Being previously released on a plethora of consoles and devices, Bastion has finally made its way to the Xbox One. Being rebuilt specifically for the Xbox One, this version of Bastion is unique and is meant to feel like it was always meant to be played on this console. In this endeavor, Supergiant Games has made sure the game runs in full 1080p, includes the Stranger’s Dream DLC, and has additional achievements for players to earn. All of this combined with the original game makes for a wonderful experience that may be considered the definitive version of the game. None of this would be possible i the original Bastion wasn’t such a great game.
Everything I’m going to say in this review has probably been covered in one of the many reviews the game has already received, but I’d like to try and cover the game in my own way. For starters, I’d like to tackle how beautiful this game is. The word ‘beautiful’ doesn’t really convey my thoughts on the game, since Bastion doesn’t just look pretty or has an appealing aesthetic. Bastion’s beauty is so much deeper than any of that. While Bastion does have brilliant, bright colors for the more vibrant levels and dark, drab colors for the more serious or dreary ones, it is the unique aesthetic that changes slightly depending on the area. Most times, the game has a water-color aesthetic that makes it pop and is instantly recognizable in a sea of games reusing tried and true looks. In other instances, Bastion looks more like its made of stained glass. Either way, Bastion only ever looks like Bastion, something I can’t say for a lot of other titles.
This uniqueness is found everywhere in the game and is what made me want to play this game so badly. In fact, even the soundtrack and voices feel wholly unique to Bastion. Unlike many other Action-RPGs, Bastion does not bog the player (or the action) down with countless lines of dialogue or item descriptions that require paragraphs to get a simple point across. This simply isn’t the case in Bastion as nearly every bit of information and lore is delivered by the narrator. By doing things this way, the game frees the player up to keep playing while the narrator tells them what is going on in the world around them. Besides lore and tutorials, the narrator will also chime in and talk about the player’s performance throughout the level. This gives life to the narrator and allows the player a sense of camaraderie despite the game being single player and not having many NPCs with strong character development.
Besides the narrator, Bastion also sports a wonderful soundtrack that makes The Kid’s (our character) quest that much more epic. Not that the adventure needed help being epic since the ground literally rises to meet the protagonist’s feet. Details like this make the game such a joy to play even when the enemies become slightly repetitive. To help alleviate the repetition, Bastion gives players several weapons and special moves to make killing bad guys fun throughout the whole game. These weapons can be improved and have special effects that are unique to each weapon. What is especially nice about Bastion is how easy it is to pick up any weapon and just go. This allows players to try out various playstyles and tackle the various challenges found throughout the game. Besides the normal story mode and the challenges, Bastion has a New Game+ mode available for those that really enjoyed their first play through.
Despite all the praise I have showered on Bastion, it does have a few pitfalls. They may be few and far between, but they are there. The main issue for me is that the story simply isn’t as gripping as the art style and gameplay make it out to be. While the narrator’s awesome voice makes the game and its individual elements interesting, the actual story that drives the game seems to fall behind. Other than the story, I only really had an issue with how often I’d see the same enemy types. There are some other small gripes, but it is all heat-of-the-moment issues and aren’t large enough to comment on. I believe it’s fair to say that despite whether you’ve played Bastion before, the Xbox One version is definitely worth playing at least once.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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