Joy is found not in finishing an activity, but in doing it.
Last week I had the pleasure of doing a few runs through Journey, and after spending time listening to friends hail the game on its creativity, I actually know what they are talking about now. It’s not the combat that feels complete, nor is it the compelling dialogue, because none of those things exist so they are irrelevant. I do hope to explain my feelings that Journey has traipsed to the top of my list of games for 2017.
Starting out the game in the vast sea of sand, it is almost confusing and leaves you waiting to see what kind of game is ahead of you. There is zero context, and for a small portion of my twitch stream I thought that there were a lot of hidden dangers just waiting around the corner. However relieved I was that there was nothing willing to go toe to toe with me, there was a level of disappointment. What am I supposed to do? Is there a point to this? I pushed forward regardless of that and I paid attention to the little things like the music or the environments; and there were plenty of both.
Journey surprised me not in the things that were missing, but the vast way the included elements were incorporated. I found myself smiling at the high points, releasing a school of cloth fish or finding a group of cloth sharks (all named from what I think they look like) that lead me to the next objective. I felt my own fear when the stone sharks came out of the darkness with their search lights aiming to rip bits from my scarf. Still, I moved forward with a mix of my own curiosity and determination to get to the end.
However, in my rush I accidentally met up with another player, and that was when I realized that the Journey I started wasn’t just for me. In the second play through, I met three other players trying to make it through the same parts—which were excruciating at some points. I received a new perspective through Journey and not just about the game, but about life; I didn’t have to stop to help other players, because there wasn’t anything that said it was a requirement, but to be able to enjoy that company in what felt like a current trial was refreshing.
Journey has a very objective look at life in regards to complications that stand in our way, and yeah it is a video game, fictional to the utmost with story telling status and blizzards that threaten to knock you from your feet, but even those things beg the question- If everything was easy would we still do it? My honest answer is – No. That would be a boring life. The hard times should be full of people that enrich those moments, even if its to take you out of the moment when you know a mysterious creature lurks in around the next bend or when you are racing up a mountain with winds that intend to tear you down.
This game is a must play, and if I believed in a number grading system it would score high, but on an emotional level Journey has filled me with so many. From happiness to slight fear, all the way to awe as I finished the game eager to start again. I hope you get a chance to experience this and I know your opinions may differ from mine, but it’s very well worth a look at.
Written By : Corey Cliett