Well everyone, it’s been fun. We’ve had some laughs, some heartbreak, and some disappointments…looking at you, Destiny. But my friends, it has been too long since I reviewed The Last of Us…and so, it is time for me to make enemies of all Sony console owners…again. But the stakes are higher this time. Much, much higher. Not only am I speaking about a celebrated PS3 (and now PS4) instant classic, but also my wife’s favorite game on PS3.
…and she proofreads my posts.
Okay, Let’s do this!
Oh, wait, one more thing…this game is a can of worms just waiting to be opened that I don’t want to touch in my review…however, I shall nudge that can at the end…and if it should topple over into the comments section, so be it.
I’m about to say something upsetting. Now before I do this, I need you to promise you’ll hear me out.
Okay…Journey’s environment is much like Destiny’s.
They both look and sound amazing. The sandy, rolling dunes sparkling in the sun combined with the musical score is breathtaking. See for yourself.
You play as a character dressed incredibly warm for spending his/her entire day wandering a desert. Although I guess you do find snow later. Crap. Spoilers!
See, that’s the thing. There’s no way to spoil this game because there are no spoilers. There’s nothing. And that brings me to Destiny. Destiny also looks and sounds amazeballs. Maybe not as amazeballs as Journey, but it’s a fine looking game. But there is something missing. A plot…a story, something! Both of these games are so empty and bland even tofu seems vibrant in comparison. If being bored to tears is moving, then yes, I agree that this game is moving…deeply moving.
Every game does tend to have that one place where it shines. For Journey, it is the gameplay…so smooth that even my wife, the same woman who has managed to find improbable glitches in every game I have ever watched her play, wanders without consequence. The mechanisms are great fun…gliding, jumping, and singing your way across the empty landscape is awesome for all of a couple hours. The game only lasts about two hours, though, so I suppose that works out well…
Speaking of game length, lets talk money. This is the main reason I am so bitter about this game. The reason why my review leans to the harsher side. At the time I bought this game I was making a choice between Journey and Okami HD. I have yet to play Okami HD and every time I see Journey in my library…I think about how much further my $15 could have gone. Average play time for Journey, 2 hours. From what I’ve read, the average time for Okami, 45 hours.
This is one of the worst value gaming purchases I have made…just shy of the PlayStation Eye camera.
Yes, there is an online component to this game. If you happen across another person you can continue your journey together. This is helpful because you can recharge each other’s scarves as well as avoid Failure to Thrive Syndrome due to lack of environmental stimulus.
There is nothing unique about Journey’s online experience, and it is handicapped by the inability to invite a friend to journey with you, let alone interact. While I understand the appeal of traveling with a stranger whose gamer tag you won’t know until after you finish, it’s amateur to not also give the option to invite friends.
If all you want is two hours of limited, excellent gameplay mechanics in a void wasteland…and you think that is worth $15, then this is your dream. You will not get story, variety, or ability to share the experience with a friend. It feels like a good base for a game, like it’s waiting for someone to add the rest of the elements needed, but should not be a game itself…or should be a $5 game. In fact, Journey would be an exceptional game for $5.
Unfortunately, as it stands, it is the video game equivalent of a Vertu phone. Painstakingly handcrafted and beautiful. Truly a work of art, there can be no doubt. It plays wonderfully…and it costs so much more than I would ever be willing to pay.
Now then…the can which contains the worms. I’ve been nudging it during this conclusion and it’s time for one last thump…
I review video games…not art…
WORMS! WORMS EVERYWHERE!!!