Journey is a strange game to say the least. It’s a mutliplayer game, but it has no online lobby. You collect patches of cloth, but you don’t keep them. Your goal is to keep moving, but you can’t voluntarily jump. Journey is the latest project from thatgamecompany who also created unique games such as Flower and flOw. Thatgamecompany’s creator director Jenova Chen spoke very mysteriously about Journey with the PlayStation Blog, and I still have no idea what’s going on.
Journey challenges perceptions of what is popular in games today. For example, thatgamecompany removed a few elements from Journey that are quite traditional. Journey used to have an online lobby, but thatgamecompany felt having a lobby would confuse too many casual gamers who aren’t familiar with how that system works. Thatgamecompany wants anyone, including children, to jump into Journey‘s co-op without needing to have an understanding of online gaming functions.
Jenova Chen also criticized games that have a single-player mode that “duct tape on some online technology.” He wants Journey to be a social and thought provoking experience. Chen mentioned how people still play poker and chess because of the thought that goes into playing with others.
Another thing that was scrapped from Journey was leveling up. You could initially collect cloth patches through the game that were used as experience. Once you’ve collected 20 patches, you would be able to jump higher. However, now those patches only grant you a temporary power. Once you use them, they’ll go back to where they were before you collected them. You won’t get stronger in Journey. You’re weak, and thatgamecompany wants to keep it that way.
Your character in Journey can’t jump either. Movement is another function thatgamecompany wanted to make more interesting. The team felt walking was too boring, so they put in sand waves that you can surf on. They also took out the jump button because they didn’t want players jumping while walking all the time. Instead, Journey has an automatic jump. Everything in moderation I suppose.
Journey will be released on PSN in 2011.
Via [PlayStation Blog]