Computer graphics have come a long way since good super Mario. Every year there are more polygons being added to our 3D game characters and worlds, in a bid to create hyper realism? We live in times when virtual worlds try really, really hard to imitate the real world. Who shall save us from all this drab realism? Enter Bastion – and action RPG to the core, Bastion is beautiful to look at. Its vibrant colors and water color art style immediately suck you into its world. Even though the top down isometric view isn’t exactly new, Bastion makes up for it with its distinctive and memorable style. But what truly sets Bastion apart from any other RPG is its narrator. The narrator’s gravelly; Clint Eastwoodish voice reacts to every move you make. He is your guide, critic, mentor and father figure, all rolled into one. His constant presence throughout the game makes Bastion a deeply emotional story to live thorough.
You are a kid, a white haired resident from the city of Caelondia, and you wake up on a small piece of land floating high above the earth. The first thing you notice is that you literally build the world around you with every step you take. You also learn quickly that the city has suffered from a great calamity and in this situation; the survivors were told to gather at the Bastion. Here you meet Rucks, our narrator who is the only other survivor who’s come to the Bastion. You are asked to retrieve cores that will help rebuild the buildings on the Bastion. These cores are scattered across different areas around the world. Killing foes earns you fragments, which can be spent to upgrade your character and weapons in the Bastion’s various buildings. Change your weapon in the Arsenal, increase the difficulty by worshiping different Gods in the Shrine and crafts your weapons to perfection in the Forge.
As you progress in your adventure, you shall find various types of melee and ranged weapons. Each weapon has its own special skills that prove useful when you are caught in a tight situation. What’s more, you can practice using every weapon in special areas called Proving Grounds. If you are able to finish certain achievements with skill, then the Proving Grounds rewards you with experience points and secret weapon skills. The combat in Bastion is fluid and challenging. Enemies usually have a power up animation before they attack you. Depending on the situation, you can either block and reflect the damage back with your shield or dodge them at the very last instant. These skills are tested even more in dream like stages where 20 waves of different enemies are thrown right at you. Just like the Proving Grounds, you are rewarded for every wave you survive with fragments and little tidbits of back story about some characters you meet further in the game.
But, what does tie Bastion’s gorgeous aesthetics and its gruff narrator together? – Its amazing soundtrack. The developer, Super-giant Games, really outdid themselves with the game’s music. In fact, the soundtrack is so good that you won’t be surprised if you stood idle for a minute or two in the game just to enjoy the in-game music. Bastion puts some tough choices in front of you as you progress through the game. A single play through will cost you 6-8 hours, depending on how much of the world you choose to explore. And for the gamers who like to pick up their upgrades even after the game is over, Bastion offers a new Game Plus option. So go ahead, lose yourself in the vibrant and colorful world of Bastion.