Though I don’t like to think of myself as a gaming neanderthal, games of the art house variety generally don’t do it for me. While I appreciate how titles like Ico, Braid, and Child of Eden push the boundaries of what games can be, I generally find these games to be not that fun to play.
Journey is lauded in many circles as the latest great artsy game. If it weren’t for the tremendous amount of positive word-of-mouth for it, I probably would have skipped it completely. Is this the art game that will win me over?
The game starts by dropping you, a cloaked figure, into a desert. With no context outside of the game communicating its controls, you’re left to traverse the world as you please. Of course, there’s a particular path the game wants you to follow, which it does a great job of communicating without being heavy-handed about it. Very quickly, you’ll be walking, and floating your way through the game’s environments.
From a presentation perspective, the game is incredible. The art style is full of life, the music is fitting, and the camera angles do a great job of capturing every moment.
Was it fun to play? For me, not really, no. It’s floating and ‘puzzle-solving’ mechanics weren’t at all interesting. Since that makes up the entirety of the game, there wasn’t really anything interesting to do. I felt like the game was just a 2-hour walk through various environments. There is a very vague story to it, but it’s not really clear why any of this is happening other than the fact that I have to keep on walking. Maybe I missed some deeper meaning, but I doubt it.
Journey is very much not my cup of tea. I can appreciate how pretty it looks and sounds, but it wasn’t all that fun to play. Maybe my taste for games isn’t as refined, but I found it more boring than interesting.