The last generation of video games on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 delivered the first steady stream of what was termed Indie games to mainstream consoles. The Xbox delivered on this in a big way and one title stood out early on and has remained to this day heralded not only as one of the best Indie games available but one of the best examples of storytelling in video games to date. Of Course we are talking about Supergiant Games title Bastion.
Bastion first burst onto the scene on Xbox 360 in July of 2011 releasing via the Xbox Arcade store. The title was then later released to PC and now finally sees its console debut on a Playstation platform. So we reviewed Bastion on PS4 so if you’re a newcomer who hasn’t yet had the chance to play this title or someone looking for a great excuse to jump back in here’s our review of Bastion on PS4.
Bastion has been seen as a beautiful looking role playing action game and its jump to PS4 sees it continue to look just as splendid. The look and feel is very crisp delivering super sharp and stunning HD graphics. It looks a step up on its Xbox 360 sister version but nothing more than a real port of its PC version. There have been some little tweaks to bring this in line with the PS4 by utilising the touchpad however this is simply for info checking during gameplay and doesn’t quite see the utilisation in hardware that Transistor did.
For players who didn’t get the chance to play this title but were taken by Supergiant Games most recent hit Transistor then Bastion is a perfect addition to your collection. Bastion set the benchmark in story telling and much like transistor the complex and narration driven gameplay from Logan Cunningham is outstanding. It mergers gameplay response with twists and a unique angle to story telling I’ve yet to find in any other game. Having being daft enough to miss out on Bastion first time round (having only scratched the surface) I was intrigued to see how this game would compare to Transistor. There are alot of similarities in terms of story narration, level design and gameplay and this is no negative thing as each are excellent examples of their craft.
Bastion’s gameplay is fantastic with progression trees across character, weapons and difficulties to really keep you motivated in game and adding plenty longevity despite the fact the game is relatively short at 6 hours if you take its main campaign as the be all and end all. Of Course the campaign and storytelling of Bastion is the showpiece but surrounding this the game encompasses many side activities which don’t feel separate and at all times feel like they add value to your main playthrough. Proving grounds are a great example of this (similar to training levels in Transistor) beat the clock or the score and see yourself earning XP to take into the main game or materials through prizes to improve your weapons in the forge. Proving grounds are a great way to showcase and learn your new abilities and weapons. Theres plenty to uncover as you march through the campaign. The levels are linear but your approach can be anything but linear. Bastion makes you consider your approach, hone your skills with the new weapons and pick an armory for each level that suits the enemy type ahead of you. However this is diminished slightly as you never really know what lies ahead in this game, so you will mostly find loadout switches come into play when you die and want to reconsider your approach. Better yet you’ve stuck some Shrine Idols on which force an entirely different approach.
Shrine Idols are Bastions way of making things that bit tougher for you like Skulls in Halo and identical to Limiters in Transistor. You pick and choose which idols are on and how tough you want your enemy to be. Why do this? Well a simple playthrough will get you to around level 5 or 6. Stick a few idols on and that XP growth sky rockets and helps you progress further rewarding new unlocks and theres a few trophies to grab in doing so. Shrine Idols also help add to the games longevity your second playthrough will see you carry your skill tree and XP over so boosting your character this way is a brilliant way to keep the game challenging whilst adding variety and depth to your gameplay.
Bastion isn’t all about making it tough for players casual modes are here for players who want to jump in and simply feel calmed as they are narrated through the story with enemies offering little in the way of a challenge. However if you want to really experience this game then avoid this mode. Additional modes are also available upon the story completion. New Game Plus is available and this is where you can build on your progression with tougher enemies however following the same level on a hunt for cores and shards.
The step up to PS4 will reward players with super smooth gameplay in all areas but better still offers players the ability to observe the award winning art direction in full 1080P. The games visuals are beautiful and lovingly crafted. The environments as well as enemies all have unique looks and character movements which fit with the games style. The artistic styling also complements the subtle but straightforward UI with gameplay elements such as enemy health sitting well and not over bearing on screen.
The full soundtrack to Bastion is as expected present in this re release and offers players another chance to listen to this stunning piece of work. It is one of the best pieces of video gaming music in modern times and should be on every gamer’s playlist. How it fits and intertwined with the narration and action gameplay is incredible.
Bastion is not just another remaster, in fact it aint a remaster its pretty much a straight port from the PC version but it doesn’t need to be anything other as its still pretty much almost perfect. Few games have stood the test of time like Bastion has and at around 4 years old is till the daddy of Indie games in our eyes. Bitworks are the team responsible for ensuring this title made a steady voyage to PS4 and indeed it definitely has.
Bastion will also be making an appearance on the PSVita and should sit right at home on the handheld. As a result the game will support Cross Buy so if you pick this up on PS4 then its yours once it arrives on PSVita. Its not clear yet if Cross save will be available however this is being worked on.
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