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My name is [REDACTED]: Journey’s magical online play

Thursday, 15th March 2012 07:45 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Now Journey has launched in Europe, gamers will witness one of the best experiences of this generation. As Johnny Cullen explains, the game is at its most charming online.

But the most magical thing about Journey’s multiplayer? The silence. There’s no screaming, no moaning, nothing of the sort. There’s no voice option at all, meaning the only way to communicate is the circle button.

My first bad experience online? I was in a race on Project Gotham Racing 3. I heard a group made mostly of Brits. I wanted to talk down the headset about how cool it was to be gaming online, but I got talked down and was told to “shut up”.

Six years on it still burns, but the problem hasn’t gone away. Look around and the chances are you’ll see grown men complain about the amount of ten-year olds on games like Modern Warfare, Gears of War or Halo, and how much they whine about stuff on their headset. You’ll find it in most popular multiplayer titles.

Embarkation

But yet, one game is aiming to bring a stop to all the browbeating. That game is Journey, now released in the EU. I’ve already said how incredible thatgamecompany’s latest release is. Journey is a puzzle-based experience in which you walk toward a mountain. It’s spellbinding.

This time, thatgamecompany’s has included an online segment – Flow and Flower were both single-play only – and has drummed up unique take on co-op.

For a start, whenever you join up with someone, it won’t be anyone you know. A partner could also spring on you at any time throughout your travels. There’s no lobbies, no ‘get ready to begin’ messages, nothing like that. Instead, Journey throws an unknown player into your game.

And sometimes it does the opposite by chucking you into their game. The nifty thing is you may not know there’s another player with you, at least at first. The only way to tell if someone else is in your world is through a bright signal that lies in the outer rim of the screen, pinpointing your partner.

Players also typically have the misconception that if you have a stupid PSN ID the chances are they’re going to avoid playing with you. In Journey, you’ll not see the other player’s name until the credits, which will remove any barrier that your playing with a dudebro who you may perceive to play dudebro games.

Arrival

But the most magical thing about Journey’s multiplayer? The silence. There’s no screaming, no moaning, nothing of the sort. There’s no voice option at all, meaning the only way to communicate is the circle button.

The amazing thing about it is that how you communicate could be open to interpretation. Are you calling for help? Asking your partner to stay behind? Or, for a silly reason, are you just looking to talk in to each other?

On your own, Journey is already an incredible experience. It’s so fresh and human, thatgamecompany would have had its biggest hit yet without the inclusion of online.

But the co-op really does add to the joy. It removes any barriers you might have in playing with someone and adds more value to the game. There’s nothing else like it out there at the moment.

You owe yourself to download Journey, whether you play it online or not.

Journey is out now on PlayStation Network for £9.99/$14.99.

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9 Comments

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  1. XaosWolf

    In the short time it takes to play through (It’s meant to be played in one sitting) you become more emotionally invested in your character and companion than in any RPG I’ve played.

    And having the only method of communication equate to a melodic sonar ping is actually the perfect design choice, and reminds me of ICO and SotC and their companions.

    Overall, it is certainly something special to experience, especially with a stranger.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Zana

    No conflict. It’s just journeying together to reach the goal. Simple, yet so beautiful.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    Still haven’t played it. I might look at it tonight.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. KAP

    This has to be the best article you guys have done thus far.
    I agree with it completely.
    This game has hit me more then any other game has this gen.

    Game of the year for me.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ge0force

    Journey is awesome, best downloadable game of this generation for me. ThatGameCompany should not stop making this kind of games for PSN.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Deacon

    I agree with all of the above. I’m desperately trying to dedicate an entire evening to this game, but time has been scarce.

    Pat you should definitely check this one out for yourself!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. jana

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dragon246

    GOTY for this year.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. speedxl01

    I’m buying it this weekend, to much good reviews, and I loved Flower too.

    #9 2 years ago