Where Journey Fails.

I wrote a review on Journey, but with all the talk about cool stuff in it I'm going to talk about it's problems. Something it's much easier to do in a blog than a review.

Journey in itself is just a beautiful if basic game. The multiplayer shifts the focus to the other person and them to you. Without it Journey would be a much worse off game. But there's problems with it. With all the freedom you give it you also give it power. You lose that single experience. But thatgamecompany realized that and took out everything but basic interaction. This allows them to play and you to play with them. But just that allows certain people to mess around at least to some degree. They can't do much to you and the design lowers it to small jokes and play rather than ridicule and trolling. But regardless it creates the ability to take you away(if only slightly) from the world

But I haven't got into the meat of it. Journey is short. The design doesn't make it short, it just is. The way it weaves from one environment to the next should allow the designers to add a huge amount but they add only a few levels. Sure each is memorable but it greatly diminishes the scope and the size of the levels themselves only allows a small space to feel each element. It's like listening to a 3 minute song. It's hard to get all the impact from such a small space. Each of these is extremely detailed in it's design but because they're so focused they become short. The only thing that keeps the pacing working is the constant flow of music which tunes you to the world. And that music helps to set the tone and feeling. Without it the flaws would be more noticeable, although your companion helps to

In that there's almost a strangeness in the diversity. The first levels give you a sense of being lost, with a large scope and your path being only shown by a few stark objects, in contrast the later levels are extremely narrow with obvious points to go to. Other games often do this, but for a game so detailed it's strange that it loses this. There's also little variation in the path. Sure a few splits but they're small. The craziest one is predictable and later on. There's a path on the side you can see before hand and by the time you get to it you can figure out why it exists. But in these areas some are also weird in overall design. Most are straightforward sure, but in the beginning you get to an unnatural box. It's filled with stuff but it feels unnatural in overall design and though you can get high enough to pass over the sides the game won't let you(obviously). It's a stilted experience that doesn't work.

On that there's a few other things that aren't that great. The areas where you can find side murals for no conceivable in-game purpose seems useless to me. (and I went to all I could find but no achievement either) A lot of them are more than vague they're just redos of what you've seen before. And things like achievements at the end kind of break the experience. The game also becomes more and less like a game at points from having to not be in an area, (I hid AND ran but it didn't work) to having to get to a bunch of points. There's not much you can do to get through a lot of situations so answers become clear quickly but it can be troublesome to figure it out sometimes.

There's not much to criticize about the art design or glitches. My experiences were relatively solid and I expect a lot went into the perfection of these areas.

That said this is just the criticism.

Wait this is where I flaunt stuff that I want you to see isn't it? tinyurl.com/Journeyreview

So, comment if you have any to add.

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