g33kWatch Interview – Bastion

You wake up, exhausted from the night before.  Always tough to get a start on your day, so you fall right back into the routine.  You stumble on over to your computer, waiting for the monitor to flicker on so you can see what you missed while you dreamed.

You see a link on your Facebook telling you about a new g33kWatch article.  They do an all right job, even though you are sure they could improve in some respects.  You click on the link, not knowing what to expect when you get there.

You’re now reading these very words, hearing in your mind the narration of your life, as it happens.  You might be breaking down the fourth wall … or you may just be going crazy.  Either way though, the g33ks now have your attention.  You continue reading, hoping to find the answer of what this is all about …

While I could continue to tell you the story of how you came to this site to read this Interview / Preview, let me tell you about Bastion, produced by Super Giant Games. Bastion is an action-role playing game set in a stylized fantasy world.  You take on the roll of “The Kid” as he struggles to find out what has happened to his world.  The Kid wakes up after a cataclysmic event has shaken the very foundation of the world, knowing that his only hope for survival is to head to the Bastion as he and his people were always told.

Armed with a hammer, a repeater gun, and a bow and arrow, The Kid starts his journey going from one floating island to the next, battling enemies that get in his way.  The entire time, his story is being narrated to the player, providing the basis of a tutorial but also leaking out small bits of information about who The Kid is as a character and what the world was like before it was shattered.  For a better idea on how the Narration takes place and you operate the kid, be sure to check out the Gameplay Footage below.

When you first load up Bastion you are immediately taken back by the goregous and stunning visuals that the world holds.  The vibrant colors are all around you, and you are able to easily sense just how beautiful the world was before it was twisted apart, and just how much damage it has sustained.  As you move around these floating islands, there can sometimes not be a clear idea on where you should go next.  When you get close to the edge though, you’ll start to see the ground form up underneath your feet, guiding you to the next island, or to a hidden treasure for you to pick up.  It’s the most obvious and striking portion of the game, and each area has it’s own unique layout and feel to it, making sure that you never have a dull moment and never get bored.

Combat has been described for this game as a fast paced, finesse RPG.  Throughout the game you gain different weapons that will aid you in your journey.  During the preview I played at PAX East, I picked up a giant hammer for melee situations, and picked up a repeater gun and a bow for long distance combat.  In terms of the ranged attacks, I could only choose one and it was purely up to my style of gameplay.  The Repeater Gun was great at clearing out smaller groups of mobs that were trying to swarm The Kid.  The Bow on the other hand, could be held and charged up, allowing me to take out stronger foes in just one to two shots.  All of these weapons can be upgraded further by picking up various items and then bringing them to a weapon shop.

The Kid is simply put … just a kid.  Because of that he can’t take a lot of damage.  At any one point, there can be upwards of 10-15 enemies on the screen and they certainly like to swarm and surround you.  The finesse part of the game comes in that you have to learn when to attack, when to dodge and tumble out of the way, when to go melee, and when to used ranged.  Early on it can take some getting used to, but after one or two major battles, you quickly start to see just how much versatility The Kid has, and how to harness those abilities correctly.

At PAX East I played about 20 minutes of the game and I was absolutely hooked.  The preview build essentially took me from the beginning of the game, to the point where I made it to the Bastion itself.  It was a fantastic experience, and after I was done all I wanted to do was beg the Creative Director Greg to let me play some more of it.  Unfortunately that couldn’t happen, but he did let me interview him for the site, which is still pretty good for everyone.

If you like what you are reading, hearing, and seeing from everything in this preview, then you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to wait too long before you can play it.  Bastion will be coming out for XBOX Live Arcade this upcoming summer, and then will be ported over to PC shortly thereafter.  So keep on watching the g33kWatch site to learn more about the game as we get closer to it’s release widow of Summer 2011.

[display_podcast]

[nggallery id=17]

Joseph Valenti

Founder of g33kWatch, Joe is the guy who makes sure nobody hurts themselves. Connect with me on Google+

3 Comments:

  1. Well, Joey, color me intrigued. I’ll be keeping an eye out for this one.

  2. (weird my comment didn’t post, if it somehow appears I apologise for the double comment, anyhoo..)

    I took a stab at the demo at PAX East on Sunday following your comments over dinner.

    It was really easy to get into, the graphics are beautiful, the animation is great and the one thing above all else, something other games fail to comprehend at times, you are drawn into the world entirely.

    When going through the ‘learning phase’ the game uses the voiceover to teach you without breaking the fourth wall, it is all immersive, there is no ‘Press A to Stab, Press X to Shoot, see you when you need to learn a new power, bye!’, I loathe it when games have voice work telling you have a controller in your hand and none of this is real.

    The continuous narration just allows you to be carried along without breaking that barrier, that stood out in my mind, and it isn’t hindered having the wisened soul retelling your journey. I checked back and they had at least two other voice actors or voice types doing The Narrator before now, glad they went the direction they did. Maybe they were just ‘beta’ voices to fill the gap for the real deal.

    Bastion is definitely up on my list of ‘Games to own’, it is a shame there was no Developer around to talk to as I enjoyed speaking with the Fire Pro Wrestling dev about their game and learning a little more on the product.

  3. You check the g33kwatch site after spending some time catching up on tweets and spot a new article on the main page. Opening it, you find it is about the game Bastion which you heard of before during its development.

    You remember thinking at the time that it was a game with a lot of promise and upon readig the article you decide you should buy it on XBLA when it is released.

    You fill in your details at the bottom of the page as a voice in your head tells you what you need to type into the comment box then hit submit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *