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Bastion Review

/ Jun 23rd, 2012 2 Comments

Bastion Review

Bastion Review

Bastion Review

I very recently picked up Bastion in the latest installment of the Humble Bundle. Not to shamelessly plug it, but if you haven’t looked into it, they are probably the best deal on some of the best games around. Anyway, I picked up Bastion and really did think much of it. I’d heard about it here and there and people had said that they liked it, that it was something unique and different. That doesn’t do this game justice at all. Supergiant Games really developed something amazing with Bastion, creating one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had, in all likelihood, since Skyrim came out over six months ago. I firmly stand by the statement that Bastion is the single best downloadable title of the year, and since it is on nearly every console, everyone should give it a try.

Bastion is an RPG/dungeon crawler hybrid, featuring a wide array of weapons, upgrades, power-ups, skills, and much more. Level to level, it plays like a dungeon crawler where you have an objective of finding an item important to the story and have to traverse the area, defeating monsters, collecting money, and finding your way to the end. That in and of itself, isn’t terribly unique; we’ve seen this done in Diablo or Torchlight, so it’s definitely not the highlight of the game. One of the big areas where this game shines is the 13 weapons you are given to choose from to defeat monsters. You are allowed to take two of these weapons, plus your shield, into battle, which really allows you to define your play style – do you want to be up close and personal, or stay back and attack from afar; maybe you want a mix of the two. My personal favorite combo was the War Machete and Scrap Musket, but however you play, you’re guaranteed to find a combo that suits your likings.

Bastion

Bastion

In addition to the arsenal you are given to choose from, you are given options to upgrade your weapons by collecting or buying materials specific to each one. This is where the combat in this game shines. Not only can you mix and match any of the weapons, you can, at each level of upgrade, pick one of two options to customize how that weapon works to suit your style even more. And then, on top of all this customization Supergiant added 29 Secret Skills to further allow you to make your experience with Bastion your own. I frequently found myself trying out new combos of weapons, upgrades, and skills to find the best complementing concoction of damage and utility. If this still wasn’t enough for you and you think there needs to be more to pick from, I present to you Spirits. Spirits are drinks that you can assign to slots as you level up. Each of them imbues the Kid with specific bonuses that will assist in your conquering of each new level. As you can see, the level of customization is enormous and really makes this game something special that can be replayed several times.

Bastion - Available for All Platforms

Bastion - Available for All Platforms

Now, I’ve said enough about combat, let’s talk about the game itself. When you first start Bastion, you meet the Kid laying on a floating island. When you stand up, and move toward the initial arc, the world below you begins to float up into place, forming a path for you to travel down. Before I go any further, I want to comment on the artistic style of this game. The graphics are absolutely stunning; this game is gorgeous down to the rocks and grass that appear in the levels as you wander down each path. The narrator, who is easily one of my favorite parts about this game, gently guides you in the right direction and slowly gives you some background on what’s going on in the world you have stumbled into. You learn that you are heading for something called the Bastion and that you are one of the few survivors of the Calamity, a disastrous event that has transformed the world into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. When you finally make it to the Bastion, you learn that you must fly to each of the artful areas and collect Cores to mend and upgrade the Bastion back to its former glory. Without giving too much away about the story, each core you find allows you to build a new building, each with a unique purpose. One allows you to swap weapons, one allows you to upgrade them, another lets you apply Spirits; they all serve a function that will help you progress through the game and give you several places to use the currency you will find as you defeat enemies.

I could go on for several hundred more words about how amazing Bastion is. Its only real shortcoming is that the story itself is far from brilliant. Sure, the game is immersive and fun, but not because of the story. Usually that would be a deal-breaker, but with Bastion is really didn’t seem to matter. It was good enough that the fantastic sounds of the game, the constant companionship of the narrator, and the combat system could easily pick up the slack where the story was lacking. With that said, Bastion is one of those games that you won’t be able to put down if you like this genre of game at all. The more the world unravels itself to you, the more you will want to play. Bastion is available on nearly all platforms, including all the major ones, so if this game sounds at all fun, pick it up and have a go – you won’t regret it.

Overall Ratings – Bastion (PC)

Gameplay:

9/10

Graphics:

9/10

Music:

10/10

Replay Value:

9/10

OVERALL SCORE:

93%

Mike Zrimsek

Mike Zrimsek

Currently attending school to get a degree in Computer Science, I am an avid gamer of many genres. While I may be busy with school and work, I spend most of my available free time either playing games or writing about them.
Mike Zrimsek

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  • SonofJohn

    Very nice review. I’m a huge fan of PSN titles as some of the best games::cough:: Super Stardust HD, Dead Nation, and Limbo::cough…. Are cheap downloadable titles. I will definitely check this out.

    • Mike Zrimsek

      Bastion was definitely one of those surprising games that was amazing. I’m playing through Limbo right now actually. Have heard great things about it. Expect a review on it with the next couple weeks ;)

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