Scheduled release date:
TBA 2011


I loved Flower . Really, I love any game that allows us to see interactive entertainment from a fresh viewpoint, which is why new experiences like Heavy Rain have a tremendous and memorable impact on me. Therefore, I needed to know more about thatgamecompany’s new project the instant it was announced, and now that E3 is over, I think we’ve got enough to provide you with an exciting preview. However, before pushing forward, I will say that Journey is destined to cater to a certain type of gamer; someone who appreciates originality and artistic achievement and realizes that explosions and flashy graphics aren’t required elements of the industry. You can probably tell from the screenshots that much of this game’s appeal will lie in the mystery and unique atmosphere. In the end, Jenova Chen and Co. want us to remember what it’s like to be small and humble; what it’s like have respect and awe for the world.

Interestingly enough, the idea for Journey came from a conversation Chen had with an astronaut. The latter individual explained that anyone who actually landed on the moon returns to earth with a new outlook on life, regardless of their religious orientation. It’s all in the perspective, obviously, and this concept is what thatgamecompany wants to create. In the game, you wake up without knowing who, where or even when you are; you’re in the midst of an expansive, seemingly endless, desert, and the only point of interest is a massive mountain that looms on the horizon. If this doesn’t make you feel small, nothing will. Now, it seems as if the meat of the gameplay will take place online and it sort of reminds me of how From Software dealt with online connectivity in Demon’s Souls . Essentially, as you embark on your long hike, you will encounter other people at random times and if that happens, you are presented with new options.

Do you travel with them? Simply trade information and move on your way? It’s up to you. In this way, thatgamecompany isn’t even sure if the game will work in an offline setting, although you supposedly can play it all by yourself. The controls are as straightforward as can be: the left analog predictably handles movement, one button will allow you to jump, and another lets you call or sing. The latter is designed to communicate with other players and as a bit of a twist (although not so much if you played Flower ), the Sixaxis tilt controls are used to look around. As for your environment…well, there’s a lot of sand, if you hadn’t noticed. But it should look quite good and if you’re feeling creative, you can even draw in the sand; perhaps this means we could leave messages ala Demon’s Souls , too…? Sand will even collect into huge waves of sorts that you can actually ride, and you’ll spot sand-falls as well.

But there’s one last aspect of the movement and gameplay: they’re currently working on a small flying mechanic. Your robe is always blowing in the winds that crisscross the desert and every now and then, you’ll stumble across scraps of cloth that can be used to fly short distances. Bigger pieces of cloth can actually be “harmonized” to assist you; i.e, a long piece of cloth will stretch out rigidly to act as a bridge after being harmonized. Not surprisingly, getting to that aforementioned mountain will take a bit of persistence and ingenuity, as multiple obstacles lie in your path. Here’s where some puzzle-solving comes in, and it sounds awfully interesting when combined with the “flying” or “harmonizing.” Yes, it may be easier to bypass certain hurdles with the aid of another adventurer, but there’s one thing to remember: voice chat will not be allowed. thatgamecompany wants the entire experience to remain anonymous; you must communicate with others as best you can without straightforward talking.

At this point, you might be thinking, “what if a ton of people are online at once? Won’t the whole desert be loaded with players, thereby messing up the feel of vastness and emptiness?” The answer to that is “no,” because according to what the designers told IGN, even if a million people are involved in the game, the world won’t feel crowded at all. Furthermore, you’ll only encounter one other individual at a given time, so it won’t be like PlayStation Home in the desert. But there are other potential problems the developers are currently looking into: for instance, as everyone is part of the same world, what if all the puzzles are solved before you get there, making your trek extra easy? That’s just one example of the issues that face this ambitious project. Lastly, when you finally reach that mountain, your adventure probably won’t end…in other words, there’s every chance you won’t see everything there is to see during that first hike.

Journey sounds like another unbelievably unique experience and we can’t wait. The industry needs more stuff like this.

Subscribe
Notify of
32 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Riku994
Riku994
10 years ago

Ok…So to me, this game sounds like I'll be spending $60+ to walk in a desert and "talk" to someone while I sing jump and fly… I'm sorry, but this just sounds stupid.


Last edited by Riku994 on 6/22/2010 10:30:21 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

Don't think it will be a full pricer.

frylock25
frylock25
10 years ago

this sounds more like it will be priced like flower was. like $10-$15 or something. i dont remember how much flower was when it came out.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

No voice chat means I don't hear your lousy singing. This might be bearable after all!

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

…this game is clearly not meant for you.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

Riku994
Tell us that you're not really trying to impersonate Ebert.

