The Calamity destroyed the world as everyone knew it. Cities crumbled, mountains fell, and forests burned. Only a few people survived the disaster, and even fewer knew how to reverse its effects. In a glorious quest to rebuild the Bastion, the character known as the Kid faces countless villains in an effort to collect cores and learn the truth about the Calamity.
One of the best things about this game is the narrator. He not only tells the story, but also provides entertaining commentary on many of the Kid’s actions. His remarks can make even the most dire situation trivial. It is a nice change from many games that take everything really seriously. Although the story itself takes on a dark topic, the narrator keeps it light-hearted and interesting.
The music also keeps with this theme. It simply fits with the atmosphere. The beautiful instrumental pieces play off of each area’s scenery in a way that really creates another world. Even though nothing in the game is breathtaking by itself, the combination of the music with the painted world turns a simple RPG into an amazing adventure.
The whimsical aspects of the game continue well into the Kid’s weaponry as well. The diverse range of weapons and abilities allows for many styles of play while also not seeming out of place with the world. Upgrades such as Whale Ale and Doomshine add another layer of customization to the Kid, and the best part is that these upgrades can be equipped at will. However, at times, these upgrades make the game a little too easy. Thankfully this does not last long. A nice addition to the game is the ability to influence the behavior of the enemies. Various upgrades allow monsters to regenerate, move faster, and cause more damage, so combat never gets boring.
Although not nearly as interesting as the combat, the characters in the game add a nice level of realism to the fantastical world. Their backstories hit on a lot of real-world problems and tone down the excitement of the game. They slow down the story enough to encourage thought on these problems without distracting from the main plot.
From the witty narrator to the beautiful music, Bastion captures the essence of a magical world fraught with danger. The addicting nature of this game makes up for its extremely short story, and the collectables and upgrades hidden throughout the vast world allow for much exploring. This critically-acclaimed indie game lives up to its reputation.
Bastion is available for PC, XBOX 360, iPhone, and iPad.
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