While Flower, the other game from Thatgamecompany, passed me by just like that, I couldn’t help but get drawn into the hype surrounding Jenova Chen’s latest game. Journey promised to become something refreshingly different from other video games, while not being quite as abstract as Flower.
It must have been something about the super stylized art direction. The promise of a game that’s about a journey first, and pretty much nothing else. Except encountering other travellers and singing with them. The prerelease buzz was positive and quirky, here there was a small dedicated team at work to make something special. Journey would not become as much of a product as other games but more of an piece of art.
Then there were delays. Initially Journey was set to be released somewhere in 2011. Yet that never happened. Instead at some point the release was delayed until some time in 2012. So while the gaming year of 2011 came and went without Journey’s release, the game somewhat drifted into the back of the collective mind. There were other important titles out now. Be it Skyrim or the Minecraft ‘release’, be it the latest Call of Duty or From Dust.
And then after the new year had arrived, Journey suddenly had a release date in early March. At the point I had almost forgotten about it. Journey had travelled from ‘highly anticipated release’ to ‘well if it ever actually comes out...’.
Initially, last year when Journey was still scheduled for a 2011 release, it occupied a place in my expectations close to From Dust. A very artistic game that blends artistic endeavors with those of actual gameplay experience. Well, seems From Dust didn’t really turn out that way. Also it seemed to have some visual resemblance to the super stylized designs of games like Love.
Playing both those games put me into a certain state of expectancy from Journey. I was looking forward to something that promised a truly unique experience.