Bastion is a game that proves compelling titles can come from a small independent team. Visually the game is gorgeous with it’s hand painted art style and colorful palette thanks to Jen Zee. Not only are the visuals a sight to behold but the audio work and soundtrack are brilliant and what the composer refers to as “acoustic frontier trip-hop”. On top of that the voiceover work done by the surprisingly young Logan Cunningham adds comedic grittiness. Speaking of the narration the folks at Supergiant don’t just throw lines of dialogue at you. No, instead the narrator reacts to events in the game in real time. So if you say, fall off of a cliff, the narrator might say something like “And so the Kid fell to his death…just kidding.” It’s a clever twist on storytelling and helps set_Bastion_ apart from other games.
You start out as a young man named the Kid and who discovers the world of Caelondia has been smashed and separated into floating land masses by something knows as the Calamity. Early on you find yourself battling through enemies in a hack and slash format until you reach Bastion: a refuge for those looking to escape the dangers of the new world. It is here you meet an elderly man named Rucks who tasks you with recovering Cores that harness power to restore Caelondia to it’s state before it was destroyed. Along the way you’ll rescue survivors and slowly unravel the mystery of the events that transpired.
It’s at this moment that Bastion picks up as our hero is now able to carry two weapons with him at all times with each one having it’s pros and cons. This gives you the option to customize your weapon set to better suite your play style. You can go in for close combat with guns blazing, pick you enemies off from a distance, or do a mix of both. It’s really up to you. Along with your two weapons the Kid can also have one special ability equipped at any given time. The options range wildly from a stat boost for your weapons to firing a barrage of arrows at once or having grenades at your disposal. To round out the combat is a dodging and shield system. If for whatever reason this gameplay sounds too easy for you—fear not! Each weapon has three tiers of upgrades from which you can select two to activate. This is done by scavenging rare minerals after battles or using currency you find throughout your journey. If that still isn’t enough there’s a brewery that has different drinks available for purchase, granting the ability to activate idols or trigger different abilities. When idols are activated your enemies are more heavily armored with larger life meters and in exchange for beating them you’re rewarded with more XP and rare materials, both of which are useful for acquiring upgrades. You can play through different challenges if the main story isn\’t enough for you, and there\’s always new game+ mode.
Bastion is four years old by now and finally making it to the PlayStation platform, but that does’t mean you should sit this one out if you haven’t played it. The game holds up just as well today as it did back then and I suspect in the future it will do the same. Bastion is available for PS4 with a PS Vita version currently in development.
UPDATE: After quite some time the PS Vita version of Bastion is upon us! It\’s free if you own the PlayStation 4 version and includes support for cross-save. If you want to buy the PS Vita version it\’s priced at $2.99 on the PlayStation Store.