IN REVIEW: ‘JOURNEY’

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By Willem Weinstein

I am not sure that I can really describe exactly what Journey is.  It is a video game, certainly, but it is also much more than that. It is an experience to be enjoyed.
I will not go into the plot here, because it is too special for me to spoil, but basically, your role in this interesting game is to play as an unnamed character traveling across a desert towards a far-off mountain in the distance.
This game only has three different controls: walking around, hopping, and singing.  This last feature activates certain mechanisms within parts of the game.
When you do come across obstacles in your way, they are not especially challenging or hard and their design fits in perfectly with the game’s aesthetics.  Their simplicity, however, serves to further express the theme of the game.
After you beat a puzzle and end a section, you gain a piece of a scarf that gradually gets longer until it allows you to fly for a bit, which is both an amazing piece of visual prowess and a much more enjoyable way of navigation.
Journey is a multiplayer game with a bit of a unique twist. Instead of the traditional in-game chat and leaderboard nonsense found elsewhere, Journey offers a connection with another player that is more transcendental than anything else.
At the beginning of each game section, you will find a companion player traveling through the same section who can choose to work with you or go their own way.
Although the only form of communication you are able to have with this other player is through your singing ability and hopping, I have found myself amazed at how connected I felt at the end.
When all you have to base a personality on is a few singing notes and how helpful they are, the complexity of the communication and experience is indescribable.
Honestly, I don’t really want to try and explain Journey to you, I would much rather you go out and play the game.
It is neither long nor particularly challenging, but I swear that Journey will touch you in ways that I have yet to see in another game.

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