Game Review by Super Searcher
Bastion was created by a team of seven people working out of a house in San Jose. It’s the first and only game created so far by the company, Supergiant Games. The team developed the game over almost two years, starting in September 2009, and funded it themselves. After a good showing at the March 2011 Game Developers Conference, Warner Bros. signed on to publish and distribute the game. Bastion is available for a variety of platforms.
Bastion is a third-person single-player fantasy adventure game where you play an unnamed character, nicknamed “The Kid.” The planet you’re living on was destroyed by “The Calamity.” You wake up on a floating piece of debris. After wandering around for a brief amount of time, you meet up with fellow survivors on “The Bastion,” a partially ruined ship. You must gather supplies to repair it to working condition. Along the way, you pick up various weapons from a machete to a rocket launcher, to help you fight strange enemy creatures. There’s more to the game than this, but I don’t want to give away the story.
Bastion is an eye-catching game with hand-painted artwork by Jen Zee. The soft watercolor-style backgrounds are a striking contrast to the way most post-apocalyptic worlds are represented. The artist appears to have been influenced by Japanese landscape paintings. The main action takes place on colorful platforms that float and move in the sky above the scenery, providing an almost 3-D feel. Don’t get too close to the edge!
During the whole game, you listen to a narration by one of the other survivors, known as “The Stranger.” The Sam Elliot-esque voiceover provides background details without needing to read long text or wait through cut-scenes. Besides the narrator, you listen to one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a game. What’s even more amazing is that all of the sounds, narration, and music were entirely recorded in a CLOSET.
Bastion’s fantastic soundtrack was produced by songwriter and composer Darren Korb. He describes the musical style as being a kind of “acoustic frontier trip-hop,” though “spaghetti westerns” comes to mind as well. It also contains hints of Middle-Eastern and Indian tunes, as well as some original vocals, the lyrics of which are based on the game’s deep backstory. All of this adds to the unique atmosphere of the game.
The developers poured their hearts and talents into this game and it shows. Bastion has won many nominations and awards since its release. At the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards, Bastion won the Best Original Score and Best Downloadable Game awards, and “Build That Wall (Zia’s Theme)” won the Best Song in a Game award. At the 2012 Game Developers Conference awards, Bastion won the Best Downloadable Game award and Supergiant Games won the Best Debut award.
Supergiant Games is a small developer with big ambitions: to make games that spark your imagination like the games you played a kid. On their first anniversary, the game developers stated: “We never could have expected this kind of success for our first game and love having such a high standard to live up to with whatever we do next.” If you want to try a uniquely different gaming experience, buy Bastion. Go to http://supergiantgames.com.