Bastion: A Beat ‘em Up With Heart
Bastion is a 3d beat ‘em up game that does something that sets it apart from other games of it’s kind. When most people start to play a game like this they are not really thinking of the story so much as they are just enjoying the mindless fun and (possibly) gore, but in Bastion it is almost impossible to get the story out of your head. The game takes place in a city called Caelondia that has gone through an apocalypse of sorts, but this is not like other apocalyptic games. In this game, the world remains very beautiful and colorful and gives you a solution to end the “calamity” as it is called in the game. The main objective of the game is to collect a set of cores and, later, shards to complete the Bastion and reverse the effects of the calamity with it in a way not specified in the beginning. The story is explained to you as the game progresses by a narrator who very much heightens the games’ interest. There is an unknown quality to the narrator that makes him so pleasant to listen to that it actually seems like you are being told a story.
As you progress through Bastion it becomes apparent that it is a beat ‘em up, and it makes the game feel hard to play for a long time. The game utilizes the use of two weapon buttons, two sticks to maneuver the world, an action button, and the triggers which lock onto enemies and use your special move. This gameplay can be broken up by using the different weapons and special moves; but this can often times feel inconvenient, especially if you have become specially accustomed to a specific weapon set. Luckily though, this is not the focus of the game and often times you will be too enveloped in the story to care.
There are some very interesting dynamics in this story that really make it special to play and experience, one of which is the setting itself. It’s an apocalyptic story but it isn’t just because of the setting. Many games only use the apocalypse as a setting and an excuse for the main problem to happen; but in Bastion, the entire objective of the game is to reverse the apocalypse, but this isn’t the only thing that makes it different. Many stories that revolve around stories involve many different characters, but Bastion only involves 4 characters and each with a largely thought out and interesting backstory.
In conclusion: Bastion is a beautifully designed game that is hindered by the repetitive nature that comes with it’s territory but uses it’s story to rise above into what is a work of art.