Journey is an indie video game produced by the small studio “That game company” and was released in March of 2012 on the PlayStation 3, then later updated, refurnished, and brought to the PlayStation 4. I first heard of the game on YouTube in 2012, when I watched Pewdiepie play it from beginning to end. I was blown away by how beautiful it was; it was so rich in color and the soundtrack complemented the game so perfectly, it just felt like something entirely unique. At the time I couldn’t afford to play it myself, although I did download the free demo, to get just a taste of the game’s amazing world. Yesterday I was finally able to buy it for the PlayStation 4, as a reward for finishing the first project in EECS 281, and believe it or not, I already finished playing it. I couldn’t believe how fast it went either; it felt like I had just gotten started, then it was the climax, and then the end credits were rolling and I was divided between disappointment and amazement. It probably only took 3 hours, making a cost of $15 seem a little outrageous, but the quality is so overwhelming and memorable that it really makes up the difference.
The entire time I played I was lost in this strange place, being carried away by this incredible music as I made a long journey from the deserts to the top of a frozen mountain, all as part of some vague quest that is only told through the context of the journey. The style of the game itself is amazing as well; it’s simple, but well-crafted, which makes it completely convincing and immersive. The game isn’t particularly difficult either, because the emphasis is on the length of the journey and the development of the story and the world. Overall, I really loved being able to finally play it, and I think it’s a testament to how quality can triumph over quantity. Any small game studio, or even a single person, can create something great with passion and dedication; the ability to make it large doesn’t affect its ability to be great. I think that’s partly why this game was so unique for its time, and also why I found it so memorable. As games get larger and more complex, games like Journey stand out from the crowd and remind players what they love about truly incredible games.