One of the most highly regarded games of the last generation, thatgamecompany’s Journey, has arrived on PlayStation 4.
This updated version of the game features a 60fps frame rate and a crisp 1080p resolution, and players who own it on PlayStation 3 can download the remastered version for free, via Cross Buy.
Although I’m excited to see the game’s technical makeover, I am most interested in seeing the response from those who will play Journey for the first time.
Journey has received three years of hype and appreciation that has gone far beyond simply saying it’s a good game. This game means something to a lot of people.
Journey is sometimes called an experience, and not a game. It’s a silly distinction. Although Journey certainly creates a powerful emotional response, it’s no less a game than Super Mario Bros. That said, it’s true that its pleasures are rare. It’s a game based on companionship, wanderlust and struggle – and it does provoke feelings that are far from typical in games.
Much of this is down to the game’s innovative use of multiplayer; a non-verbal dance between anonymous players.
I completed my first play through of Journey in one sitting. At the end I discovered that I’d had a single companion with me the whole time, from the first step to the last. She guided me, communicated with me, warned me, hid from me, and beckoned me. She was patient, letting me explore but also making sure I didn’t miss anything. She would call me up to a ledge to show me a piece of cloth, or sometimes just to experience the view.
For three hours we travelled together; never speaking, but always communicating.
And it’s this aspect of Journey that makes the game’s re-release an appealing prospect for returning players too. As a new audience take their first steps, us old-timers can step in and play the part of guide. We should make it our responsibility to ensure Journey is something to be remembered.
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Journey is notable for how it forms a lasting presence in the memory. It’s not a game of quick thrills and instant wins but one that will make you think about life, age and friendship. Other forms of art have done this for centuries but it’s something too few games achieve. For that, Journey should be celebrated.
So whether this will be your first Journey or your tenth – make it one to remember.