Every once in a while, a game comes along and gives me exactly what I’m looking for in a game at that time. Sometimes I am just really ready to play a certain game, I just don’t know what I’m looking for until I’ve found it. Luckily that happened to me a few weeks ago with the action RPG Bastion.
Bastion and I clicked on so many levels from the very beginning. First, the story. Before the events of the game begin, a terrible disaster, called the Calamity, struck the land of Caelondia, tearing the land to pieces and turning all but a few people to ash. Before the Calamity took place, a safe haven was built and named the Bastion. However, the Bastion couldn’t be completed in time and wasn’t able to save the citizens of Caelondia. There is where your quest begins, to restore the power of the Bastion in hopes of fixing what the Calamity started. In the levels and missions that follow, you travel the land looking for magical shards and crystals that help finish the Bastion. You battle beasts and monsters, deal with the agony of loss and betrayal and uncover a world destroyed by the Calamity. The Bastion’s story is deep, rich and told in such a way as to keep the pace of the game always moving forward.
There are many ways for a game to stand out against the rest, and the way that Bastion does that is through its narration. Rather than filling you in on back story through long lines of text that stop you from playing, instead the game is narrated by one of the characters in the game. And when I say the game is narrated, the entire story of Bastion is narrated. It is not to the point of distraction, but rather really connects you to the story. The narrator will make comments about the choices you make or the monsters that you have to battle. He will also fill you in on the land you are traveling through or regale you with a tale about how the Caelondia was before the Calamity hit. This was one of the best and unique parts about playing Bastion. It really helped the story move along quickly, but kept you really invested in the story and all the characters that surrounded it.
So great story, awesome narration, but was Bastion actually fun to play. The answer is most definitely a yes. This was exactly the the game play I was in the mood for. You had a main weapon, a secondary weapon, a special move and a shield. You could roll away from attacks and that was about it. No combos to memorize or funky controls to deal with, the game play was simple and minimal. It really allowed for you to enjoy the battles with the numerous beasts in Caelondia rather than the controls getting in the way of game play.
Bastion was exactly the kind of game I was looking for in both an engaging story and simple, fun game play. Add the narration piece on top and Bastion became an easy triple threat. Beyond the main story, Bastion comes with a number of different modes and several achievements to go after in order to extend the enjoyment of the game past the 5 hours it takes to complete. I hate to overly gush about any game, but Bastion is a must play.