Reviewed on PlayStation 3.

One unlike any other.

David Howard

David Howard


on March 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

With the sand resting beneath me, cushioning my every step as if to protect me from the dangers of the world, I am surrounded by nothingness. Desert spans for as far as the eye can see, with only ruins and graves for company, I feel isolated but never alone. The feeling of the wind rustling through the cloth that delicately covers my frame apparent, providing the only sense of movement other than my own. There is a notable serenity in the world, it is peaceful, calm, cleansing, the perfect start for what lies ahead, for I am on a Journey.

A haze steams in the distance but the warmth is comforting, much like the gently melody humming in my ear. Having absorbed the glorious vista before me, I must press on. With every step, the sand beneath my feet kicks up with a grace and fluidity of a swan settling on the Five Flower Lake, a brief trail of my past left behind me, reminiscent of the story I intertwine. Not a word is ushered, yet my path was never in doubt; in the distance is a light, a beacon of hope and one that I must reach.

A shoal of ribbons swim in the air around me, guiding me, providing an emotional link never before experienced; seconds later, I leap into the sky, gliding down with unmatched elegance. The freedom was fleeting though, as once again I am grounded like a clipped bee; ahead of me, more ribbons floating above the surface of the sand. As I venture near them, they swarm on me but not aggressively, more akin to fresh offspring to their mother, before they grant me another fleeting session in the sky. Onwards through fields of otherwise emptiness are more shoals, leading me from point to point.

I reach a square of weathered flags, that, after one joyful chirp, breathe life once again. They propel me to new heights, surpassing what I’ve already achieved, allowing me to glide across a previously unreachable valleys. Now a sacred stone lies before me, a gateway to my past, present and future, a teller of stories and a keeper of secrets. My presence reveals partial truths of history, something that will be pieced together as I move further into the future, but for now it closes one chapter, whilst opening another.

Arriving in a new land, I hear the chirp of another, I am no longer alone, I have a companion. Together we travel the paradise ahead of us, in blissful freedom, exploring the world and gliding through the air. I have no knowledge as to the birth or even nature of my companion, but there is something innately human about them. There is a personality to their movements, their choices, that is more than mere machine. We communicate not via the medium of speech or text, but by a simple tonal purl; nothing more is necessary as a connection, a bond, a friendship between us is formed.

“I am one of the most profound and empowering experiences you will have and whilst I may only take you for a few hours, they will be some of the best hours of your life.

The initial delight that we shared fails to last, as we experience a darker side to what has now become our Journey. Quickly my companion became my closet friend, my significant other, all without a single word ushered. All too soon, we’re skating towards unknown depths, cowering in the corners as we value our lives, it tests our resolve and strengthens our kinship.

Around us the sand turns to golden dust; this is far more than just a desert, this is an arid sea producing waves of sand with the wind’s currents helping and hindering movement. At times, the scenes my eyes witnessed were unmatched; raw, powerful, intoxicating beauty shimmering in the stupendous light. Before long, the heat dissipates and we’re cast into a mountainous range of snow and biting frost, yet the beauty never subsides. All the while, a moving score provides welcome comfort, ensuring the desired emotions are brought to the surface at the required time.

I have joyous moments and heart-wrenchingly sad ones amongst an eloquent, wordless story. I have a collection of utterly breath-taking moments accompanied by an auditory feast like no other. I will grant you the warmth feeling of the sand, the bitter cold of despair, and the soothing yet powerful force of the wind. I have variety, complexity and simplicity in equal measures, moments to hide, moments to discover and moments to unravel. I am one of the most profound and empowering experiences you will have and whilst I may only take you for a few hours, they will be some of the best hours of your life.

For I am a Journey, one unlike any other.


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