The lights are on
You play as a mysterious hooded character in a mysterious but beautiful world.In the world you'll see ruins and remnants of civilizations but the story doesn't make it clear what happened to the people in the world nor does it make it clear why your character is there or who your character actually is but I like how it does this because it makes you think and observe and use your imagination as to why the world is how it is,you'll be given clues with story scenes and from what you'll see in some of the environments but the story scenes don't use any understandable language.
With this game,the first two things you'll probably notice are it's visuals and it's music.The world has beautiful artistic effects and much of the visuals are made to be abstract and not focus on realism which allows for the sand dunes and the way your character looks in their red-colored robe and the way some of the environmental objects look to have some beautiful artistic effects.The way the yellowy/brown sand dunes combine with the beige-colored sky is quite stunning and the way the sunlight shines over objects is quite beautiful.The game does use realism for certain environmental objects and it creates a beautiful mix of art style and realism.Besides just desert landscapes you'll also be in snowy environments as well as in other types of places but I don't want to spoil the surprise.
As for the actual gameplay,you basically need to reach a certain points in the environments,however the point you need to reach is often up high or has obstacles in the form of light platforming puzzles before you get to it.Your character can touch scarfs in the environments which gives your character the ability to float up high(to a certain height)and your character always has the ability to glide through the air but your character can only float as long as they have power in their scarf which is indicated by the scarf your character is carrying having color to it.Certain environmental objects you need to use as platforms are too high for your character to float onto with one use of a scarf which means you'll need to look for other objects you can use as platforms so you can reach the place you need to go or sometimes you'll need to look for certain environmental objects which act like switches to construct bridges or make certain things happen in the environment so you can progress to where you need to go.Sometimes you'll glide through the air and will touch scarfs which will allow you to float up again and sometimes you'll need to use certain flying creatures as platforms(fast moving,flying platforms)as a means to get to somewhere where you can't float to.
Part of the adventure in the game comes from finding where you need to go and how to get there because the environments are in 3D and even though they're not huge they still have enough space and sparsely placed objects which could be possible platforms/passageways to make you think how to get to where you're supposed to be going.You cannot die in the game but I don't think the game needs a death penalty,if you fall when you're up very high you'll need to redo lots of work and I think that is penalty enough.Creatures in the game can attack you but when they attack you it just knocks you back a distance and makes you try to get past them again.
The environments can encourage you to explore,not only because they're so beautiful and full of mystery but finding certain items/symbols/creatures can get you trophies.
I'm not a big fan of online gaming but I like the way Journey incorporates the online gameplay.During the game you'll encounter other online players and they cannot send you messages or verbally communicate with you(there PSN name and your PSN name won't even show up on players met until you beat the game) and you don't know if they're trying to help you by leading you on the right path or if they're just exploring the environments and perhaps searching for hidden items for trophies.I think this makes it a more spiritual experience because even though you won't be alone for much of your journey because you'll see other online players,in many ways you are alone because you can't verbally or linguistically communicate with them.Another reason I like this feature is you don't have to listen to or read angry/rude comments from online players.I know people have the option of turning off message displays and turning down in-game chat volume when they play games online but it doesn't stop you from receiving hate mail and I'd like it if more online multiplayer games gave you the option of hiding your PSN from other players.There's also times when your character will need to avoid powerful wind gusts which blow your character back by making use of environmental objects to avoid the powerful wind gusts.In the snow your scarf's energy will get drained quickly so you'll need to make more efficient use of it.I like it how in a thick snowstorm your character will begin to freeze and move slowly and there is more details I could give as to why it's emotionally draining but I don't want to spoil that experience for you.There is times when you'll slide down vertical slides made from sand/snow while trying to dodge obstacles and it's fast paced and epic.There is gameplay segments when you'll float in the air and will need to move quickly to a certain area and you'll need to make use of scarfs that are high in the air and it can provide quite a rush.The game can be beaten in only 2 hours but it's trophies provide replay value such as searching for hidden things or playing through most of the game with the same online companion or playing the game after you haven't played it for a week.The game is a cheap price anyways.The music is very beautiful and adds to the spiritual feel of the game.Overall,Journey is a spiritual and emotional experience that was felt by my soul and it 's spirituality and gameplay blend magnificently.
The score I give Journey is 9.5 out of 10.
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