PS3 News: Journey Has Become The Industry's Darling, But Why? - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Journey Has Become The Industry's Darling, But Why?

We ask "why" not because we don't understand the acclaim Journey has received. On the contrary, we understand perfectly. It's amazing.

But now that this surreal masterpiece is grabbing awards left and right, one has to wonder about the reasons behind this reception. There's no doubt that Journey is an unbelievable production and one that echoes and resounds on a number of artistic and humanistic levels. However, in an industry that many claim is dominated by sequels and mainstream titles like Call of Duty, Halo, and Assassin's Creed, how is it that a much smaller game - one that some would argue isn't enough of a "video game" - has become such a critical darling? How is it so widely revered?

It has won Game of the Year at both GameSpot and IGN (and that isn't exactly common), and Journey has netted more Game of the Year awards from other significant sources as well. It'll certainly be nominated when we do our Awards in less than a week. But what precisely is it about this title that has everyone in love? Is it just so the critics can appear to be a little more enlightened and progressive? So they can get all creative and deep when writing about their pick for GotY? Or is it because Journey gave us a glimpse of something interactive entertainment could be? Without guns, without virtually any action of any kind; heck, even without arms...?

I have found Journey to be something of a litmus test for gamers. If someone says they "didn't get it" and just found it "boring," my immediate reaction to that is that this person...ain't so bright. Forgive me, but it seems akin to saying you can't watch a movie with subtitles, or you can't appreciate a symphony because it doesn't have a flashy light show, or you can't read anything but menus and fashion magazines. This tells me you lack a certain depth, a certain sensitivity, a certain ability to reflect and think on life in general. So maybe this is the chord Journey is striking; people like to know that they get it because it kinda gives their intellectual ego a boost. "I get this, and I feel better about myself because of that."

Then again, those who never want to be part of the crowd might opt to serve their ego differently. I.e., rail against Journey because they're the only ones smart enough to see through the smoke and mirrors that everyone else has been fascinated by. Such people always have to be in the minority, regardless of the situation. In the end, I really believe there a variety of compelling societal and personal factors that have contributed to the gaming community embracing Journey. Thankfully, it's the right game to laud and applaud, so I have no problem with the result. ;)

Related Game(s): Journey

Tags: journey, journey game of the year, thatgamecompany, journey psn

12/26/2012 1:09:10 PM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (35 posts)

Shams
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 1:37:55 PM
Reply

I loved Journey because of the simple but enchanting combination of imagery, movement, sound and music, and the subtle but certain brush strokes of presentation and story that concluded in ending that evoked certain emotions and tears (I tried hard to fight back) that I've hardly ever felt from media of any kind, let alone from video games.

Last edited by Shams on 12/26/2012 1:39:27 PM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Dukemz_UK
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 3:19:02 PM

Dude, that's gay. Ok, I'm kidding. I felt something similar. Just completed Journey. It's a unique experience.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Shams
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 10:26:54 PM

Lol, yeah, although it wasn't powerful enough to change my sexual preference, it did make me a bit of a softy during the finale (though I should say though I felt varklempt, i didn't actually cry as I did in FF7 long ago).

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 1:40:30 PM
Reply

And on top of everything you mentioned there's the fact it's an exclusive, which usually counts against Playstation games. Very suspicious.

I agree about the intelligence test. Another handy one is whether or not people invert the Y axis in shooters.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

AcHiLLiA
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 2:07:31 PM

I remember playing Killzone 2 online for a few times in the beginning and it was some challenging cause the default controller settings were not like COD's.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Riku994
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 2:08:41 PM

What does it mean if you invert/don't invert?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 2:55:03 PM

In my (purely anecdotal mind you) experience playing FPS over the years it tends to be that those with a higher mental acuity must invert to play.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Dukemz_UK
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 3:25:46 PM

Hmm... Interesting. Ben's next poll: Are u an inverter, a non-inverter, or a defaulter (don't care) ?

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Riku994
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 4:52:21 PM

I invert :P

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 9:09:26 PM

I invert only when flying stuff. Because if I'm running around in real life and I want to look at the clouds, I don't make my neck force my head to look at the grass like a dumba$$.

;p

Although, I used to be huge on X-wing vs. Tie Fighter, which I inverted. That was way before i ever played a fps. So when I first played fps, I inverted. But over time, I learned to play normally. (By looking at the sky when I wanted to look at the sky) I don't know why. Probably because back in the day, you would share with a friend, and it would suck to keep changing the options every time.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ludicrous_Liam
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 5:14:43 AM

Is that where you would press down if you wanted to look up? I have no idea how anyone could prefer to do that unless they vigorously trained their mind as to be so backwards, lol.

Last edited by Ludicrous_Liam on 12/27/2012 5:15:07 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Riku994
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 2:07:58 PM
Reply

I take slight offense to this, quite frankly I don't "get" Journey, as I've stated here before. But I'm also not the type of gamer who only likes shooters and hates stories etc.

