So now I come to you with open arms to give my commentary on the PlayStation 3 exclusive download console title Journey. No, this is not about the Atari cartridge game featuring the eighties super-group Journey. I never played that one. Journey is the third title produced by thatgamecompany for the PlayStation 3 and for the PC. The other two games were Flow and Flower. All three games are not your typical game experience. The very mission of the company is unique, ” Create timeless entertainment that make positive change to the human psyche worldwide. ” Let’s just say that they probably won’t be producing the next Call of Duty.
I love Journey. It is a work of art visually and audibly. It is one of the few games in which you feel something when you play. You start the game as a solitary figure in the desert. In the distance looms a mountain emitting light. You are given no instructions – but you don’t stop believing and head toward the obvious goal of the mountain. You feel almost drawn to it.
You easily learn the simple jump/glide mechanics. There is a motif of tapestry in the game – a kind of “tapestry of power.” When you progress though the game your scarf grows longer. You also learn the history of your world and the presentation is fantastic – completely presented without words but getting the point across. A society used the power of the tapestry in the wrong way and created great machines of war. The great society destroys itself and the lights go down in the city. Only the barren lifeless world remains.
Sometimes on the journey, you will encounter another player and work together to overcome obstacles. It affects you – to think that you are interacting with another human player in the same world but you can only communicate with certain sounds activated by pressing a button. You can continue to journey together or choose to part ways saying, “I’ll be alright without you.” As you get closer to the mountain, the game gets darker, colder and slower. You may feel like putting the controller down, but if you keep faithfully moving forward to the top of the mountain – you won’t regret the experience. You might even shed a tear or two. Who’s crying now?
Theologically, I may not agree with the implied premise of the game. If I went into that premise I would consider it a spoiler for the ending, so I won’t discuss it here. I’ll let someone else add that to the comments of this blog. However, just because I may not agree with the message of a game, book, or movie does not mean that I may not like how it is delivered. In the same way, there are many presentations that I agree with the message, but don’t necessarily like the presentation, style, or format. For example, I may have more in common with a television preacher than things not in common, but it doesn’t mean I like how it is being demonstrated.
Of course, if you don’t agree with my commentary, we can go our separate ways. You get bonus points if you can find all the Journey song references in today’s blog.