Bastion takes place in a crumbling world after an event called the Calamity destroys it. Players wake up as the “Kid” and a mysterious voice, Rucks, guides him to a place called the Bastion. The Bastion has been established in the game’s lore as a safe haven during dire times. The plot rolls out steadily enough, introducing pieces of intrigue to keep players guessing. The narrator, Rucks, dictates everything the player does from attacking, exploring, and even dying. It’s a light touch that goes a long way, weaving Bastion’s narrative into an epic tale.
As the Kid, players are tasked with recreating the world. From the Bastion, a map folds out, presenting new quests like gathering fragments in order to piece the world back together. These fragments can then be used to either create new establishments, like a distillery or armory, or upgrade said establishments. The distillery, for example, houses various potions and upgrades players can equip while the Amory holds the Kids’ weapons from guns to swords. All six structures serve the Kid in one way or another and each has its advantages over the others. The gameplay itself is a top down, action RPG of sorts. Not striking, or innovative, but the backbone of the Bastion gives the game a tremendous amount of flavor and customization.
Speaking of flavor, this game oozes with personality. The bright, watercolor esque designs meld together with this Diablo meets Zelda inspired world brilliantly. Not to mention the creativity in having a crumbling world reappear at the Kid’s feet as he explores. The voice of Rucks and the overall sound and music design is superb, emerging oneself deeper into this colorful world. If there is anything to complain about it’s that combat can be a bit clunky at times and again, it’s not the most original. Small gripes in an otherwise perfect production.
Bastion is another reason why gamers should be paying attention to the indie scene. It, along with other indie titles, has created some of my favorite games from this past generation. Quick, short, innovative titles that gives me just enough. Bastion is another in a long line of masterpieces that strive toward classics like A Link to the Past. And damn, does it get close.
Score: 5/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on May 8, 2013 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.