Developed by Supergiant Games back in 2011, Bastion is still very much worth your time and attention. It combines a wonderful aesthetic with fast-paced and exciting gameplay.
- Dynamic Voiceover/Narration
- Repetitive Gameplay
Bastion doesn’t waste any time setting up the story, instead opting to tell you all you need to know as you progress through the game via the dynamic narration. That means less time stopping and reading through text, and more time bashing, hacking, shooting, stabbing or burning baddies.
You play as ‘The Kid’, and you’re thrust right into a fantasy world (with western and steampunk vibes) teetering on the brink of destruction thanks to an event called ‘The Calamity’. It’s your job to vanquish enemies with a variety of weapons and help rebuild the world you’ve almost lost.
The gameplay involves running around a floating isometric world (yes, you can fall off the edges) fighting various numbers, types and sizes of enemy, collecting and upgrading weapons, as well as using resources you collect to construct buildings within the ‘Bastion’ (a hub world where you can upgrade your character.
You can also complete various challenge courses from within the ‘Bastion’ that can lead to more resources and other prizes.
While the variety of weapons and enemies is fine, and there’s plenty of fun to be had tinkering with your character’s loadout between each level, the gameplay can start to feel fairly repetitive by the latter stages, and the overall experience is a fairly brief one (you can expect the game to last around 8 hours). However, these are two very minor issues in an otherwise excellent and enjoyable game.
The visuals and soundtrack are easily two of the best things about it. Hand-painted, vibrant and colourful levels are packed with great details, and there’s a foot-tapping, western-inspired soundtrack to enjoy that sounds like it could have come straight out of Joss Whedon’s brilliant ‘Firefly’ TV series.
Come for the artwork and soundtrack and stay for the exciting and enjoyable, if somewhat repetitive, gameplay. While the game is short, you’ll have plenty of fun tinkering with the customisable elements of the game, and completing all the separate challenges. It’s an absolute no-brainer considering the relatively low investment of time and money it requires.
By the way, if you are intrigued by Bastion, then it would be worth reading our review of ‘Transistor’ (Supergiant’s follow-up to Bastion). It’s very similar in gameplay to Bastion, but with a different, sci-fi aesthetic.