One of the surprise hits of 2012, the Playstation 3-exclusive Journey has captivated gamers all over the world and has received endless critical acclaim since it’s release in March. This downloadable game, developed by Thatgamecompany, is known for having a unique and mesmerizing art style and engaging, if not sometimes ambiguous, gameplay. Another highlight is the richly ambient soundtrack by composer Austin Wintory, which has achieved incredible sales and has topped the iTunes charts in more than a dozen countries, including Canada, Spain and Japan.
For those who have yet to experience Journey, it is a third person adventure game (of sorts) where you play an unnamed, non-speaking robed figure who is wandering in the desert. Uncommon for most games, your objectives and path to reaching them are unclear, requiring you instead to explore the lands and unravel the secrets for yourself. You are given a scarf which allows you to fly, and collecting bits of fabric that you find across the land extends this and allows for more flight time and further exploration. Throughout the game, you will encounter other robed figures like yourself, which are actually real players who are engaged in their own journey. You can’t communicate outside of whistles and simple movement gestures, and you can either help each other or part ways, depending on how you both choose to play. It’s a unique concept, and with no story, dialogue or even minor exposition, the purpose of the game is exploration and discovery. This concept has proven a hit with gamers and has made it a current favorite for many people’s “Game of the Year.”
Given the nature of the Journey’s gameplay, the soundtrack plays an integral part in bringing the game to life and accenting the key moments, which is definitely the case in Journey. The soundtrack’s success comes as little surprise considering the acclaim that the game has received, and it is available on iTunes now as well as a host of other online retailers. The game Journey is available as a download-only title on the Playstation Network.