I didn’t like what I heard when I first watched the first footage of Supergiant Games’ Bastion over at GiantBomb. I thought the narrator was too talkative and annoying. But I was a mere spectator then. Now that I actually played as the protagonist — known only as “the kid” — and triggered those commentaries for myself, I found it added to the experience like a carefully timed rumble of the controller.
It was easy to be charmed by Bastion’s presentation. The narrator, the colorful 2D art and the music that transported me to another land all worked to build a unique and inviting experience.
Like with Renegade Ops, Bastion reminded me of games from the 16-bit era with its top-down perspective and straight forward game design. The game wasn’t complex at all and I could see why some pegged it as being too basic.
By default, the game did not throw much at me. If I wanted a challenge, there were challenge levels and even some Halo-styled campaign skull equivalents called idols which gave the enemies an advantage. These added challenges brought out the nuance and depth of the combat system.
Like the pieces of the levels that assembled in front of him, “the kid”, unlocked more abilities, weapons and unraveled more of the story as I progressed through Caelondia. The upgrades made my life easier, but I don’t believe they were necessary to reach the very end and discover the truth behind that infamous “Calamity” that destroyed Caelondia.
I enjoyed my time in Bastion a lot — so much so that I even contemplated going back in with “New Game +”. Everything about it from a presentation standpoint was sublime. In the age of polygons and guns, it’s easy for a game like this to get lost in the shuffle, but don’t let this game pass you by. Not only is it a refreshing palette cleanser, it’s genuinely unlike anything you’ve seen before.
For more information on Bastion, visit the official website.
2010 PC Rev. 1.1 was used to play Bastion.