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Journey is out now on Steam

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Journey

Well, the headline pretty much says it: ThatGameCompany's PS3 classic Journey is now on Steam. It was a timed Epic Games Store exclusive for about a year, but now it can be had on the PC's most popular and enduring digital storefront for a mere $14.99 ($11.24 until July 9th) and if you buy it within 2 weeks of launch you get its predecessor title Flower for free.

I'm not really sure how I feel about Journey. I know it's been 8 years since it released but I've never gotten around to playing it or even really looking into it. As I've mentioned before, when something is wildly popular, especially with critics, it makes me instantly suspicious. Journey struck me as another of those critical darlings that was heavy on stylized visuals but short on gameplay; the video game equivalent of a coffee table book, something you point at when you have company over to indicate how cultured and mature you are.

I play video games for the exact opposite reason. Me and my wife are enormous nerds and we really don't care who knows; sit us in front of some obscure sim like Space Station 13 or an RPG like System Shock  and we'll be right at home, pressing all the buttons and having fun figuring out how all the moving parts work. I enjoy games that lean heavy on the game aspect, lots of elegantly interlocking systems that push what interactive entertainment is capable of. I'm not opposed to beautiful graphics or sublime art or profound storytelling, in fact they can enhance a game into a transcendent experience. One of my favorite games of 2019 was Ape Out, a gorgeously stylized game that used urban pop art and procedural percussion to deliver its fiendishly addictive stealth-action gameplay. But if graphics or story is all there is...well, then I'd much rather watch a movie or read a good poem.

That's why I loved Zelda Breath of the Wild. Sure it's gorgeous, but while other gamers were complaining that it was comparatively light on story, I was having a blast trying all the wrong ways to get things done and seeing if the game would let me get away with it. Is Journey another game like that? I honestly don't know; you tell me. But if it's just another walking tour through some (admittedly brilliant) artist's portfolio, I'll probably give it another pass.