, as there were these giant flying snake-like creatures roaming about. They emitted a light field in front of them to scan the area for creatures like you so they could murder you in horrible ways. But, just as my first companion did, he ended up making way away from me and going AFK. Like my first pal, I waited probably way too long for him to return, but he did not, I was on my own again. So I made my way to the end of the level and completed it.
This is where I found a new player. He had a better idea of what to do than I did, as I followed him around from platform to platform. I accidentally knocked him down a couple of times, which made it all kind of funny, watching him climb back up and avoiding me for a few seconds. It was interesting to say the least, but as we completed the level, I wasn't sure if I still had the same player or not. The end of the game told me I played with four people, but I only saw three. So my guess is, right here is where he somehow got away from me and I was provided with the fourth and final player.
He, or she, who knows, was definitely the best out of them all. Using the communication system very accurately to how I used it, we really expressed ourselves as best as we could, which allowed us to work together wonderfully. The second to last level was probably one of the best experiences I've ever had with a video game, in fact. Here we were, trudging through the freezing snow, staying as close together was we possibly could so we didn't lose all of our flying powers. Figuring out puzzle after puzzle through trial and error, it was almost like a montage for some survival movie with Liam Neeson. It was just so amazing to, not just see, but play, first hand.
There was one puzzle, a wind puzzle, around some sort of castle. You had to weave in and out of the wind path by hiding behind cover. It would blow by left and then from the front. So you had to maneuver to cover very quickly. We managed to figure that out and get through fairly easy, but the last part was tricky. As before there was always a railing on the side of the walls so you wouldn't fall off, not here. The wind came from nowhere, somehow missing me entirely, but throwing him off of the cliff. It went from a chilling battle of attrition to a sudden intense panic. Did he die? Can you die? Did my buddy just get killed, leaving me to deal with this world alone? It was, again, surreal. During the, oh, 20, 25 minutes together, we built a raport and worked well together. Almost, dare I say, bonded? It's hard to explain, but this guy was here with me for the long hall, and I might have just witnessed his demise.
But all was not lost! As I try to look down and see if he's alive, or dead, anything, down there, I see him! He's alive. And actually a lot further along than I, so I had to play catchup and hurry before he finished the level without me. We ended up running into each other at the exact same time, meeting with a series of boops and dings. It was exciting to be back together, as apparent by both of our reactions. This guy/gal doesn't know me, and I don't know him/her, but we worked together and that was exciting enough.
Thus began one of the most amazing scenes from any video game. Me, and my buddy, slowly making our way up this mountain, during the most intense blizzard I've ever seen. No longer could we stick close to warm ourselves with our bodyheat. It wasn't working. We were too cold. So we stuck close anyway, and made way we had been making so far: up. Our bodies started moving slower, and slower. The wind, pushing us back, further and further. If we didn't get out of here soon, we'd certainly die. I'm not sure that we even can, but it's the most logical. We go so high up this mountain that we can hardly even more anymore, our bodies covered almost 100% in ice. That's when it happened: My buddy collapsed face first into the snow. "Oh no! Get back up!" I proclaim, but my cries fall on deaf ears as my character collapses right behind him. A journey I began with a couple of different characters, ending on the peak of a snow covered mountain, so close to our destination you could taste it.
It was something special alright. Never before have I seen anything so powerful in a video game. When he/she collapsed on that snow covered mountain, followed soon by my character, I could not believe it. It was so... powerful.
Journey isn't just some video game, it's a lot more than that. It's an experience. One that I'm glad to have had, but at the same time, disappointed that there really isn't anything out there like it.
Just thought I'd share my reaction to something that completely mesmerized me.
Oh, and buy this game.
Journey is like nothing I've ever played before. It's bananas.