Have you ever wanted to walk around in a live painting? With its beautiful, hand-painted 2D graphics, and the calm, comforting background music, Bastion is a joy to play. Bastion was developed by Supergiant Games, who describe themselves as “a small developer with big ambitions”. Well, they can be more than proud of the work they delivered.
Bastion first launched as an Xbox Live Arcade game on July 20th, 2011. Soon enough, they released a PC version of the game (which is the one I’m reviewing today). They also released versions for Chrome and Mac.
Don’t get yourself killed
When I started playing, it took me a while to get used to the controls. Playing with the WASD-keys in a 2D world has its cons, which I discovered soon enough when, less than 5 minutes after I started the game, I watched as I accidentally fell off the edge of the world. Yes, in this game, you have to be especially careful about where you step.
Fortunately, if ‘Normal’ mode offers too many frustrations, you can switch to ‘No-sweat mode’, in which you don’t have to worry about having a limited amount of lives. And if you want a little more action, you can increase the difficulty level by using Shrines that are available later on in the game.
When you start the game, you’re immediately thrown into the action. While exploring the world step by step, you can watch the world evolve right in front of you. With every step you take, the world around you unfolds.
Customise your character
As you venture through the world, you’ll discover new weapons and items that will make your journey a little less painful. You can, for instance, use a hammer and do large amounts of damage, or you can switch to a machete to quickly defeat your enemies. There are ranged weapons as well, if you prefer to shoot your enemies from a distance.
There are three buttons you can use to fight: your mouse buttons to use your weapons and the Q button to use your secret skill. Secret skills range from special attacks to summoning a companion to aid you during battle and require an item called ‘Black Tonic’ to use.
In Bastion, there are three buildings that will help you customise your character: the Arsenal, the Distillery and the Forge.
- Arsenal – Though you can only use two weapons and one secret skill at a time, you’ll be able to switch to a different set of weapons at any time by using the Arsenal.
- Forge – Instead of the epic weapon drops you see in your usual RPG, in Bastion you can collect gems which you can spend on weapon upgrades at the Forge.
- Distillery – And if that isn’t enough, the Distillery allows you to pick a set of Spirits that can be used to enhance your abilities.
In Bastion, the focus lies on the ‘action’ part of ‘action-RPG’ and the strength of your character is not only defined by the skills of your character, but your skills as a player as well.
In Bastion, you play as ‘The Kid’, a boy who awakens and discovers the entire civilisation has been destroyed by an event referred to as The Calamity. It is your task to help rebuild the Bastion, the civilisation’s last refuge.
Bastion wouldn’t be the same without the narrator we are later introduced to as ‘The Stranger’. Logan Cunningham is the one providing the excellent narration in this game. What is so unique about this game is that just about every step you take is narrated. From the directions you take, to the moment you die, and the moment you enter a new area, everything is narrated.
Though this is not the first game with good voice acting, this is one of those games in which narration is a huge part of the game.
Build the Bastion
Once you’ve completed the first level and have unlocked the Bastion, a new world opens up for you. By using the Skyway you can fly to any new unlocked areas.
There is a bit of variety in the type of areas you’ll get to choose from. There are areas in which you have to complete quests, as well as areas with mini-games that allow you to win prizes such as materials to upgrade your weapons.
Is it worth the cash?
The Bastion is a unique game, set in a colourful, detailed 2D world. The voice acting plays a major part in the game and actually makes the game more fun to play.
If you’re looking for a unique gaming experience and don’t mind accidentally falling off the world once in a while, you will love this game.
There is a demo available on Steam if you want to try out the game before you buy it.Bastion,