A Work of Art - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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A Work of Art

 

My experience with thatgamecompany's Journey was nothing short of remarkable. It was like I entered into an imaginative work of art. Instead of playing a game in the traditional way I was captivated by its beauty and soon found myself attached to a game without a clear cut story and experiencing a profound emotional feeling between the intimacies of the cooperative gameplay. Journey can be more closely related to experiencing an exquisite painting and analyzing the intricacies that were involved in its creation. Some of the greatest works of art are created by keeping the palette simple and by experimenting with the full range of shades one or two colours can produce. Indulging in the simplicity of Journey is where the true enjoyment comes from.

            The gameplay is simple enough that almost anyone could experience it; however the expressive artistic style could only truly be understood by a slightly older audience (or a child prodigy in visual arts). From gliding across strands of cloth in an empty desert to gently floating through a series of ruins and calling for your ambiguous partner the game gradually changes in atmosphere allowing the player time to digest the beauty of his/her surroundings. Nothing is sporadic or sudden (save for maybe one surprise if you're unfortunate enough to be caught standing in a certain spotlight) and the flow of colour transitions will have you wondering how it actually happened.

            The boundary between creating a game and creating a work of art seem to be dissolved in Journey, encompassing both as one. It paves a new way that (in my opinion) all game developers should strive to achieve. That is, no more attempting to copy a genre or adding specific styles and features that people are familiar with and are known to be popular; it is the unique and profound experiences that appeal to gamers. A game like Journey fully embraces its creativity with confidence, and does not attempt to appeal to a specific audience of gamers but rather strives to create itself in a world of competition. In a painting, the goal is to express yourself in whatever way you feel at that time. Journey expresses itself in a way unfamiliar to most.

            Everybody knows that games need to be unique and extraordinary to be accomplished in the industry, however I feel that many are going about it the wrong way. By confining the development of a game to specific genres and incorporating unoriginal ideas and trying to warp them in a unique way causes some serious problems. This oftentimes causes the game to fall short of what it intended, and I think it would be better off removing all boundaries and working from the ground up to create a work of art that can be remembered in the years to come. Journey has done just that.

 

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