Journey (game): It's as fantastic as everyone says but well, it has some flaws

in #gaming8 months ago

I love a video game that doesn't have a story spelled out for you. I love a game that puts you into a situation and tells the story by virtue of being visually spectacular and while not having a single word spoken or written still has a really engaging vision that in the end that is largely up to the player to interpret.

This is monumentally difficult to pull off and very few games have accomplished it. Journey is one of the earlier games to attempt this and I think they were successful in perhaps creating a genre of games that is my favorite style to play today.


Journey's start menu consists of the sound of wind blowing, an options menu, and that's it! There isn't even an option to exit the game (I was playing on PC.) When you do click start, you are put into the position of controlling an androgynous person staring into the distance with a mountain well in the distance. Without saying any words, it becomes evident that this mountain is your destination even though you don't know why.


As you travel on you receive various powerups that are only briefly explained on screen with button designations but are never fully spelled out for you. Basically it is up to you to understand what is going on but this is ok because there isn't a wide array of abilities. There also aren't multiple directions to travel in and the camera constantly forces you to focus on where the destination is meant to be.

The game itself is stunning and remains beautiful the entire way through. At times the camera changes angles and the sun play a part in how wonderful your surroundings are and for me anyway, i had to stand in awe at how this game was so visually appealing despite the fact that it is nearly 7-years old at this point.


All the while throughout the game, never is a single word spoken to you nor is a single word of dialogue written on screen despite the fact that you do meet multiple other characters along the way. In my mind, that is what makes this game such a masterpiece: Why are we here? What is our objective? Who is the enemy? What is this all about?

These are all questions whose answers are left up to the individual player and even after you finish the game there is plenty of wiggle-room for differences in opinion as to what the answer of these questions actually are.

If you follow me at all, you may know that I am easily irritated by excessive cutscenes and long, drawn out stories that don't really add much to the game other than the fact that SquareSoft (or whoever) can claim some magnificently complicated cutscene complete with highly-paid voice actors. Journey has almost none of that and when they do, it is up to you to put words into the situation.

I don't think a single sound is made by a humanoid in Journey throughout its entirely. This sort of game is my new favorite as I have enjoyed many games recently that had no story or clear ending such as Brothers, Little Nightmares, Limbo, and most of all Inside (which consequently i think is the best game ever made by anyone from a story perspective.)


These games (including Journey) are in fact story-driven, as at times it seems as though you aren't really playing the game but are just controlling the main character in a film. What the particular story happens to be is largely left up to the player to determine. There are so many ways that having a vague story like this could go incredibly wrong, but in the case of Journey (and all the others i listed) the developers absolutely nailed it.

from the official Playstation channel

The music and overall ambiance is fantastic and touching (It was nominated for a Grammy.) Also, the ability to cease play at any point and rejoin at exactly the same place is an extremely welcome addition but that leads me to my next point that is less than flattering: The game is extremely short.

If this this game is 2 hours long i would be surprised and therefore I can't really suggest that anyone spend any sort of meaningful amount of money on it regardless of the otherwise glowing review I've given it thus far.

At the moment it is available for $8 or so and to be honest with you I think that is really, despite it's high points,all it is worth especially considering its age. It is a bit more at the Playstation store

This game is kind of unique in the fact that once you have finished it there is tons of opportunity to talk with fellow players about "WTF was that all about?" and none of you are going to have the same answer. There are hundreds of fan videos attempting to explain the game (and the ending) on Youtube and I think when this happens we've got a pretty special experience on our hands.

Overall I think that Journey is a magnificent title that I like to categorize as a "user-defined story" and this is a type of game that is gaining in popularity. This is not a game: This is a work of art.


Absolutely true. Gaming opportunity to relate with others. Game family ♨️

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We love it, like the whole house, we used to play it religiously

Now we are onto Titan and Frostpunk, have you played/heard them?

i had heard of neither and love to get recommendations like this. I'll check em out. Thanks!

Never heard of it. Did you complete this one? What was the end goal?

it is easy to complete. It is very short. The reason the game is so great is because they don't tell you at all what your objective is, it is defined sort of along the way. It is up to you to determine the story.

Did you mean, 'Brothers, a tale of two sons'? I think so.. and not Brothers in Arms.. and no.. not the Dire Straits album :)

I discounted Journey as something like that Flower or Flow game on the old PS3, but may just have it in my library (if I re-enable) PS Plus.

It's worth 2 hours I guess?

You can finish the game in one sitting easily. When i said Brothers I mean "a tale of two sons" ... such a great game that was.

I have not played games since before my son was born which was 10 years ago now lol, and back then I played things like Diablo and Duke Nukem on my PC. haha - loved using the space bar on Duke Nukem. lol! He was so comical! However, I recall a game called "myst". seeing the graphics form this post reminded me a lot of that game...It was super ethereal looking

Nowadays the only games I get to "play" are that of how to juggle a million tasks in a 24 hr period! hahahaha!!!

oh Myst used to drive me nuts. It was exciting only during a time of no internet to cheat with because man, would it ever take ages to figure out certain puzzles. IT was very graphically appealing at the time though, that is for sure.

To be honest, I don't recall ever playing it more than once myself haha... I watched others do it, but back in those "good 'ol days" I was most likely too high to lift my fingers hahaha!!! Just the name and the visuals stuck in my mind.

Ooft, short play time is a killer. Still, I might check the game pass on Xbox and see if I can get it for 'free'

yeah, i can't really recommend paying for this game unless you are rich. Even though it is less than $10 to only get 2 hours out of it and to not really have any replay value negates its value in my book, even though it is one of the most lovely looking games with amazing sound and music!

This sounds like a really cool game. I recently lost my gaming laptop in that flood that I had been writing about and I am in the process of getting something new to replace it right now. I am hoping I have it in time for the Steam holiday sale that they usually do around this time every year. They often give away free games and you can get some killer deals on older games. I will definitely keep an eye out for this one.

wuao excellent post friend, congratulations thanks for sharing, I follow you.

I will have to try it out.

"Inside" is a good game like this.
Ori and the blind forest is also good but more of a puzzle/side scroller. Very beautiful though.

Thanks for the recommendation.

inside is the best game of this sort. I believe it was mentioned in the article :)