Yes, Bastion might not be an “unknown” game, but it still fits here. Referring to my recent post about game culture, I think this game’s art style and easy-to-play attitude makes it a nice addition to the too-stereotypic game world we’re living in.
This is a game I have been looking forward to since I first heard about it early this year and it was almost as I had expected. You start directly “in-game” without any introduction movies or long background story. The story is instead weaved out around you, while you explore and play. At times this might make you a bit confused, since you really don’t know what you are doing, but you quickly forget about that and just enjoy the game! The controls are explained as you encounter something that can be interacted with. There is a help section about the controls but that was not needed; in a good way.
Style and presentation
The art style of the game is that of a story book or like the green and beautiful anime movies by Hayao Miyazaki, especially Princess Mononoke or Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. It is quite certain that there is some amount of Zelda-inspiration in the graphical style also. Personally I have always been a fan of the older Zelda games, holding Zelda: A Link to the Past among the best games ever made and it is clearly visible that the people behind Bastion also like that style; not only in the graphical presentation, but also the gameplay, mentioned in the above paragraph, resembles the quite simple gameplay of the Zelda games.
Apart from being a feast for your eyes, Bastion also has some nice tunes that follow you on your path. Remembering that this is a One-hour review, I didn’t hear too much of the music in the game, but at least one part stood out. At a few of the scenes, beautiful Arabian inspired music was played and this fitted perfectly with the intense scenes, really building up an atmosphere of magic and wonderful things.
Story and question mark
The story in the game is, as said, a bit vague from the beginning, but as you progress it is unearthed to you by the “narrator”. The narrator is a voice that always follows you and comment on your actions and unveils parts of the story. The narrator was the only negative presumption I had about the game, but that was not fulfilled, instead the narrator acts as a companion with its smooth, and thankfully not too sarcastic, voice and comments.
One small question mark has to be raised for the destructibility of most of the game world’s objects. I don’t see the reason why the player has to destroy every little piece of bush, box or pillar to find treasures and such. This fits in some more high intensity action games, like the Lego video games, but in Bastion it feels a bit out of place. I don’t want to destroy such a beautiful world…
After one hour of playing this game you will really have gotten a taste for more. The layout is really like a fairy tale, with the colorful art style and magical music. Even though the story can be bit murky at parts, the inclusion of the dynamic and ever-following narrator makes me want to hear more of the story. If you want to play a fairy tale that makes you feel you are in a nice, but action filled dream, taking place in a lush forest stuffed with some steam punk elements, then this is a game for you!
- Platform(s): Xbox Live Arcade [version tested] & PC [coming later]
- Developer: Supergiant Games
- Version: Release
- Piece of art
- Easy to get into
- Fairy tale
Official launch trailer