One of the classics that made the list of the greatest video games of all time, the receiver of eight different awards, can be yours for free. “Journey”, by That Game Company and Santa Monica Studio, is one of two high-quality games that Sony is giving away to PS users. As a part of the “Play At Home” initiative, you can download this fascinating and peculiar treat directly from the PS Store at no charge. There is a lot of choice these days if you need online entertainment, like for example the igaming apps that can provide you with long hours of fun. Sony’s little gift, though, has a different taste. At a time when so many people cannot move around freely, the wide horizons of “Journey” have a special appeal.
Choose this one if you like a mystical atmosphere and unusual game settings because here you will find no scores, no levels, no enemies to fight. You cannot even die. You are a mysterious traveller wrapped in an even more mysterious hooded robe with a floating scarf decorated by most mysterious runes. The scarf is the only tool you have, it grows longer or shrinks at particular conditions and it is what enables you to fly. The task is (apparently) simple: to reach the mountain that is seen in the distance at the beginning of the game, with a beam of light projecting towards the sky from a cleft in the top. Ruins of an ancient civilization need to be crossed before starting the climb of the mountain. The traveller, a faceless humanoid that only has visible bright white eyes, begins the game sitting in the yellow sands of an endless desert, by a small dune. All he has to do from there is – walk.
Not enough for your needs of fast-paced action? Try. With a warning, it will catch you and not let go of you so easily: “Journey” comes with the bonus of a mesmerizing, award-winning soundtrack by Austin Wintory, that received a Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media nomination for the 2013 Grammy Awards. There is something special about the score, it is not just a musical background, it’s interactive. Wintory designed the music in close cooperation with Jenova Chen, the director of the project. As a result, the music is dynamically connected to both the actions of the player and to sound effects caused by nearby game objects. Most important, music is the only way you can communicate with a fellow traveller if you encounter one on your way. This can happen when you play the online version.
The most special feature of “Journey”, as described by previous players, is exactly the interactions with other travellers. Having no other means of communication than wordless sounds creates a very intimate atmosphere. Travellers are not there to fight each other but to help each other, and this builds a strong sense of companionship. They can change each other’s scarves by activating strips of cloth that float around in the game’s scenery or showing paths. Fellow travellers cannot hinder each other and are not necessary for completing any level, but they can stay together if they finish a section at the same time. Only at the end of the game, when the final credits appear, will you be able to see the user’s names of those who shared your journey, as otherwise all look alike.