Video Game Review: Bastion

Details: Released in 2011. Played on the PC and purchased through Steam distribution platform for one dollar. Beat the game in about eight hours.

Bastion was a slog for me to get through. I don’t like action role-playing games nor do I like top down action role playing games. I didn’t like Diablo and this game plays a lot like that, but simpler. The strongest parts of this game are the art direction, music and presentation. However, no matter how good the game looked, the paper thin story and gameplay made me want to quit the game multiple times. I had to force myself to finish the game.

Bastion takes place in a ravaged world. A calamity has befallen the world and you are one the sole survivors. You decide to follow the instructions of another survivor and travel the world seeking crystals that may help fix the world.

The story is lacking, though this is an independent game so the budget was likely minimal. Story for me is the primary incentive to play any game and the lacking story here did little to encourage me through the game. I will say that I enjoyed the last hour or so of the game. The other seven were tough to muddle through.

Gameplay is simple. You get to weapons and you can use those to traverse around the map and either hitting or shooting at enemies. You find new weapons as you play the game and you can upgrade these weapons, making them more powerful. I don’t love this time of top-down action role-playing game style gameplay.

The strongest part of this game is the presentation. Visually, it is one of the most visually satisfying games I’ve ever played. The whole game has a very deliberately drawn look to it and it works. I played the game in 1080p resolution and the game still look good despite coming out years ago.

The audio is also pretty good. All voice acting is almost entirely done by one person, which is the other survivor of the calamity who narrates your entire story. It’s pretty cool hearing him narrate your adventure as it happens, describing specific actions you take as you do them. The music is also pretty good despite the small amount of tracks.

Overall, Bastion was fun at times, but mostly tough for me to muddle through. If you like independent games or very artistic games, then I can recommend this game to you. Personally, I found it really boring, though nice to look at.

Score: 4/10

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