After a brief viewing of the highly anticipated indie video game, Transistor slated to be released on the Playstation 4, I decided to get my itchy little fingers on Supergiant’s previous title, Bastion. Being alienated towards the indie game genre, my expectations were non-existent. Well, its a game designed for the donnish kid who is infatuated and obsessed with art.
Bastion features a young protagonist named “kid” (simple enough) who must traverse the dangerous terrains away from his hometown, Celadonia to collect mysterious artifacts called “cores” to save the hazy world in Bastion. What makes Bastion special?
The Beauty of Bastion
The game’s narrative is told through a father’s eyes: a narrator narrates the story to you; the player as the game progresses. The story is impeccable and jaw-droppingly deep. The story is told in a non-linear way, similar to the film “Pulp Fiction”. As you hear the worn-out, gruff and down home voice narrate the story, it amplifies the game’s ethnicity. Visually, the hand painted art and basing the game on a 2D-plane couldn’t be better.
This is “art” at its finest as the vibrantly toned environment is a outworldy utopia. The cliff-hanger ending leaves one thinking: Did I make the right choice. The momentous ending had a deep impact on me spiritually and emotionally. A game that invokes emotion from the player is one of rarity and a nice change from the other zany, unconventional titles in its genre like Octodad.
The character models are meticulously crafted.To each his own as many of the characters have their own unique personality and visual appeal. Distancing itself from the textbook examples of other games in its genre, the soundtrack is immaculate. personifying emotion and tension, it is arguably one of the greatest soundtracks of all time, period (especially zia’s theme). The attention to detail is what sets the bar high for other video games to reach. As traditional folk music booms out of the speakers as the tension flares up in a heated boss battle, it plays to the crowd, getting gamers hyped up and “in the moment”.
The world is alive: from the large, dense alien jungles to the molten cauldrons, giving a sense of momentary awe that draws us into this escapist reality. It’s like a “dark land of Oz”.
But all good things have to come to an end. Gameplay is downright mediocre, with simple RPG elements incorporated into the game, dragging the game’s brilliance down. Strategy is sparse ,making it a breeze on normal mode. There was not one moment where I took time to formulate a plan to complete a single objective. Combat feels polished, but the sheer lack of combos to spice up the combat detracted from the gameplay. To make matters worst, the “no-sweat mode” renders the main protagonist, “kid” impervious to death (RIP challenges).
Bastion has its flaws that truthfully brings down the game experience. But the monumental tale of morality and choice makes this game an exception. The brilliant storytelling and jumbled story is what sells this game. The pain from the “uncalled for” choice I made at the end rankles on. I give this game a 9/10.
Time to wait patiently for Transistor on the Playstation as I indulge myself in copious amounts of Dota 2, seated on my portly ass.
Bastion: When the hell is Transistor coming out?
My review on the hit-indie game, Bastion!What Our Ratings Mean