Bastion PS4 Review – This is the Way the World Ends

Calamity trigger.

Posted By | On 27th, Apr. 2015 Under Article, Reviews | Follow This Author @will_borger


“Proper story’s supposed to start at the beginning. Ain’t so simple with this one. Now here’s a Kid whose whole world got all twisted, leaving him stranded on a rock in the sky. He gets up. Sets off for the Bastion. Where everyone agreed to go in case of trouble. The ground forms up under his feet as if pointing the way. He don’t stop to wonder why.” – Rucks, Bastion

Those lines, spoken by Rucks, are the first thing you’ll hear in Bastion, Supergiant Games’ 2011 debut title. Rucks is right – most stories start at the beginning. Bastion’s starts at the end of the world. You play as the Kid Rucks mentioned, who has awakened to find that the world he knew is gone – shattered by a cataclysmic event known as the Calamity.Bastion (5)

"The game’s narrative may seem pretty barebones at first, but Supergiant gradually builds it into something grand, which I will not spoil here. Most of the story is told through Rucks’ narration, which occurs during gameplay, and constantly provides information on the environments, what’s going on in the game world, the Bastion, the Calamity, and even what the player is doing.

He heads for the titular Bastion, designed as a safe haven for troubled times, and meets Rucks, an older man who serves as the game’s narrator. Rucks tasks the Kid with exploring the beautiful ruins of Celondia and trying to put the pieces back together, quite literally, by collecting Cores that revitalize the world and returning them to the Bastion. Along the way, he meets other characters, and begins to learn about the Calamity, and just what it has done to Celondia and the rest of the world.

The game’s narrative may seem pretty barebones at first, but Supergiant gradually builds it into something grand, which I will not spoil here. Most of the story is told through Rucks’ narration, which occurs during gameplay, and constantly provides information on the environments, what’s going on in the game world, the Bastion, the Calamity, and even what the player is doing. If you go crazy breaking everything in the environment, he say that the “Kid just rages for a while.” Fall off the edge of the world, and he says, “And so the Kid fell to his death… just kidding.” Talk to him at the Bastion after exhausting all of his current conversation options and he says, “Sometimes there’s just not much to say.”

Rucks’ voice and narration are all the work of voice actor Logan Cunningham, who brings the necessary gravitas and occasional bit of humor to the role that makes the game. His performance is nothing short of excellent, and it, combined with Bastion’s unique form of storytelling and Rucks’ ability to comment on seemingly everything you do, makes for an extremely compelling and memorable adventure.Bastion 1

"As far as the actual game goes, the PS4 version of Bastion is the exact same game that released 4 years ago, just in 1080p and running at the mythical 60 frames per second.

As far as the actual game goes, the PS4 version of Bastion is the exact same game that released 4 years ago, just in 1080p and running at the mythical 60 frames per second. Supergiant hasn’t added anything that wasn’t in the original release, or cooked up any new content for people who plan to pick it up on PS4. It’s the same as the 2011 game, which is a good thing, because Bastion still plays really well.

The world of Celondia, or what’s left of it, anyway, is still a beautiful place to explore, and Bastion’s lush, hand-drawn art style draws you in and makes you want to find out what’s beyond the next corner. The game’s mechanics enhance this feeling: the world pulls itself together as the Kid navigates each area, which means the only way to see what else is in the environment is to actively explore it. Collect the zone’s Core, however, and everything will start to crumble around you, meaning you’ll only get a shot at these areas. This adds a feeling of urgency and intimacy to each setting, as you know that it’ll all fall apart over once you find its hidden treasure.

The beauty of the art is complimented by Darren Kord’s beautiful music, which mixes bluesy guitars and the odd vocal to create tunes that blend perfectly with the game’s story beats and environments. This is the rare kind of soundtrack you’ll want to listen to out of the game. It’s that good, with songs like “Build That Wall,” “Spike in a Rail,” “In Case of Trouble,” “Terminal March,” “From Wharf to Wilds” and “Bynn the Breaker” serving as standouts on soundtrack that doesn’t have a bad track on it.bastion

"As you collect Cores, you’ll be able to construct more buildings as the Bastion, all of which can modify your abilities or the game itself. The Distillery, for instance, gives you access to Spirits, which can do anything from increase your maximum health to give you a greater chance to score a critical hit.

The game’s combat system is equally refined. The Kid has the ability to equip two weapons at once, out of a possible arsenal of eleven melee and ranged weapons, and each weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses. The Cael Hammer, for example, hits extremely hard, but is fairly slow, and the Kid has to be standing still while swinging it to access its full power. The Slinger Pistols, on the other hand, fire extremely quickly, but are relatively weak, and take a minute to reload. Then you’ve got something like the Breaker’s Bow, which must be charged and released at the right time for optimal damage, leaving you vulnerable until your arrow is ready.

The Kid also has access to a dodge roll and a shield that can absorb, reflect, and counter attacks, as well an ability that is unique to one of the equipped weapons. You’ll need to utilize all of the Kid’s abilities if you want to stay alive, as Bastion is willing to throw many enemies at you at once, making evasion and precision the name of the game. No matter what weapons or abilities you choose, however, Bastion gives you more than enough tools to succeed, and the sheer variety of enemies to fight and weapons to use ensures that you’re never bored.

As you collect Cores, you’ll be able to construct more buildings as the Bastion, all of which can modify your abilities or the game itself. The Distillery, for instance, gives you access to Spirits, which can do anything from increase your maximum health to give you a greater chance to score a critical hit. Build a Forge and you’ll be able to upgrade your weapons with materials you find in the world or get for completing weapon specific challenges. Those looking for an additional challenge should check out the Shrine, which allows you to trade increased difficulty via boosts to enemy damage and armor for favor with the gods in the form of more experience or fragments needed for weapon upgrades.

Bastion 2

"Put simply, everything in Bastion - the narrative, the audio and visual presentation, and the gameplay - works together to create a cohesive experience, a feat few games can manage.

Put simply, everything in Bastion – the narrative, the audio and visual presentation, and the gameplay – works together to create a cohesive experience, a feat few games can manage. All of this culminates in two of the most powerful and memorable decisions a game asked its players to make during the last generation.

All of that was true in 2011, and all of it is true now. Bastion is the rare kind of game – the kind that simply doesn’t age. It is as relevant, powerful, and excellent today as it was four years ago, and that is no mean feat. Those who have played the game before won’t find anything new here, but this release is for the dedicated fans, and for those who haven’t experienced the game ‘till now. If you’re in the latter camp, I envy you. You get the opportunity to play Bastion for the first time. As for the rest of us, well, it’s just another opportunity to experience an excellent game again. Celondia, we’re coming home.

This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.

THE GOOD

Rucks is a great narrator telling a great story. Excellent combat mechanics and plenty of variety ensure things never get old. Lots of options let you play how you want. Fantastic soundtrack that you’ll want to listen to outside of the game. The art is beautiful. The PS4 version runs at 1080p and 60 FPS.

THE BAD

No new content for the PS4 version. The game ends.

Final Verdict

Bastion was excellent in 2011, and it’s excellent now. Everything in Bastion - the narrative, the audio and visual presentation, and the gameplay - works together to create a cohesive experience, a feat few games can manage. Those who have played the game before won’t find anything new here, but this release is for the dedicated fans, and for those who haven’t experienced the game ‘till now. If you’re in the later camp, I envy you. You get the opportunity to play Bastion for the first time. As for the rest of us, well, it’s just another opportunity to experience an excellent game again. Celondia, we’re coming home.

A copy of this game was provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Click here to know more about our Reviews Policy.

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