“Build That Wall”
Available on iPad, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 4 (tested) and PS Vita
Supergiant Games is one of those developers that don’t stop amazing me game after game. I played Transistor last year and I loved it, so I looked up what other game they had released; the answer was Bastion. Later on, Bastion is announced for a PlayStation 4 release and I couldn’t wait enough to get my hands on it. And man, is this game a beauty or what?
From the very beginning the game shines, as you wake up as “the kid” and escape a city that seems to be tearing apart. You run, and then stage builds up as you do it, in the form of tiles that rise up from nowhere and establish as solid ground; it’s a joy to see it every single time. While you are on the run, a narrator tells everything that’s happening, making him an enjoyable company for the rest of our journey.
Once the intro stage is completed, the kid lands on the Bastion: a sanctuary built for people to run to in case the city falls into an emergency state. Thing is, there’s only you and the Stranger. After a little chat the Kid’s, we found out that the Calamity took place over the city, wiping it out, thus making the Bastion the only place for any survivors to be. The Stranger then gives the Kid a clear task: collect Cores (blue crystals) that would help finish the Bastion, while inviting any other survivor you find during your travels to the different regions of the map. The premise is simple yet it hooks you up, helped by the fun gameplay and the equally beautiful music and graphics.
Gameplay wise, Bastion is an action role-playing game; you control the Kid through different stages, hacking, slashing and shooting your enemies with the diverse types of weapons you find out through the levels. You have two weapons at a time and there are two kind of weapons: one more melee oriented and the other a long rage type, and you can mix them up as you find suitable (for example: you start with a hammer and a fast shooting gun, but later on you get yourself a quick attacking machete and a bow. You can even go ahead and equip to ranged weapons or two melee ones). All these weapons can be leveled up, using materials and the game currency. While in combat, besides attacking, you can also dodge and block; a precise timed block will result in a counter attack that deals massive damage to the enemies.
The presentation is hands down superb; from the beautiful music Darren Korb has composed to the art style that makes every stage look like a living painting. Every level is so different than the previous one that you can hardly put the game down just for the sake of finding out how beautiful will be the next stage. But it’s not only the variety of the locations you get to know, but also the way they are presented, the way they build as you go through a level makes the experience all the better.
And then, there’s the music… The outstanding music. As I have previously said, I loved Transistor, and a big part of that is because of its wonderful soundtrack. It remains true for Bastion as well; a wide variety of songs to enjoy (Build That Wall being my favorite) as you traverse the lands in search for crystals and. I definitely see myself buying the OST, just as I did with Transistor; Mr. Korb, please keep making beautiful music; Ms. Barrett, please keep singing some of those songs.
As for replay value, the game has a New Game+ option and a trophy attached to it, so you have a reason to go through the adventure again and believe me, you will want to do it; the game just doesn’t let you go. It’s addictive and fun to play and too damn good to watch and listen.
One personal side note: I would have loved the devs to use the PS4 controller’s speaker for the Narrator’s voice, just as they did with Transistor’s voice. It would have given the experience an extra level of immersion.
Should you play it? Absolutely yes. If you own a PlayStation 4 and want an engaging and charming action role-playing game, you definitely have to grab Bastion. Its slick presentation and enjoyable gameplay make it a must play.