I get that it's supposed to represent the feeling of being alone and trying to reach a goal by yourself, but the game just doesn't do it for me. I watched one of my friends play through it from start to finish a few days after playing it myself (only for about an hour or 2) and it never got any more interesting for me. Maybe I just need some sort of enlightenment, I don't know.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 6:29:39 PM

I felt the same way. The game is good but it didn't suck me in. I watch a few foreign films with subtitles and those are the ones that I do not know. So I do take an offense on that comment because I "didn't get it". I understood its purpose but it doesn't affect me at all. As soon as I was finished with it, it didn't remain with me. I went on and played other games soon afterwards. I actually thought heavy rain was a better game than journey.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Riku994
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 7:53:27 PM

Heavy Rain was better in my opinion too.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

jugheadjones
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 3:46:14 PM

I'm with you Riku. I don't get it either. I have Tori-Emaki for the PS3. It was developed for the camera. It is a beautiful thing to see, but it's only interesting for about 5 minutes - and I only paid a buck, or something like that, for it. I was intrigued by all of the hoopla surrounding Journey, so I watched an hour long gameplay video on Youtube. All I saw was Tori-Emaki - walking around and collecting little floating thingys and a lot of beige. I guess it's just me (which is nothing new, believe me).

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Knightzane
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 2:43:57 PM
Reply

I'm glad lots of people enjoy this game. I really wish i could get into it but i just cannot play a game without something trying to kill me.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Dukemz_UK
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 3:39:34 PM

U need a "young priest and an old priest" to exorcise ur games room. Lol

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 4:16:29 PM

It's Asteroids and Pac-man's fault ;)

Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/26/2012 4:16:38 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Dealnightfire
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 3:40:13 PM
Reply

I would love to explain Journey and why its so awesome but I think extra credits does a better job of it than me so I will leave the links if anyone wants to check it out. They seem to sum up why Journey is awesome. I knew Journey was awesome but I couldn't accurately explain it.

http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-heros-journey-part-1

http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-heros-journey-part-2

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 4:10:49 PM
Reply

I had a gift card to burn so I hit up Best Buy and grabbed their last shelf copy. I just hope I'm smart enough to appreciate it =)

I like how the game comes with a month trial of PSN Plus. Does anyone know if I upload my saves to their cloud storage that they remain stored even after my account goes inactive? This way I could reactivate the service at a later date and then have access to them.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 6:30:44 PM
Reply

Everything remains intact until you start it up again. I've gone on and off on plus, depending on my money situation, and everything has remained intact.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ZettaiSeigi
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 7:17:39 PM
Reply

It's probably a bit too much to call anybody who "doesn't get" Journey as stupid or incapable of appreciating art, but I kinda see what Ben is trying to say. As we all know, it's all a matter of opinion and therefore subjective. While Journey wins my own GOTY award hands-down, I wouldn't call anybody who doesn't as such.

What annoys the hell out of me are those people who complain so much that their preferred game was not awarded the GOTY award. You should see the comments on sections of the pages where the said award was given, and you'd see comments such as Journey is not even a game, that the GOTY award should have gone to another game (mostly Borderlands 2, Assassin's Creed III, Far Cry 3, Mass Effect 3, Halo 4, Dishonored, or The Walking Dead), and that the award to a game that has a bigger production value (I know, seriously). To make things worse, those who bash Journey are those who haven't even played a single minute of the game.

I don't know how people can be so idiotic (merely going by the aforementioned comments) but it pretty much explains why I avoid the comments section of such sites whenever I can. I still read sometimes, only to be reminded why I wasted my time doing so.

Anyway, Journey deserves the GOTY award. At least in my books. I rarely ever agree with IGN or Gamespot (particularly), but they got this one down pat. I wouldn't even try justifying why Journey is my personal GOTY as I and a few of the good folks on this site have already done so in the previous articles. Really looking forward to finding out what game earns this site's GOTY award.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 8:42:17 PM

I understood that but I got a little offended by it. I don't watch movies with subtitles besides French since most of the other films I understand. English, Spanish, Japanese, and some Korean. Even though I didn't get sucked in to it's world like others I understood the game fine. It didn't make me feel emotional in the least but though. Even I know that I have emotional problems when it comes to understanding such things but the game was fine.

As for game of the year, I agree on it. Journey did something that other games have yet to do. All those games that you mention have not brought anything new to the table. AC3 plays like the others besides a few mechanics changes and such. Journey would be my game of the year because it has done something other games havent and also other companies are afraid to do.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 9:11:26 PM

I only hate subtitles when the audio is in English. If it isn't, it doesn't bother me.

