Many times, no matter how wonderful it is, the first game a developer makes will have some easily visible flaws. There’s always that one thing that really bugs people that the developer just wasn’t able to get exactly right. With Supergiant Games’ debut effort, they have created one of the most wonderfully unique video games I’ve played in ages, and it’s nearly perfect in every way.
It really is hard to count all of the things they got right in Bastion. Everything just works, and it works so, so well. Throughout the game, everything that happens is narrated excellently by one of the main characters (one of only four throughout the story). The narration is one of the most interesting parts about the experience, because the entire story is told through a voice-over as you are playing. It works so well you might think it would slip up from time to time, but it remains as exciting to listen to at the end of the game as it was at the beginning.
The developer also strikes such great emotional chords at specific sequences in the game’s story, they make it seem easy. There are scenes in Bastion that I feel I’ll remember forever because of how strong an impact they had on me. The use of original music in the game is some of the best I’ve ever heard, not only because the tracks are so fantastic themselves, but they always come in at the exact right moment to hit you as hard as they possibly can.
The main objective of the game is to rebuild the floating city you arrive on, and that mechanic in itself is exciting until the game ends. You are given the ability to create new places to shop or receive upgrades and weapons as you beat each level. It really drives you to want to play more to see what kind of upgrades the next building might have inside.
The combat may be the weakest point in the game, but it is still really fun. You are given a ton of different weapons spaced out between stretches of levels, and each one feels so unique you always want to try them out to see how they will work. Bastion encourages you to try each weapon rather than letting it rot in storage by having different courses where you are restricted to only the new weapon you’ve obtained. Each course has various rewards that you will definitely want, so you are rewarded for trying new things. The games has so much content, and it encourages you to play around so you can see everything it has to offer.
Everything about Bastion is just so beautiful. The whole experience just oozes with style. The writing is top notch, the soundtrack is the best music I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year, and the world itself is just so pretty to look at. The way the ground floats up to meet you as you explore never ceases to be a really neat effect. So basically I want everyone to love this game as much as I do.
Supergiant games first venture into the market is better than nearly anything else to come out this year. It hits a certain place for me as a game I didn’t really know I wanted, but I’m so happy exists. I love Bastion, and I can only hope Supergiant can keep turning out games of this quality. If they do, we’re looking at the next big thing in video games. Good luck guys!
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