Indie games used to be unappealing to me, and not without good reason: the ones that I played were often desperate ripoffs of more popular franchises and failed to impress me. So when I heard about this new game around the block (when I bought the Humble Indie Bundle V package as a gift for a friend), I wasn’t very interested. But curiosity took the better of me once I learned that one had to pay more than the average to unlock Bastion in the Humble Bundle–and people were gladly doing so. That had to amount to something, right?
Thus began an experience introduced me to the wonderful world of undiscovered but potential hits that were indie games.
From the very beginning, I knew that Bastion was different from the traditional action RPG games that I was used to. Yes, I had an arsenal of weapons, a shield, and went through different levels. But your takeaway from this game should not be just another RPG that you blow through once you obtain the best weapons possible. Every little aspect of Bastion comes together to make Bastion a real work of art–and I don’t call video games art very often.
Perhaps the biggest trait that makes it a work of art is Bastion’s graphics. The bright colors paint the game much like a watercolor. Your movement, the cutscenes, how the environment responds to you–everything flows together to make one uninterrupted experience.
Bastion is a single player game, but rest assured that you are never truly alone, as you are accompanied by a dynamic narrator whose voice has become one of the game’s trademark aspects. Hearing his rich, deep voice narrate your every move is a pleasure. Add that to the amazing soundtrack the game comes along with, and sound is an absolute must for this game.
The popular hack-and-slash combat style defines Bastion’s gameplay, and it’s so mesmerizing that you have to remember to keep the story in mind as you go through levels. Your arsenal of weapons will keep you interested in the combat aspect of the game, and there are always new ways to demolish enemies. Minigames, or “Proving Grounds” let you test your prowess with your weapons against foes to unlock prizes.
Playing Bastion was much more important to me than just enjoying the game–it opened my eyes to the number of gems in the indie game world. After I finished the game, I played through all the other indies in Humble Bundle V, notable ones being Braid, Limbo, and Amnesia. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that Bastion remains the king of them all; it is truly a work of art you have to experience firsthand.