Bastion: where gaming meets genius
When Supergiant Games released Bastion
in August 2011, probably they themselves probably won't have dreamt of the enormous critical acclaim their debut title would get. Seldom has an independent developer hit the gaming scene with such an original and beautiful game as in this case.
When I started Bastion
for the first time, I immediately got the feeling I was in for a special treat. Few games begins as arrestingly as this one, with the whiskey- and smoke-weathered voice of the "narrator" immediately setting the scene. This narrative aspect proved crucial in the way Bastion
drawed me into its world. It seemed like every step I made or every action I tried, could be met with some commentary. This feeling that the story develops "on the spot" is further enhanced by the fact that the world literally materialised under my feet as I ventured further out. This world is painted in bright and gorgeous colours with a teint all of their own: Bastion
would be immediately recognizable just by looking at the colour-pallette.
The story by itself proved interesting enough to keep me playing, wanting to discover step-by-step how things would develop with the Bastion and the protagonists. Gameplay-wise, Bastion
is not as innovative as in its storytelling or visuals, but it takes a well-tried formula into perfection. At its core, it is an action-rpg (light), preferably to be played with an xbox 360 controller (as are so many games the past years!). Controls are perfectly laid out and very intuitive: after a couple of hours I played it as if I had done so for several years. As the game progresses, more weapons and special abilities are unlocked, all with their distinctive characteristics. Weapons can be upgraded in five stages each, and liquids add some punch to the main-characters possibilities. Several other elements complement this core gameplay so that there is always enough variety to keep things interested. I even signed up immediately for the "new game plus" mode after completing the game a first time, looking forward to more unlocks of different sorts.
Another department where Bastion
truly shines, is its soudtrack. Seldom has ingame-music helped me so much in getting "into" the game, as it captures the mood of every level to perfection. Combined with the unique grain of the narrator's voice, this develops into a great listening experience. The developers also did a wonderful jobs in the myriad of smaller sounds present in the game: every weapon for example has a unique "ring" to it, from the zippy sound of the Breaker's Bow to the rusty clack of the Musket. There really is no weak link in this game. Everything is extremely well thought-off, and even better implemented. It's a must-play for everyone who loves pc gaming.
Sound: 10/10 (maybe the best of all elements in this game)
Longelivety: 8/10 (I played it for over 25 hours, exploring it to the full)
Technical: 10/10 (no issues whatsoever)
Steam-integration: 8/10 (trading cards, leaderbords and achievements included, the latter good but not special)
Personal appreciation: 9/10
I completely love Bastion
and recommend it emphatically. Since I started writing reviews of the games I play on Steam almost a year ago, this is the first game that gets a score in the 90's - I don't want to ruin my scoring-system with giving too many high-scores. But this one deserves it to the full.