Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bastion - Review of a telltale.

I must admit my first impression on Bastion wasn't very good. Seeing the trailers around the net i couldn't understant what was all the fuzz about a game that seemed 'just one more' dungeon crawler/beat em up. But the art kept drawing me to it, and so, when some weeks ago it was discounted on xbox live i thougth that was the final push i needed to try it.

Now all i can say is that i'm glad i bought it. Just finished my first playthrough yesterday, but i'm totally going for New game + to get the extra content.

The game story revolves about the destruction of Caelandia due to the an apocaliptic event called "The Calamity". The main character, simply referred by friends and foes alike as The Kid, awakes after this incident heading for the Bastion: a flying island where survivors agreed to meet in case some serious shit happened on the country.
The Bastion, your new home after The Calamity, has all what a hero needs.
That is if you can find it's fragments..

When the kid manages to get to the Bastion, he is charged with the task of finding survivors and restoring the Bastion to it's former glory by recovering shards of the ancient world. His epic task accompanied by the always present voice of Rucks: the first survivor, and narrator of sorts, he is the main point of this game being so awesome. If The Kid is the body of the game, enduring hordes of enemies in search of the parts of the Bastion, Rucks is the soul: through his words you will learn Caelandia's history, you will revive memories of old, and face the events of the near future.

"Man, that must have been some hell of a party."

Bastion is a tale of rediscovery. Through the stages you find out the main places that made Caelandia what it was and the people which lived there. The harms they faced and the works they performed. The spirits they drank and the music they played.

As you start rounding up survivors and discover more about The Calamity, things start to get a bit tense as frictions arise between the people of the Bastion, leading you to a climatic finale on the zero zone of the calamity, where your decisions as a player will decide the future of the survivors.

It's all fun and games until someone backstabs you...

Beautifuly hand drawn art is the main visual point of Bastion. From the begginning to the end the visuals are simply stunning and will make Caelandia stand coherent yet beautiful, from the backgrounds to the destroyable props.

This coupled with the awesome soundtrack, with tints of far west and post apocaliptic tunes, and the magnificent voiceover of Rucks complete an experience that you won't want to be ending.

And for that reason the developers thought in advance on replayability: plenty of weapon options and skills will make each trip into Caelandia an entirely different experience. Completed with the possibility of increasing the handicap by activating a number of collectible gods avilable on Caelandia's shrine, for those who want to spice up the challenge.
Also, new game plus will unlock new options, as you replay the game to reveal the alternative endings.

I've heard some concerns of pc players that it's controls on the mouse are a bit bothersome due to having to continuous clic, but on the xbox 360 the analog sticks played it fine, and also felt like the controls setup was just right so i didn't have to bother to change them.

Overall, the game feels and plays magnificently and if you are a fluent english language speaker you should get it without a thought. But if you are not, think twice, for half the game's appeal is in the voiceover.


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