I revisited the world of Journey on my PS4 yesterday because I wanted to see if there were any differences from the PS3 version, and because it’s been a little while since I last played it. TL;DR: I think it runs slightly smoother and looks slightly clearer (these screenshots don’t do it justice) on the PS4, but it was already gorgeous on the PS3 so…
Before you read the rest of this post, if you haven’t played it and haven’t heard anything about it, do yourself a favor and go play it. It’s one of those experiences best had when you don’t know anything about it (like I did the first time). Play it online with a partner and in one sitting (it’s a 3-4 hour game).
If you search this game on the internet, you can find all sorts of different reviews about the game and how amazing it is. There are an equal number of people who also thought the game was just mediocre or didn’t see the appeal. For me, I thought it was just okay the first time I played it. Then I played it again, and it became one of my favorite games of all time. And then I made a cosplay of it for New York Comic Con, and people were swarming me for pictures:
Different people think different things, but I think for the best first experience you should play it through in one sitting and online. Try it again another time alone because the game has a unique sense of solitude and feels very different when you don’t have a partner, but definitely play it the first time online.
I also love the references to thatgamecompany’s other games.
I played it through twice last night, and I’m surprised that both times I got partners who were glued to me throughout the journey. I tried showing them where the locations of as many symbols and secrets were that I could remember, and they followed me like little lost puppies. I was even able to get the Reflection trophy (that requires you both to sit with each other for a full 20 seconds) because my partner was so reluctant to leave me behind and waited for me to start moving again. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, this is so hard to do because there is no form of communication beyond pressing the O button to produce a little sound, so there’s no way to tell them what you’re trying to accomplish.
I think it’s pretty clear that the game is a metaphor for a journey through life. I really love the dynamic of random strangers coming into and leaving your life. I love the feeling of attachment you get to the ones you go through hard trials with. If I get to the final level, I feel like there’s a point of commitment that you can’t back out of, and I end up finishing the game with the same partner.