December 13, 2011, 12:00

2012 Most Anticipated – #13 Journey

By Phillip Costigan, Contributor

Editor’s Note: Almost half way now, as we’re up to number thirteen of our twenty-five most anticipated games of 2012. After culminating a comprehensive list of the confirmed games for next year, the MediaKick team voted on the games they are most looking forward to for next year, and after processing the results through a methodical algorithm we’re here to bring you the results. Taking a closer look at both what we know so far and why the team are excited for each game, we’ll have an article at midday everyday until Christmas – when we’ll reveal our most anticipated game of 2012. Be sure to check out the previous games so far if you haven’t already - #25#24#23#22#21#20#19#18#17#16, #15, #14

Describing Journey using words almost doesn’t do the game justice. Indeed, the latest effort from thatgamecompany needs to be seen to be believed. Following on from Flower and flOw, Jenova Chen and co. have set their sights on the desert in this simply stunning downloadable title due out next year. Believe me, this is one you probably won’t want to miss.

Ranking in at a very impressive number thirteenth on our top twenty-five most anticipated games of 2012, Journey is the only downloadable game that made it onto our list, which should tell you something about how excited we are for this game.  The story has not yet been revealed, but I wouldn’t want it to be; all we know now is that it involves some sort of person making their Journey across a desert to reach a mountain far in the distance. It is this desert where most of the game will take place, or so we are lead to believe.

2012 Most Anticipated – #13 Journey

Coming from the developer of hugely successful PSN games flOw and Flower, you know that this PSN exclusive title will be simply gorgeous. Watching the game in motion is simply breathtaking, how the sand glides around the characters feet and even how the distant environments and structures look is amazing. The way the sun shimmers on the boiling hot sand, the way the character almost dances through the world. This game is a serious contender for best looking game of 2012, and we aren’t even finished with this year yet! Our own Harry Bandell is also really impressed with the game’s graphical style, having recently enjoyed Flower: “I’m a big fan of Flower (I played it on someone else’s console and have bought it since and played it for Extra Life) and I think Journey looks like the kind of game I could really sit down and stare at. I love games that try bold things and go in different directions to the norm, and Journey has that going for it. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.”

Another great feature of the game is the sense of exploration you get as you wander through the massive desert. Exploring the numerous different ruins and structures looks stunning, and offers a tangible gameplay incentive to do so. Not that you’ll need any incentive of course, simply getting the chance to look at more stunning desert scenes is more than enough incentive for me.

2012 Most Anticipated – #13 Journey

Fellow writer Dave  also feels similarly, and raises the very astute point of this being another fantastic example of games being art: “When I first played flOw, I wasn’t sure what was going on. I then tweaked that this was gaming as an art form, rather than entertainment. Flower carried on this tradition of providing a chill-out experience that not even the Ministry of Sound could rival. You had complete freedom to go wherever you wanted. Journey looks to promise the same kind of experience but with an adventurous twist and desert wandering goodness. Another great looking example of video games as art!”

Thatgamecompany’s titles have often been described as art, and rarely will you find a discussion on the subject of video games as art that doesn’t mention Flower in particular. I’m a firm believer that certain games can be classified as art, and Journey looks like it’s going to be another game we can add to the ever-increasing list of games that have that artistic quality.

2012 Most Anticipated – #13 Journey

Originally set to launch this year, Journey has been subject to a couple of delays that has pushed it back into 2012. However, thatgamecompany did release a private beta to a selection of people, and what I played simply wowed me. Our Editor David Howard didn’t feel quite the same as I did, however he still has high hopes for Jouney: “Both fl0w and Flower are still two of my favourite PlayStation Network titles, so that alone makes me excited for Journey. Like the two releases prior, Journey looks sublime, however, after a short time with the beta, it failed to click quite the same as Flower. Hopefully, the full release will wow me once more, but my anticipation has certainly dwindled from six months ago.”.

What about you lovely folk? Has Journey’s beautiful looks managed to get you excited for one of the coolest looking games for 2012?