A cloaked traveler journeys through the land to reach a distant mountain.
I am incredibly late to the Journey party, but I am so glad I came. What a game. Although it is a short game, it is the most beautiful game I’ve played. thatgamecompany really outdone themselves this time.
Aesthetically, the game may be simplistic but it is absolutely stunning. The visuals combined with the moving musical scores make for a truly breathtaking experience in Journey. The actual game is not mechanically challenging, but it is generally considered more of an emotional investment than a normal game.
The player begins their journey (!) in a seemingly endless desert as a nameless cloaked traveler. They trudge through the sand, discovering ruins and ancient magic. There is no tutorial, dialogue or explanation; the player has one goal – to reach the shining mountain in the distance. You often come across other players in-game to accompany you on your way.
The real brilliance arrives when the player decides not to take the game at face value. It is agreed among the community that Journey is all a big metaphor for life. The fun times in the early levels represent a person’s youth and the travel up the harsh mountain resembles one’s weary decline to death. The companions that you meet along the way drives home the idea that this journey is one that everyone must make.
The metaphor is so cleverly crafted and there are so many small parallels to the journey of life. There is not much else I can say as there is no complex storyline nor is it a long game, but if you have not played Journey I promise you will not regret playing through it. thatgamecompany has manufactured a modern day masterpiece.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson