Journey is an adventure video game created by thatgamecompany and published by Sony for the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 3 version was released on March 13, 2012 in North America, March 14, 2012 in Europe, and March 15, 2012 in Japan, and for the PlayStation 4 on July 21, 2015 for North America, July 21, 2015 for Europe, and July 23, 2015 for Japan. It was later ported to Microsoft Windows in June 2019.
Why It Rocks
- Amazing original score.
- Great emotional story, which is good becuase the game is driven by its story.
- Incredible graphics.
- Relentlessly beautiful art.
- Two player online mode that lets you discover and experience together to have a ”Memory” of playing together, which is so deep and awesome.
- Not all players would appreciate a game with a "deliberate, melancholic pace" and short duration.
- While the gameplay and story are good, there is stil a noticable lack of complex gameplay elements in the game.
Journey received critical and commercial success worldwide. After its release, it became the fastest-selling game to date on PlayStation Store in both North America and Europe. At the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo, prior to release, the game won awards for best downloadable game from 1UP.com, GameSpy, and GameTrailers. After publication, the game was heavily honored at end of the year awards. At the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, formerly known as the Interactive Achievement Awards, Journey won eight awards, the most honors received of the night (which includes "Game of the Year", "Outstanding Innovation in Gaming", "Casual Game of the Year", "Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction", "Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction", "Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay", "Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition", and "Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design"); it was additionally nominated for "Downloadable Game of the Year", "Outstanding Achievement in Gameplay Engineering", and "Outstanding Achievement in Story". Journey was selected as the best game of the year by IGN and GameSpot, among others.
The soundtrack was nominated for the Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media at the 2013 Grammy Awards, the first video game soundtrack to be nominated for that category, though it did not win. Additionally, the game won the award for best music and was nominated for the best graphics award from IGN, and was selected as the best PlayStation Network game by GameSpot. At the Spike Video Game Awards, Journey won awards as the best PlayStation 3 game, the best indie game, and the game with the best music, and was additionally nominated for game of the year, best downloadable game, best graphics, and best song in a game for "I Was Born For This". It received the 2013 Annie Award for video game animation. It won five awards at the 2013 British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards: Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, Game Design, Online Multiplayer and Original Music, and was nominated for Best Game, Game Innovation and Story. In March 2013, it won six awards at the annual Game Developers Choice Awards: Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visual Arts, Best Downloadable Game, the Innovation Award, and Game of the Year.
Journey received high acclaim from critics who praised the visual and auditory art direction as well as the emotional response playing with a stranger created. It received the IGN Best Overall Game Award for 2012 and Ryan Clements of IGN described the game as "the most beautiful game of its time", saying, "each moment is like a painting, expertly framed and lit". Jane Douglas of GameSpot concurred, calling it "relentlessly beautiful" and lauding the visual diversity of the world and the depiction of the rippling sand; Matt Miller of Game Informer added praise for the animation of the sand and creatures, saying the game was visually stunning. The music was also complimented, with Miller describing it as a "breathtaking musical score" and Douglas calling it "moving, dynamic music".
Reviewers were especially pleased with the emotional experience of playing the game, particularly with other players. Christian Donlan of Eurogamer described it as a "non-denominational religious experience" that, with the addition of another player, moves beyond metaphors and becomes a "pilgrimage" to the player. A reviewer writing for Edgemagazine said the emotional arc of the game hits with "occasionally startling power", while Patrick Shaw from Wired said the game made him feel a "wide range of emotions... wonder, fear, even sadness". Miller said all three times he played the game, "each time, without fail, individual moments... managed to give me goosebumps, and those moments have remained on my mind for weeks afterward". Joel Gregory of PlayStation Official Magazine praised the game's story for being open to the player's interpretation, leaving an ambiguity that drew him in. The addition of an unnamed second player was described by Donlan as brilliant and as a "master stroke", and Edge said it made for "a more absorbing, more atmospheric experience".The few criticisms for the game centered on its length and pacing. Clements noted that not all players would appreciate a game with a "deliberate, melancholic pace" and short duration, comments echoed by the Edge review. Miller noted the lack of a complex gameplay elements in Journey, and Shaw was disappointed that the game was only a few hours long, though Douglas said the length was perfect. Miller concluded the game could be compared to "a musical concert, a well-directed film, or a long-awaited book", while Clements concluded, "completing Journey will create memories that last for years".