Bas­tion boy re­builds

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

ONE of the few gems that stood out among the moun­tain of games I saw at this year’s E3 gam­ing expo was this de­but ti­tle from in­de­pen­dent de­vel­oper Su­per­giant Games, a com­pany of just seven peo­ple.

Bas­tion marked the start of the an­nual Xbox pro­mo­tion in the US, in which Microsoft show­cases a hand­ful of in­no­va­tive ti­tles ex­clu­sively avail­able as down­load­able games, rather than on shop shelves. They gen­er­ally sell for $ 20 – and al­most al­ways prove great value for money.

At its roots, Bas­tion is an ac­ces­si­ble, role-play­ing game that strips back some of the more tra­di­tional el­e­ments to al­low its unique fea­tures to shine through.

The first of these is the way the story is told. Not only is it a well-crafted script, read by an en­ter­tain­ing voice-over ac­tor, but the game also fea­tures a clever, re­ac­tive-nar­ra­tion sys­tem, so the sto­ry­line un­folds dy­nam­i­cally, driven by what you do in the game.

It’s like lis­ten­ing to a live com­men­tary of your ac­tions, which helps per­son­alise the ex­pe­ri­ence.

With­out spoil­ing the plot, you play the role of a young char­ac­ter who must help an old man re­build Bas­tion af­ter a calami­tous event. You travel to a va­ri­ety of fan­tasy in­spired lo­ca­tions to col­lect items re­quired to put the world back to­gether.

While ex­plor­ing, you also come across an as­sort­ment of new weapons and abil­i­ties, as well as use­ful items to up­grade these.

Ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent com­bi­na­tions is es­sen­tial, as cer­tain en­e­mies and tough-boss char­ac­ters re­quire par­tic­u­lar weapons and tac­tics to elim­i­nate them.

Play­ers who might be un­der­whelmed by the stripped-back role-play­ing op­tions can ex­pect a unique chal­lenge. In­stead of de­cid­ing on a set dif­fi­culty level at the be­gin­ning, you can choose to ac­ti­vate var­i­ous el­e­ments to in­crease dif­fi­culty dur­ing the game.

MIKE WIL­COX

mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

BAS­TION

RRP: $ 20 ( Xbox 360)

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ■

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