But I get what ben says. It's one thing to enjoy playing it as a game, but quite another to appreciate what it does. And yeah... if you can't appreciate what it's accomplished (whether you enjoy playing it or not), then he may have a point.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ZettaiSeigi
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 9:17:31 PM

Again, that's where things become subjective. You said that you do watch movies in foreign languages (subtitled of course) but you find it hard to be "emotionally connected" to them. Which is completely understandable, at least to me.

However, that's pretty much the opposite for me. I guess that's what happens when you get used to seeing a lot of foreign movies (English is not my primary language). Sure, I've become so fluent with English by now, so much that it is effectively a second primary language for me. That said, I have no issue "connecting" to a lot of foreign language films I've seen before. I've seen the original Swedish version of the Millennium trilogy, the French Banlieue-13 duology, a few Spanish films, and I liked them a great deal. I also like the German ones I've seen ("Der Untergang" and "Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage"). Heck, I lost count of the number of times I shed a tear over the Japanese films I've seen. Departures (Okuribito), anyone? How about the Hayao Miyazaki movies?

My point is, our reception for a game like Journey is bound to differ. But I certainly hope that people would at least try playing the game and experience it for themselves before writing it off. It's games like Journey that pushes the industry forwards when it comes to creativity.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 9:42:31 PM

Well that's the thing underdog. I don't play games for games. I invest time in them and journey didn't get me like others. I've watched so many films and again subtitles do not bother me. Heck I played through all uncharted games in all the languages and it is a lot of fun in Japanese and Spanish but their actors lack what the American actors have. I understand ben's point but I cannot get "invested" the same way. My girlfriend played it and felt emotional about it. I lack that emotional aspect. Even Miyazaki films don't make me feel emotional. A film that a lot of people bring up didn't make me tear up but I did enjoy watching it, The Grave of the Fireflies, and still tell people to watch. So I get what the game did and what it changed but again just because I didn't feel emotional about it doesn't mean I don't get it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ludicrous_Liam
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 5:23:36 AM

In my opinion, you should never watch subtitles if you know the language they're speaking. At the end of the day, they're distracting you from what's going on in the movie. If you didn't quite catch watch a character says, you should pay more attention.

I've done it (putting subtitles on) in games, and you will find yourself reading the lines and completely missing the visual element.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 4:29:27 PM

Yes, Sawao, that's what I meant, in essence, but more my point is that even if you didn't enjoy playing it, you should still be able to appreciate what it accomplishes. The soundtrack is up for a Grammy for good reason. People who can't appreciate the composition, let alone the visual artistry, simply don't get it.

On another level, for an example, I recognize the God of War is a fantastic game franchise and I acknowledge it's feats. However, I hate it. lol. But just because I don't enjoy playing it, doesn't mean I'm daft enough to write it off as if it were a "bad" game. That would be silly. The same applies to Journey, but on an artistic level.

Handel's "Messiah" doesn't make everyone that hears it tear up or feel emotion, but it does to most people. And it certainly is one of the most excellently written choruses of humanity. It's sort of the benchmark for musical excellence. But just because a person doesn't enjoy sitting down and listening to it, doesn't mean they shouldn't vote it the best musical score of all time. Sometimes things miss the mark for us, sometimes for no reason at all. But in those instances when it does connect with so many people, it's useful to step back with an objective approach. With honesty, I think you can easily see why it's such a precious achievement to the gaming world.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 12/27/2012 4:34:41 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ChaseHammer
Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 9:32:52 PM
Reply

Was not impressed with Journey. I dont see what all the fuss is about.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Qubex
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 2:57:36 AM

I respect your opinion, but personally i think its a crazy opinion. "Journey" is a very unique game and one that works on multiple levels of the mind. There are many references there about ones own life and the journey you partake on earth to your final destination so to speak.

You need to think a little, a dig deep a little, and you may get it.

It is a masterpiece, enough said...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

karneli lll
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 12:16:33 AM
Reply

I saw Journey as a Flower clone of sorts, i really enjoyed Flower but Journey missed my contact points i tried the demo and stopped midway.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 2:11:40 AM
Reply

ive been asking that since the day it came out!
most overrated game EVER!
ok, maybe after GTAIV.........

Last edited by ___________ on 12/27/2012 2:12:08 AM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Qubex
Thursday, December 27, 2012 @ 3:00:20 AM

I am sorry, but personally I have to strongly disagree with your statement Underline.

Dig a little deeper to understand... you have no idea what it took to come up with such a concept and then to execute on that concept...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, December 28, 2012 @ 8:13:17 AM

a simplistic boring concept.
theres so many games out there with much better concepts, stories, ambitions.
and most get ignored, as usual.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

chuckuykendall
Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 11:14:32 AM
Reply

Gosh, I feel like a douche for not even playing the game. Way to alienate newcomers...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

If you don't have a PS4 yet, why?
Not enough games I want.
I don't have the money right now.
I'm happy with other platforms.
I just plain don't want it.

Previous Poll Results