“ Developer: Supergiant Games „
Whoa. What a game!
I've finished Supergiant Games' Bastion, and what an adventure it has been. After one mammoth session of seven hours, and then an extra hour the next day to finish up, I've reached the end of my journey as 'The Kid'. Well, I've finished my first play through, anyway.
To those that don't know, Bastion is a action-adventure platform indie game. Giving it a category like this is easy, but it really doesn't do the game justice at all. The story is unique and gripping, the four characters have great depth and personality, and the presentation... oh, the presentation.
Everything Bastion offers to your senses is beautiful and exciting. Jen Zee's art style is fantastic. Logan Cunningham's voice acting as the character Rucks will make even the straightest guy's heart melt. Your eyes and ears will take in so many stunning views, so much perfectly fitting soundtrack, such exciting combat gameplay, that you might find yourself glued to your monitor for seven hours straight.
You play 'The Kid', who wakes up after an event referred to as 'The Calamity' has destroyed the city-in-the-sky you had previously inhabited. As you journey, the land forms around you, giving a real sense of adventure and constant cliff-hanger. You'll travel through the skies, witnessing the devastation of the Calamity and doing what you can to repair some damage. Along the way you'll find a large collection of weapons and story items ('mementos'), different kinds of beasts set wild by the disaster, and a handful of engaging characters. You' gain currency as you travel, which you can spend to upgrade weapons, so even RPG-fanboys (like myself) will have their appetites sated.
The development of the story is aided by the constant narrator, Rucks, who gives context to your actions and tells you all you'll want to know about different characters. This element works particularly well, because the narrations will be cued to your progress through levels. Want to hear more about the story? You'd best beat the level! Every time you die, you'll immediately jump back in to try and get more of the story. It's addictive.
The difficulty of the game is completely up to the player: as you progress you'll unlock totems, which you can activate to evoke the wrath of the gods. This will give enemies bonuses such as reflecting some damage or increased speed. Every totem you activate will result in more experience and currency for your character, so there's ample motivation to push yourself!
The gameplay itself could arguably be a limitation of Bastion, with well-timed blocking being all you need to defeat almost anything in the game. However, the huge arsenal of weapons you'll find opens up a world of variety, with many different combinations being available to you. The element of timing with blocking doesn't need to be a cheap trick fighting, either. I enjoyed doing as much damage as I could while still leaving enough time to counter attacks with my shield. In fact, as the game progresses and the enemies grow more challenging, getting the timing right will get increasingly difficult.
This is a truly great game, and at £11.50 on Steam, it's a steal. If I had had the vision to make a 'Best Games of 2012' post, this would definitely have been in contention for the top spot. In fact, it probably would have nabbed it.
The trailer: http://tinyurl.com/2ctp96r The wonderful soundtrack: http://tinyurl.com/3etye9f