I know this review is almost a decade late now, but I still think that Bastion is worth talking about as it is just as exceptional today as it ever was.
In it, you play “The Kid” a young man who wakes up in a post-apocalyptic steam-punk world after a weapon of mass destruction has killed everyone he’s ever known. Guided by a disembodied voice, (who sounds remarkably like Tom Waits,) he goes to the Bastion which is a sort of fort where everyone was supposed to go if there was trouble, only to find it destroyed, overgrown, and uninhabited except for Rucks, the owner of the voice you’ve been hearing. He tells you that you have to go out into “the wild unknown” and collect power cores in order to restore the Bastion and save everyone.
The combat is pretty simple, though it can be hard to aim with a controller. PC gamers will have an easier time with mouse and keyboard.
The missions are pretty much exclusively dungeon crawler fetch quests and the plot is all but non-existent which I found odd since the reason that I picked this game up was because it appeared on so many lists of story-driven indie games. I wouldn’t count any of that against it though. This is a game that’s all about style and style is what it’s got.
The environments really show off how artistic a dev can get with a simple system like unity. Everything from the pixel-paint tiles the crunching sound of the kid’s footsteps adds to this beautiful junkyard-landscape-come-to-life vibe that permeates every new step The Kid takes. Then there’s the music – the music you guys! I don’t think I’d be exaggerating to say that this game has my favorite soundtrack of any game I’ve ever played. It’s listed as electronic-rock, but it has a strong bluesy feel that really brings you into the world.
It’s no secret that this game is good. Supergiant has come out with three more since then, Transistor in 2014, Pyre in 2017 and Hades in 2018. I’d like to play all of them so let me know in the comments if you’d like to see those reviews.
Bastion regularly goes on sale for under $10 on Steam, Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
Thanks for reading,