Kain81
Kain81
10 years ago

Ebert's "Games Aren't Art"…
Ico, SotC, Flower and Journey proves the opposite

Riku994
Riku994
10 years ago

Ben if you can explain to me how this game has any entertainment value whatsoever, then I can consider this. But I don't see the fun that this game is supposed to bring. I'm trying to have an open mind but I just don't see anything here.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
10 years ago

Like I said, it's not meant for you. That's not an insult; it's just an observation.

Edit: Lots of games aren't meant for ME, either.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 6/23/2010 11:00:07 AM

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

Is a downloadable title >.<

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

Agree very much. Sounds like a video game about walking

edit: I thought it was a game about the band 'Journey' but it isn't. Not cool Ben


Last edited by n/a on 6/22/2010 10:40:50 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
10 years ago

What if I decide not to go toward the mountain?

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

LMAO, the possibilities!! MuuaasHHaHAA

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
10 years ago

The mountain comes after you?

frylock25
frylock25
10 years ago

i really liked flower and i just bought heavy rain and i love it. im not sure how i feel about this game since i dont have any more than this preview to go on. i will give these guys credit and be open minded about it. im not excited but i do want to see what this turns into.

Alienange
Alienange
10 years ago

Thank goodness for the online aspect. For a minute there I thought you were describing Noby Noby Boy.

Honestly though, the puzzles sound like they'll be good and the screen shots make it look a bit like … like… SotC.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

This game reminds me of Noby. Why do I get a feeling the mountain is "unreachable??"

FatherSun
FatherSun
10 years ago

This sounds as if it can become an experience as well as an experiment. I dont see tgc developing a less than stellar product. Flow. Flower. Journey. Even the names have thought behind them. This may just a step further in thatgamecompanys creative evolution. I welcome it.


Last edited by FatherSun on 6/22/2010 11:30:44 PM

StangMan80
StangMan80
10 years ago

This game sounds interesting I think I'm going to try it out. I like the idea of this concept of gaming.

Gran Turismo 5!!!


Last edited by StangMan80 on 6/22/2010 11:53:56 PM

HAMCHUNKS
HAMCHUNKS
10 years ago

wait….. ThatGameCompany?
SOLD!
man i can't wait

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

I guess I'm going to have to break my 8th commandment, "Thou shall not buy DLC".

Yes, I KNOW I'M A SINNER, but only when in great need.
(I'll just say 10 "Hail Journey's" & all should be forgiven).

King James
King James
10 years ago

I was hoping this one would be called "Flowest".

Beamboom
Beamboom
10 years ago

LOL – me too! I was actually expecting that. "Flow", "Flower"… Perhaps it was too obvious for them to do it.

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
10 years ago

lol

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
10 years ago

Maybe if you never make it to the mountain, the developer can make a sequel just for that.

You'll become the spirit of the mountain wind.

And then they can go right back to the "F" word, by naming it, "Forgiven"

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
10 years ago

This game sounds better than A LOT of games presented at E3 (including Medal of Honor and Call of D00ty)

This is the kind of creativity and enrichment of the SOUL that I like

A journey with a meaning behind it. I can certainly see myself replaying this game a lot.

The small comparisons to Demon's Souls really make it interesting.

I love a world which you know nothing about and that is very unpredictable.

Japanese devs could learn a lot from this company.

Jackyl
Jackyl
10 years ago

Was anyone else hoping for a Journey installment of Rock Band or Guitar Hero when they saw the title of this article?


Last edited by Jackyl on 6/23/2010 8:18:52 AM

WolfCrimson
WolfCrimson
10 years ago

I really really adored Flower, and I've heard that flOw was pretty good, so any new game by thatgamecompany piques my interest.

Thank you, Jenova Chen (& Co)!

*Omnislash*

Doosharm
Doosharm
10 years ago

I love exploration in games. I used to play Star Wars Galaxies and one of my favorite things to do was walk around on the least populated planets and explore. Its interesting that you can go out in an artificial world and discover things that only the creators know are there. If done well (which I'm guessing this will be) you can still get that same childlike feeling of awe and excitement from video game exploration. I look forward to a day one purchase of this game.

spiderboi
spiderboi
10 years ago

Would this game also boast wonderful soundtracks (that made flower oh so relaxing)?

nogoat23
nogoat23
10 years ago

I can't help but wonder how successful a journey based game is going to be in a destination based society. However, I am intrigued by the idea.

FullmetalX10
FullmetalX10
10 years ago

Sounds very, very intriguing, I loved Flower and enjoyed Flow, which means to me this game will most likely be enjoyable as well. The whole idea of this game looks awesome, in fact it looks now(the single player that is) like a short story I wrote once, which let's me make a link between the developers creativity and my own.
All in all this looks like a D1P.