I sat down, purchased and finished Journey in one sitting (isn't hard) and I have to say that was one of the most impressive experiences in my entire life.
Never have I been so immersed, so confused and so amazed all at the same time. I haven't felt this way about a game since HL2E1 which in much the same way, completely immersed me with how realistic Alex felt. Now that experience has been trumped by a long shot by journey. I started the game like most probably did, expecting this to just be a romp through the desert, nothing dangerous, just a simple journey with no idea where to go. Apon reaching what I could only describe as the '2nd' level I noticed in the distance someone was jumping around a bunch of the little flying leaves, I quickly ran over and we started trying to communicate somehow. Quickly we realized the only real way to talk was through the use of the circle but after a short while we took off and continued the journey together, quickly opening up the 3 level bridge to the next area and going hand in hand.
What followed was the most amazing experience of my life and this single friend followed me the entire way, I can't believe how close 2 people can be in a game with almost no way of communication. We quickly developed some simple meathods of communication when needed, if it was important we jammed on the circle so much you couldn't help but follow, a single tap seemed to be a 'where are you' press and every now and then we just pressed it 2 or 3 times out of boredom. After some amazing slides down some amazing scenery we descended into the first of the underground area's, this is where the realization that this person 'cared' about this person he didn't know and only met a mere 20 minutes ago sunk in. The first worm we weren't expecting and both lost half our capes, we wheren't going to fool for that twice, however I did.
Out of nowhere a worm seemed to scan us, he jumped and scattered but I didn't get out in time and in one swoop I lost all but the last bit of my cape, the character actually wouldn't actually move for a few seconds trying to get up. Then this other person came running up smashing the circle button as if to help (as being near the other player gives you your cloak back.) instead of just running and waiting for me to catch up. Thats when I first realised that this guy actually somewhat cares that both of us make it through this journey together, that was the last time either of us got hit by the worms. After that we continued the journey together, learning how to hide behind things for wind, hide in the houses from the worms, rarely did we move more than a few meters away from each other. And finally we came to the end of the journey, the last area.
We both took off hitting the circle as hard as we could and in my excitement I didn't stop, I kept moving all the way to the end. I waited on the top of the mountain for a bit trying to call out for him and after a bit of debating I started going backwards, I was going to at least try and find him. Once I fell the very large distance to the second last platform there he was, waiting for me to catch up to him. After a few seconds of circle spamming (its weird how excited we got and we never said a word.) we both took off to the final area and still waking right next to each other, finished the journey.
That was the most amazing experience I have ever had in a game, this person I had never even spoken too, couldn't speak too and didn't think I would ever speak too had shared an experience like non other. After the game I watched the credits and noticed his name come up, the entire game and only one, one name, we had done this entier journey together as I had predicted. A friend request and a message later and he shared the exact same opinion I did, thanking each other for sharing such an amazing experience.
I wasn't sure about Journey before but this single incident has shown me one thing, I paid 20 dollars for an hour and a half at most of one of the most amazing things in my life, people who say video gaming is dead just need to play such an experience as this. I may have been lucky that my first experience was like this but let me tell you, it was worth every damn dollar.