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Snap Judgment – Journey (PS4)

I originally reacted to this game in September 2013, but I did it the disservice of combining it with a bevy of other micro-reviews that I wanted to get out of the way.  Shame on me.  Journey deserved its own entry and perhaps more.  In many ways, it is the most succinctly brilliant two hours I’ve ever experienced in gaming or any other art form.

No, it doesn’t have the gameplay stylings, incredible voice acting, or writing of some of the games out there now, but it manages to convey so much with its groundbreaking visuals and inform so thoroughly with its bittersweet music — all without any dialogue or narration whatsoever.  Journey is a hallmark achievement, and is one of a very small selection of games that not only defined the seventh generation of consoles, but with its re-release on PS4, this one as well.

This version sees a bump up from 720p to 1080p, and 30fps to 60fps.  Truthfully, I’m not sure I notice this upgrade as much as I did with, say, Tomb Raider, but the graphics in Journey are the kind that’s breathtaking in any generation.  This fact only speaks to immense work Thatgamecompany did on its original release.  Journey‘s look is timeless.

Many, many outlets have extolled and regaled this game with the highest of accolades, but the most profound reaction I’ve heard to it was from Sony’s own President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, who was asked to rank his ten favorite games of the last generation.  Not only did he select Journey as his number one game, he became quite emotional when describing why.  Head to the 1:41:05 mark to hear.

Despite its brevity, Journey is mystery made flesh: the wonder it inspires in the player is a seemingly bottomless well.  A+

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Written by Michael

1 August 2015 at 10:03 pm

Posted in Games, Reviews

Tagged with ,

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