Bastion is the first entry in this year’s Summer of Arcade on Xbox Live, created by Supergiant Games and published by Warner Brothers. How does this action role playing game hold up against previous XBLA titles and is it worth 1200 Microsoft points? Read on to find out.
The story in Bastion follows an unnamed protagonist referred to only as ‘the kid’ who awakes to the world around him being destroyed. He wanders around and finds his “friend”, a Caelondian hammer, to get rid of a few enemies before being transported to the Bastion, a floating island that acts as a hub world for you to travel from. An event called “the calamity” has occurred causing the world to die out, but the Bastion seems like the only safe place to be. The white haired character you play as is part of the Caelondian race and is trying to restore the Bastion to full health by collecting cores and shards of the world to deposit into it.
From the moment your character wakes up, your story and every action is narrated by a disembodied voice, which in concept does not sound good, but when playing is really insightful to the story and surroundings. The voice replaces what would have been text boxes, meaning you learn about the story and environment as you play, as opposed to stopping to read through walls of word bricks and taking you out of the experience. While doing so, the narrator will unfurl the story behind the destruction of Bastion and the larger world around you, keeping you hooked and driving you forward.
Gameplay in Bastion is quite simple yet effective to begin with but develops into an experience that’s quite deep with the upgrading of various weapons, modifiers and upgrades called liquors. The game is mainly based around one place, the Bastion, which will act as your hub world containing everything you need to get by. From the Bastion, there are many different things to do, including going on missions.
The gameplay mainly consists of going to many different parts of the dying world to collect cores and shards for the Bastion to be fully restored. Each of the levels are different and there is very little repetition (unless it’s story related), each usually boasting a new environment with different enemies and occasionally you’ll find new weapons. There are a few bosses scattered throughout the game, but it mainly consists of fighting different enemy types. When you kill an enemy, they drop fragments where they died and you gain some experience towards leveling up. Fragments are the in-game currency in Bastion used to upgrade weapons and buy equipment.
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