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Game Reviewed: Journey
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Reviewer: Matthew Scott
ESRB Rating: E
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Journey is a short, simple, yet very beautiful game. The player plays as a hooded figure who is on a journey. You start off in a desert where you can see a mountain off in the distance. You know very little about your journey except that you must get to this mountain. The story never really delves deep into why you must reach this mountain, you just know that it is your destination. If you are connected to the Playstation Network, you may meet other people who are also on this journey, although you will not be able to speak with them or even know their name. You can make your character send out a wordless shout (which sounds more like a musical note), but that is the only way to communicate with each other. Do you complete your journey alone or do you assist those you meet along the way, the choice is up to you.
Along the way you will encounter ancient glyphs which tell stories through hieroglyphics about the land in which you are in. After each area, you will also encounter people dressed in white robes who look very similar to you, but much taller. These people appear to be recording your journey through pictures letting you know what you are about to encounter in the next area. In each area, you will also collect symbols; the more symbols you collect, the longer your scarf will become. The longer your scarf becomes, the longer you can jump/glide before having to recharge your scarf. Recharging your scarf can be completed by touching another player in the world or by encountering certain cloth items such as banners blowing in the wind.
So is this a journey you want your kids to embark on…?
What Parents Need to Know
There is little to no violence in Journey. Along the way you will encounter some creatures who will try to hinder you from reaching your goal, but the only thing they are able to accomplish is to shorten your scarf if they touch you.
There is no bad language in Journey.
There is no sexual content in Journey.
To me, Journey felt very much like a dream which to some could be interpreted as a spiritual experience. I do not mean this in either a positive or negative way, it just felt very spiritual. Maybe it is because you are wearing a red robe, maybe it is because you encounter people in white robes, or perhaps it is because you are on a journey towards a mountain top. Regardless, take it for what it is worth, I thought it felt spiritual.
I really enjoyed Journey. Despite how simple, easy, and short the game is (I finished it in less than two hours), it is also beautiful, mesmerizing, and fun. Plus, the musical score really helps to set the mode. The game is only $15. If you like games that make you feel like you are in a dream, or that you are experiencing a piece of visual art, than I would definitely recommend giving Journey a try. If you do not like it, you are only out $15.