In anticipation of the release of Supergiant’s third game Pyre, I’ve decided to play through and review their previous two titles, Bastion and Transistor.
Bastion is an action RPG released in 2011. The game is about a young adult referred to as The Kid who’s world literally falls apart after an event known as The Calamity. He heads to the Bastion and from their sets off on an adventure to get it fully functional.
The presentation of this game is simply incredible. Every background is hand drawn and looks beautiful. Your actions are narrated by another character, who offers insight into what the player is doing. This never gets overbearing and is actually extremely entertaining. Although the music isn’t what I’d normally listen too, it’s rather pleasant in this game and an incredible amount of effort has been put into the Bastion’s soundtrack.
The writing is also brilliant. The game is able to craft a fascinating world with the aforementioned narration. Each item and location has its place in the lore. On top of that, the actual story is emotional, and this is probably one of the few games that makes you feel sorry for your enemies.
Gameplay mainly involves moving through an area whilst engaging in combat. The player gets about ten weapons to pick from, each with their own weaknesses and strengths. Each enemy is different and certain weapons and tactics are more effective against certain types. Probably my only minor complaints are that some areas can be a bit tight, which makes dodging attacks quite difficult, and that some enemies can induce this blur effect on the screen. Both are rare but worth mentioning.
Difficulty in the game can be adjusted at the Shrine, granting enemies certain buffs. I’d argue some of these are slightly unfair, granting enemies a random chance to not be injured from an attack, but are otherwise a great addition. There also completely optional if a player does not wish to use them. If you really want you can even play the game on an easy mode (called No-Sweat Mode). All in all, this allows gamers of all skill levels to have a challenge.
I guess the only other complaint I’d have is the game is only roughly six or seven hours long, but that doesn’t include the optional challenges or dream sequences. There’s also a New Game Plus mode which combined with the fact that there are two endings, makes at least two playthroughs worthwhile.
If you haven’t played Bastion yet, you owe it to yourself to experience one of the greatest indie games to come out in recent years. In a world filled with lazy open world games, it’s rather refreshing to play a linear experience that is crafted to take the player on an amazing journey.