It is not so often that you play a game that dazzles you in simplicity and wonder while bringing emotions of happiness, wonder, and ease. Journey is such a game. While it does not take long to beat it, the “journey” is what it is all about. The graphics are beautiful to watch and the music is one of this generation’s best. This is a must buy for every single PS3 owner. Journey is the 2012 Game of the Year.

Presentation: You are a nameless and voiceless wanderer who is on a pilgrimage to a huge mountain. That is the goal of the game. It seems like a simple point A to point B scenario but the ride to your destination is heart-warming and wondrous. You have very simple controls to navigate. You make a chirp noise with one button and can hop with another. There is a trick to this however. You wear a scarf that gives you powers to fly and glide the more magic “papers” you collect. In addition, your scarf gets longer once you start collecting special symbols across the world. It is recommended that you try to find these special symbols because you get to do something special during new game plus.

The world is straightforward but because of the innocence of your character not knowing where to go the enjoyment of the game seems to get to you. This sand filled world is very much alive to the player. Sliding across sand dunes and working your way through different climate environments leave you at awe.

Graphics: Never before has a world filled with sand looked so beautiful to the eye. The sand sparkles off the reflection of the sun and there are times that you walk through different shades of it. I personally loved the pink sand after the initial part and how miniscule you looked against the mountain in the far off distance. The most joyous part of the graphical genius of the game is a sliding sequence that has everything looking like a golden kingdom with a perfect shade of shade accompanying the landscape. Underground levels look striking and the snow at a later portion of the game really attributes to how hard the journey is for the character.

Sound: The soundtrack of the game is one of the best in the history of gaming. It strikes such an emotion because it coincides perfectly with what is going on. The music is joyous during innocent exploration, turns dark when you are traveling through a dangerous underground and has one of the most uplifting finals songs to end your quest. The composer has created a masterpiece for the ages.

Control: The controls are very simple. You jump and chirp throughout the game. No magic weapons or anything else. This keeps the game simple and warm. What makes this game great is the dynamic use of environment. You can feel your wanderer struggle up sand dunes, through snow and other environmental hazards. The camera angle is never an issue which is a huge plus in a game like this.

Journey is the first PSN downloadable game to take the honor as top game. Even though some might feel like it’s too short, I too wanted the journey to continue. However, it is perfect for what it is. The incredible music supports everything that goes around the player and the graphics are just so beautiful to the eyes. A huge complement is the multiplayer option for the game. You can team up with a buddy to take on the adventure together, with one incredibly clever twist. You do not know who you are teaming up with until the very end. You do not know who you are playing with and that made the journey even more surreal. It makes you really feel a huge sense of accomplishment when you get to the end and you get a sense of serenity when you find out who your buddy was at the end of the pilgrimage. Journey will be remembered for a long time. It is an instant classic above all the rest.

Score: 9.7

2012 Game Awards
Best Overall Game of the Year
Best PS Exclusive
Best PSN Download
Best Graphics
Best Music/Sound
Best Adventure Game