EVERY now and then, a game like Journey comes long and makes the entire review process a total nightmare. Not because of its complexity - in fact, the Playstation Network exclusive Journey is almost elegantly uncomplicated.
The frustration in reviewing Journey stems from its indescribable element of fun. It's not something you can commit to words, really - that ' X Factor'.
Your goal in Journey is to make your way from the desert the the mountain you see looming in the distnce.
You'll find the solutions simply by exploring the landscape, which you'll want to do in part to track down hidden collectibles, and in part because it's just so damn beautiful.
When you begin the game, you receive a scarf that gets a bit longer every time you find a glowing symbol.
When your scarf is fully charged, you can fly, which helps you reach out-of-the way locations. The bits of fabric you see fluttering around will recharge your scarf, or even supercharge you for a bit so that you can fly extra high.
Sometimes, they even act like magic carpets, sliding under your feet and whisking you away to another location.
Their presence is both friendly and comforting, as they gracefully float ahead to guide you through the dunes, or twirl around you like a tiny cyclone as though they're delighted to see you.
The game's soundtrack is as moving as its scenery - the cello solo that serves as the main theme is especially striking.
Journey doesn't just want you to shlep through a bunch of wrecked buildings and sand, it wants you to feel the solitude of the empty spaces and discover the life still within.
While Journey may be incredibly short - a mere two hours in length - it is incredibly meaningful in ways that differ completely to a bigger, louder game.
A genuine masterpiece, Journey will surely find its way on to many ' best of 2012' lists. Buy this game