Playing Journey was a bit of a landmark moment in gaming for me. It’s one of a handful of games I’ve played in recent times that has made me feel that same magic I felt first playing games as a child—truly wonderful and joyous stuff.
When another random player joined my game a short while into my session and we ran around for a few minutes just playing in the world, with minimal communication and not a hint of violence or conflict, and then, when I decided I wanted to slide down a slop zigzagging along the way and wanted my friend to do the same and criss-cross over my path, and he (or she) actually did so, without me being able to ask or tell him to do so, but somehow magically just “sending” him that desire—it was literally one of the most magical moments I’ve ever experienced in a video game. Together we slid down that sand dune, criss-crossing over each other’s paths—with me literally shouting “Weeee!” all the way down (a nearly 40 year old man)—and I was as truly gleeful as a five year old. I had a smile on my face as wide as a mountain.
When I had to cut my game short a few minutes later and leave my new-found friend without being able to say goodbye or tell him why I was going away, I felt genuine remorse and a sense of real loss. I didn’t want to leave him alone. I didn’t want to let him down. And I’m not exaggerating; it was a kind of profound and enlightening moment—that I could respond to this game in such a way.
THAT is magic. THAT’s the power of a truly great video game. THAT, to me, is what gaming is all about.
And, on top of that, the entire game is just a stunningly beautiful, amazingly realised, highly polished, hugely fun, and immensely powerful journey to go through too, with a soundtrack to die for (Was that two unintended puns?).
Basically, I think Journey is a bonafide masterpiece of a video game and one of those titles that we will still be talking about generations down the line as a seminal moment in the history of games. And it deserves every bit of that praise.
Ideally, you should play this game and experience everything I’ve described above for yourself, but, if you aren’t able to play it for whatever reason, feel free to watch and enjoy a full playthrough of this sublime game (it’s nearly as brilliant watching a playthrough as it is to actually play through):
Also, why not visit ThatGameCompany’s website and find out a little bit more about the people behind this masterpiece, as well as their other games and what might be coming next. 😀