E3 ’11: Bastion Preview
The little RPG that everyone should be playing
This year at E3 Microsoft were once again promoting their Xbox LIVE Summer Arcade campaign, which focuses on some seriously addictive arcade games. One of the games that I had a chance to try out was a little gem known as Bastion, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this game is going to go places.
Bastion is a game from Supergiant Games, a small team of seven people who have worked hard on this little labor of love. Bastion is extremely easy to pick up and play, and features two incredible things; breathtaking hand-painted graphics and superb narration. The little RPG has you playing a young man who awakens to find that his world has been shattered by a mysterious event known as the Calamity. Your mission then is to reach the Bastion, a place that your people were to go to if anything was ever wrong. Once you actually reach the Bastion, your job is to unlock its true potential through further exploration and missions, and save your world.
While traditional RPG elements are present in Bastion, the game takes a different spin on how your character upgrades through the game. Usually your character’s strength or weapons determines how far you will go, but in Bastion it is your actual skill in battle that will help you move further. The more you improve upon your battle skills, the better you’re going to get. In this way for example, every weapon is somewhat equal to the other – it is only in the hands of a skilled warrior for example can the true value of the weapon be seen.
As said before, the game also looks stunning – each element of the levels have been hand-painted and then digitized into the game, which results in some of the most gorgeous stylized graphics that I’ve seen in a long time. The narration is also excellent; with every move you make the narrator guides you along and unravels more of the story, and with close to 3,000 spoken lines there is plenty here to keep your ears trained on.
It’s hard to believe that Bastion was the work of a team of only seven people, but the hard work they’ve put into it clearly shows off even in the brief 10 minutes I played. With a release date drawing close, this is definitely one game that you’re going to want to nab if you’re looking for an RPG that’s easy to learn yet still delivers a great storyline and engrossing gameplay.