The Xbox Summer of Arcade has officially kicked off and the first title out is Bastion from Supergiant Games. The game immediately catches your attention for two reasons: the visuals and the audio. The art looks like it was hand-painted and hearkens back to the 16-bit era of gaming.
The game starts with you seeing your character laying down on a platform in the sky with no indication of what’s going on until the narrator kicks in and informs you the ‘Calamity’, some catastrophic event, has occurred and that you naturally need to make your way to a location called the Bastion. What’s striking about the narrator’s tale is that for the most part he’s just following your lead. In sometimes eerie detail he talks about your actions as they’re occurring. Ever wanted your own MC? Well now you’ve got one and it comes with a voice that’s a little gritty, a little noir, but I style I found I loved immediately. Your character never speaks, but the narrator moves the story along for you. I have a feeling most people will either love or hate the feature, but personally I enjoyed it. The dynamic narration was the feature trumpeted by Microsoft when the game was announced and I have to say it’s one of the coolest concepts I’ve seen in gaming in awhile.
While the narration is the big feature for the game, I think the game can stand on its own without it. It’s a pretty fun action RPG that has you traveling from a home base, the Bastion, to various areas of your land that have been ripped apart by the Calamity. As you move within these areas, the floor and world slowly rise up piece by piece as you move in different directions. You must battle your way through enemies to reach artifacts called the cores in order to retrieve them, bring them back, and have the Bastion restore the land. Along the way, you’ll help figure out what caused the disaster in the first place.
Even though a number of internet venues were looking forward to this game, it’s still pretty unheralded. I really hope it won’t be for long. It’s absolutely worth the 1200 point($15) price tag and I think everyone should at least try out the demo. You’ll either be hooked or you won’t, and if you are, you’re in for a great experience.
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