Hello fellow Time Wasters! Yeah, I know that "Best Indie Game of the Year?" might be a little cocky considering all the great indie titles that have come out, for example Minecraft, but let me promise you that this is no mistake. Just to give an idea of how highly I’m praising Bastion I should let everyone know that I’ve spent hundreds of hours in Minecraft, yet the six hours I spent in Bastion is much more valuable to me. Perhaps I’ve got some explaining to do.
Story is the single most important aspect of a game and, boy, does Bastion deliver. Our adventure starts with a lone Kid waking up to a Stranger’s voice. The world around him has been destroyed by something called "The Calamity" and he is off to the Bastion, the last line of defense for his people. The very first thing Kid notices is the ground forming up around him as he progresses. After reaching the Bastion we find the Stranger a fellow survivor like Kid. Now Kid must travel into the broken apart world to find Cores that can repair the Bastion and maybe more.
There are a couple of things that really set Bastion’s story apart from the average RPG. The world is one of these things. Unlike most apocalyptic world settings Bastion isn’t boring to look at by any means. The world though destroyed is filled with life. With how the world changes and forms around Kid it isn’t hard to say that the biggest living thing in game is in fact the world. This is why the world sets Bastion apart from most other games, it lives.
But Bastion doesn’t stop there, oh no. Imagine if everything you did in life was narrated to you by James Earl Jones or Peter Cullen? Well that’s what it feels like to play Bastion, except this narrator is Logan Cunningham, Stranger. Who is Logan Cunningham? He is the man with one of the most epic voices in the world, that’s who. Stranger won’t just fill you in on the story of the game either; he does so much more than that. Stranger offers his own opinions on the world, monster, and even weapons that Kid equips during his journey. With a game already so full of life it’s hard to add anymore but Bastion succeeds by creating these interesting and real characters who we truly want to see succeed.
Now not to be outdone by Stranger is Zia. While Zia doesn’t talk much she is responsible for one of the most beautiful songs to appear in video games this year.
I don’t know why a song about building a wall and digging a hole is so dang pretty but it is! In fact, it’s not just this song in Bastion that sounds great; the whole soundtrack is worth listening to. That’s great since it can be bought on both Steam and Supergiant Games website.
Finally, I want to talk about the gameplay of Bastion. One of the easiest games to compare Bastion to gameplay-wise is Diablo. No, it may not be deep or technical but the basic top down view and click away to kill monsters formula is there. Kid will come across a plethora of both ranged and melee weapons on this journey through his shattered world and all of them are upgradable. More than just that Kid is upgradable too. Consuming different drinks at the Distillery allow Kid to get a little extra punch in battle. These drinks act like a level up and can be switched out anytime at the Bastion.
Bastion has raised my expectations further than ever before for Indie developers and I’m anxious to see who else step up to the plate. It gave me a feeling of true satisfaction that I have long to feel from an Indie title and even goes so far as to be comparable to full $60 games.
Bastion worked hard and has easily earned itself 5 out of 5 GiN Gems!