Bastion boy rebuilds
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@ hyperactivegames. com
RRP: $ 20 ( Xbox 360)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ■