Bastion – adventures in a floating world
In recent years, with the development of digital distribution platforms such as Steam, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, independent quality games have had an unprecedented explosion. One such game is the Bastion, action RPG game from the Supergiant Games. Originally released exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade, it has made its way on PC, where it shines even more due to the higher resolution offered by this platform.
Bastion puts us in the skin of “The Kid”, an inhabitant of “The City”, who finds himself in his home after a tragic event called “The Calamity”. We can see that the team behind the game has not been very much focused on attaching specific names of these elements, which are rather some symbols in this story. Well, The Calamity has fragmented the world in which our character lives, and now everything exists in the form of floating islands, interconnected by a series of portals based on ejection. Although at first we don’t know much about this world or about The Kid or The Calamity, the initial goal is to search the holder “Bastion” – the meeting place of the citizens of the City in case of a catastrophic event.
From the first seconds of the game we hear the voice of Rucks, the mentor of the kid. Thus we are introduced to the “dynamic narration” which shows everything that happens on the screen with this voice, whether we are talking about scripted events or actions that the player makes. Although this decision was very easy to ruin completely game design, the choice of voice for the character, Rucks, was one inspired one, the actor being able to offer the story in a very natural way. Despite the fact we are dealing with a game whose graphics are not at all realistic (this being close to a cartoon), thanks to the dynamic commentary, the world in which the action takes place seems to be alive and full of history.
It is a unique sensation in gaming the first moment you step through the game world, realizing that all levels are built around you. Whether on city streets or footpaths in the woods, nothing is in place at the beginning of the level. Exploring in all directions, each piece of the world before the calamity will rise, adding another plus to the visual chapter of the game.
I said at the beginning of the article that we deal with an action RPG game, but this is not visible from the beginning. Initially, everything seems to be a simple isometric action adventure game, the kid fighting the enemies that he encounters during fairly linear levels. He lack a proper inventory, but he can carry two weapons and a shield, plus a special ability.
Although we are not dealing with a very long game, the approximately six to seven hours of gameplay, it is a good investment that can turn into much more, thanks to the New Game+ option that open after finishing the game. This unlocks new abilities that can radically change the gameplay, while keeping all the weapons unlocked in the previous session.
Given that we are dealing with a downloadable game, which includes few items, I prefer to stop my small review here, but not before mentioning the fact that the Bastion is probably the most exciting action RPG game that I played lately.