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Journey PS3 Review

"Journey" is less a game and more an "experience"; its short length and simple mechanics are largely ignorable due to its interesting aesthetics and concept.

"Journey" is a game where you take the role of a hooded wanderer starting in a desert. There is little instruction and no backstory - you can see a light in the distance at the top of a mountain, but other than that you're on your own. Much of the game is simply figuring out how to progress and what's going on. There are no words or dialogue, though there are several short segments that give you a general idea of what happened. It's laudable primarily for its visuals; the different locations that must be explored on the way to whatever your destination is are well-rendered and interesting. There's a sense of exploration even when you're just pushing forward.

The game's "gameplay", such as it is, consists mostly of platforming. The player has two options besides simple movement. The player-character can "chime", which activates or vitalizes certain things in the game world. The player-character can use vitalized items to float or jump, which is necessary to advance. The player's character has a scarf that can be extended by finding glowing sigils around the game world; the longer the scarf, the longer the player can float.

The game's multiplayer aspect is so underplayed that at first you'll most likely not even realize it's there. Other players who are playing the game will share a world with you (only one at a time as far as I know, though some will drop out and others will drop in to replace them). Players can cooperate to achieve goals in a fairly simplistic manner; there's no communication, but the "chime" that each player-character produces can be used in a makeshift morse code manner. Each player has a sigil that appears when they chime, which is the only way to tell if you're playing with the same person or a different person. Chiming near a player energizes them a bit, re-filling their float/jump capability.

Journey is a short game; it took me at most 2 hours to beat it. It's not great mechanically (i.e. "as a game"), but it was definitely an interesting experience, especially with the multiplayer aspect factored in. It's hard to say whether it should be recommended - on the one hand it was incredibly interesting to play, and on the other hand, I wouldn't play it twice. The question is, then, "is it worth the price?" If you're interested in a short, but memorable, experience, then yes it is. If you're looking for an actual game, it's not.

Rating: 8/10.

We purchased this game from the PlayStation Online Network with our own funds for the purpose of doing this review.

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