Journey Co-Op Review

3/9/2012 at 3:00 PM

Simply Superb

Portal.  Limbo.  Shadow of the Colossus.  Braid.  Passage.  Journey shares one thing in common with these unique games:  I want to share it with other people.  I want others to experience this game, whether they're gamers or not.  I'll share Journey with my parents, who don't even pretend to understand my hobby.  Journey's art, music, and gameplay blend flawlessly into one of the most unique and satisfying cooperative games that I have ever experienced.  

You begin Journey alone...

To explicate Journey would dull the experience.  I could cover the simple game mechanics and explain the implementation of co-op, but that's something better left discovered for yourself.  

... but you'll soon be joined by another.

I will say that you will be compelled to play Journey cooperatively.  You will figure out how to communicate with your random co-op partner, and you will see benefits from interacting with each other.

How you treat one another will influence both of your experiences.

I have played through the game twice, and both times I had a different cooperative encounters.  I plan on enjoying several more playthroughs, and not for something as trifling as Trophies, though they are awarded for cooperative play.

Even if you find yourself abandoned...

Journey offers an intimate form of storytelling through beautiful imagery and a perfect score.  I encourage you to take your time and enjoy the ride.  Some of the most thrilling moments are over too quickly, even when playing at a leisurely pace.  This only encouraged me to play the game again.  After my second time through I casually began a third game.  I had to drag myself away from my PS3 at three in the morning.  There is a beautifully integrated chapter select option for when you want to show someone something specifically amazing.

...a new player will come for you.

I offer a word of caution for budget gamers:  Journey is a short game, especially for $15 dollars.  The whole game can be completed  in about two hours.  My second playthrough took me an hour and a half.  I wanted to rush through the title, just to see how fast it could be completed, but I was paired with a truly stellar co-op partner.  I was obliged to explore more of the world than I had anticipated, and I was happier for it.  A speed run should take less than an hour, but if speed is your goal, you're simply doing it wrong.  I plan to really stop and smell the roses in my third playthrough.

    Journey is a stellar addition to any library.  The overall simplicity of gameplay, the compelling story, and the seamlessly integrated co-op make it a title that should not be missed by anyone.

Editor's Note:  I believe players will get the most from Journey by going into the game with a completely fresh perspective. I didn't want to spoil anything.  If you have a question about any of the more technical aspects of the game feel free to ask in the comments section or PM me.  I will do my best to answer them.

Journey is exclusively available on the PlayStation Network.