That’s right—the best game of 2012 is a $15 download for Playstation Network—and we couldn’t be more emphatic about putting this game in the top position. What makes Journey so good? And what’s it doing in front of the big-budget powerhouses of the gaming world? Well, every now and then gamers get lucky with something that bucks prevailing conventions, beats the hell out of expectations, and turns out to be not just a great game, but a truly memorable experience. Journey does all of that with beautiful, simple graphics, a stunning soundtrack and instantly accessible game play. And it does it without any conventional storytelling methods—meaning no text scrolls and no dialogue.
You begin the game with your character standing alone in the middle of a dessert, and the camera pans across the sand to a mountain on the horizon. From there, you simply feel your way around the world and begin your journey, choosing, if you wish, to interact with other players online, or blocking out the rest of the world and playing on your own. Whether you struggle with the concept or take to it immediately, you’ll eventually find it’s nearly impossible to not be moved by the game in some fashion. At times you’ll feel on the edge of your seat, dying to see what happens next. At others, you’ll find yourself wanting to prolong the experience. And thanks to its brilliant design, it’s a game that has zero cultural barriers and can speak to everyone on some level.
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