Every now and then in the gaming ether something emerges that is truly a fantastic and awesome all-round piece of art without doubt. It hits all the right qualities in the perfect way from the music, to the gameplay and up to the story. Bastion is one of those games.
You play as `The Kid` a survivor of something called the Calamity that appears to have turned others from where you live into stone. As a survivor you find your way to the Bastion. The first port of call in an emergency only to find one other survivor, `The Stranger`, a deep gruff man who narrates your story as you play which gives it a fantastic dynamic of telling the player the story from a 3rd person perspective whilst the player is able to play it first hand.
So as the story goes you must find these pieces of mystical rock called `The Core`, these artifacts should resurrect the Bastion to full power and along with it you have the ability to build some buildings that will help you through your journey. An Armoury to pick your weapons from (and there are some fantastic weapons in this game, believe me. Catering to all play styles from quick and light to heavy and slow, ranged and up close and personal), A foundry to upgrade the weapons you find (for a fee of course), A Distillery to pick which `tonics` you have active (essentially passive traits that could help you in tough situations – they boost some stats per tonic) and a couple others to help/challenge you as you see fit.
One major part of the game is that as you travel along each level you can’t technically see where you’re going to go as the floor forms up from the ground to support you and point you in the right way which is admittedly a really cool way to set out the players path as you smash, cut, shoot and blast your way through the plethora of enemies you get to fight.
Out in the wilds, beyond the Bastion that becomes your central hub and home you will find as said many enemies but not to fret as you are given Health Potions and Black Tonics (which you need to perform your `special` moves which can reign destruction down in very artistic and exquisite ways). As you progress and you become more aware of many of the elements of the game, for instance the Narrators voice and the music styles, you can’t help but feel the game has this wonderful little western tinge added into the mix somewhere. This doesn’t mean you become a cow-boy, it just means many of the qualities in the game wouldn’t be out of place in a saloon.
As well as the wilds and the weapon training grounds you will come across several levels called `Somewhere Else`, these are dream sequences where you will face waves of enemies. Now its a different lay out in the fact its waves and not a structured level which you explore, however these dream sequences (and there may be one or 2 in the campaign) are brilliant `trip` sequences where colours have more contrast and seem brighter (imagine the confusion that follows say the `trip` sequences in Far Cry 3).
One of the many fantastic elements of this game has to be the ending (no spoilers don’t worry). You’re given a couple opportunities to choose a few things which is a nice change for what is an important ending. The reason I bring these choices up are because of the fact that (due to my choices) it can give the game an incredible beautiful moment or two (I have not played the other choices…. yet).
However the game isn’t over when you make these choices, you now have the opportunity to play New Game Plus. You get to play again with all your weaponry, Xp and extra stuff too (something i’m currently doing with all 10 idols active – idols make it more challenging, think Skulls in Halo).
Bastion is an infinitely beautiful game with the artwork and music especially (I’ve written this whilst listening to the soundtrack). It is a fantastic game from SuperGiant games and I hope that their new project Transistor has a similar mesh of awesomeness.
Bastion definite 10/10, Thanks for reading 😉