Thursday, 5 November 2015

Journey collection: PS4 Review

Journey collection: PS4 Review


Released by thatgamecompany
Platform: PS4

There's no denying thatgamecompany's influence on somewhat minimal gaming.

In its PS3 iteration, Journey was a game-changing title, a game that defied convention, description and provided more emotions than many other titles when it was initially released. Equally, the PS4 version upped the beauty of the game with the next gen console, but lost none of the power and feelings even though you knew what was coming.

So it is then, that the physical version of this, along with thatgamecompany's two earlier titles, FlOw and Flower are released into the market place.

There's little point going on about Journey as I've made my feelings on that title abundantly clear through its various iterations - it remains one of the greatest titles ever unleashed and one of the most emotional games I've ever played as you move a small Jawa-esque character through the deserts and icy tundras on some kind of quest / commentary on the soul.

And similarly the earlier titles FlOw and Flower follow a similar pattern.

In FlOw, you are an organism floating through the waters and collecting other similar organisms to add to your own body. Floating from one to the next, you gain or lose mass depending on how you play. It feels sensory but not quite as exciting as the promise of Journey would suggest, though one could argue this was perhaps the start of thatgamecompany's quest. The 2006 title has held up well, but it definitely feels like the start of a journey rather than an arrival.

In Flower, we are all just floating on a breeze. It's another simple, sensory MO for the gamer and sees you essentially floating as a flower through a meadow. Touching other flowers triggers their petals into the sky and sends sounds soaring in to the stratosphere as well. Combining a soundtrack as well as visuals that soar, Flower feels like the stepping stone to Journey and the continuation of thatgamecompany's evolution.

Thematically, all three games are interlinked and hang together well; there's no denying that Journey remains the highlight, but as an evolution of a company, this trio of releases charts why and how thatgamecompany shaped the gaming world, paving the way for the likes of The Unfinished Swan and firing a rocket up the triple A titles that emotion's infinitely more powerful than how big your gun is.

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