Award-Winning Indie Classic ‘Journey’ Is Finally Released For PC Next Week
It's too easy, when you work in games, to forget that a lot of players simply don't care as much as you do. That they're happy with five AAA titles a year; they're happy with the F2P shooter of the moment; they're happy with established franchises on their umpeenth iteration. Which is not to belittle any of those products, or indeed the people who enjoy them. More, it's a realisation that a lot of what People Like Me Like To Talk About simply doesn't register with those who're thousands of hours deep into GTA Online. Everyone has their thing, and that's cool.
What's also cool, though, is trying something different - and in gaming, a lot of the industry's most progressive developments, the culture's most-rewarding steps into the relative unknown, occur in the indie space. It's here that critical darlings sporadically emerge, earning acclaim and awards if not always sales - and it's from this region on the periphery of the mainstream's radar that Journey emerged, as a PlayStation 3 exclusive, back in 2012.
Thatgamecompany's meditative, explorative title quickly found fans. Wordless, minimalist, but strikingly haunting, Journey attracted perfect reviews, and soon began collecting awards. It won a whopping eight of them in one night at the 2012 DICE Awards, including the big one, Game of the Year. Its music, by Austin Wintory, even got nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013 - making it the first video game to appear in the running for such an award, in the Best Score category, and contesting the prize with the likes of legendary cinematic composers Hans Zimmer and John Williams.
A PlayStation 4 version came out in 2015 - and next week, on 6 June, Journey will finally come to PC. The game will retail at £11.49/$14.99 and support 4K displays - but, in a move that's hardly uncommon in the PC market right now, PC version publisher Annapurna Interactive (What Remains of Edith Finch, Florence, Donut County) has elected to make Journey an Epic Games store exclusive.
If that's put you off, and you've never played Journey... do try to look past your commitment to Other PC Gaming Stores, as while it's been copied numerous times since its release, in tone and aesthetic, Journey remains a special game. It's a game of birth, life and death, the entire gamut of the human experience, incorporating communication and loneliness, fear and intrigue, fascination and interpretation.
It is still quite unlike anything else, basically. And meeting another player on your journey to the mountain's peak makes the run in question (each one is short - under two hours, even if you're poking around for collectibles) all the more special. Draw a little picture in the snow, go on...
Still can't hear that music in the trailer without getting a bit lumpy around the throat area, y'know... Anyway, 6 June - go and get yourself a very important video game, even if your usual favourites are all guns and cars and violence and size five balls striking the back of gaping nets. It's still a rare beauty, and no mistake.
Featured Image Credit: Annapurna Interactive