Over the past couple years, developers have started to realize that games needed more than just solid mechanics and an interesting plot. While these are all still important, they realized that even more is needed in order to make a game truly memorable. One of the biggest examples of this would be Super Mario Brothers’ soundtrack or Portal’s dialogue. Bastion, the latest game from new studio Supergiant Games, is a prime example of this realization.
The first thing that presents itself to new players is the incredibly unique form of storytelling in the game. The only text presented on screen are some black and white still-shots with very few words.
how long is bastion?
Instead, during the game’s introduction (and occasionally throughout the game), you will hear dialogue between two of the characters. The narrator, Rucks, speaks in a tone that is both monotonous and hypnotic at the same time while Zia asks questions or comments to him. There are no subtitles on these conversations but they give the player a great insight into the setting.
This brings up another unique element to Bastion: the narrator Rucks, who speaks during nearly every facet of the game. Whether it’s just some commentary on how you are playing or an introduction to an enemy, he is always there speaking with his monotone voice about what is happening in the game. While it has already been done before, the developers at Supergiant made this element work very well.
Introduce the game and its premise
Let the player play and discover things for themselves. This is what Bastion does and it works very well. Unlike other games, there is no infodump at the beginning of the game – instead, the information about what’s going on in the world comes as you need to know it.
You also can’t talk about great storytelling without mentioning the graphics. Bastion employs a very unique, colorful art style that not only fits well with the narration but adds greatly to the atmosphere. Most of this is due to CCR’s musical score and Logan Cunningham’s voice acting in Rucks.
Discuss the pros (graphics, story, gameplay) and cons (length of playtime, multiplayer mode)
The final thing that I want to touch on are the mechanics of the game. Like other action RPGS, your character gains experience and levels up by killing enemies. This allows you to use points received from leveling up to increase different aspects of your character such as strength or luck.
There is also a large variety in terms of weapons in this game, with each weapon having three different forms that you can switch into. For example, the hammer has one form where it shoots projectiles in an arc, another where it fires rapidly like a machine gun, and another where it slams the ground sending out shockwaves.
Summarize players’ reactions so far
Bastion is a game that shows how special games can really be. It isn’t just the narrator or the visuals but it’s about everything coming together to create an exceptional game. The story, action, and sound all work together in harmony to provide gamers with one of the most memorable gaming experiences that they will ever have.
Give your own opinion on the game
Bastion is one of those games that does everything right. It’s a short but very sweet experience that, while it may frustrate some gamers who like to get their hands on everything in a game, will be greatly appreciated by gamers who like story and atmosphere over gameplay length. If you are one of those gamers, then I highly suggest you check out Bastion.
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Bastion is available now on PC for $14.99 or 1200 Microsoft Points and has been ported to Mac OS X by TransGaming with a release set in July 2012.