It is an interesting experiment, and a unique game wrapped up into one upcoming new title. Developer thatgamecompany, the group that brought us two of the best tiles for the PlayStation Network, flOw and Flower is working on something new called Journey.
Unlike most games that bestow upon the player a sense of power progress–whether that comes from leveling up, or simply the nature of destroying things– Journey is designed to make you feel small and powerless. That might sound like a negative, but it is designed to help you illicit true emotional responses from a game that go beyond the typical instant gratification that most titles offer. You are meant to see the world in terms of awe and wonder, not areas to throw grenades or shoot lighting. Basically, the developer is hoping to create art using video games as a medium.
Described as “an exotic adventure with a more serious tone”, Journey will put you in the land of an ancient and ruined civilization that has been swallowed by an endless desert. As you explore the mysterious world, you will run into other online travelers. The game then encourages you to explore the world together, which can reshape the experience.
How exactly the world can be reshaped isn’t clear. When you do come across another traveler, there is no communication between the two of you, either through text or voice chat. Instead the game offers you the option to sing a note to the other player, which they can then respond to. How that plays into the game isn’t known, but from there gamers can either go it alone, or work with your fellow traveler.
The game looks like a bizarre and surreal experience, and it might also be brilliant. Or not, time will tell. Journey will be released exclusively for the PS3 on the PlayStation Network in 2011.