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Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.5.8

March 20, 2014 | Ted Bade

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The Apocalypse Will Be Pretty


Mac OS X: 10.5.8 |†CPU: 1.7 GHz Intel | RAM: 2 GB | HD Space: 1.5 GB | Graphics: 256 MB VRAM


In Bastion, a role playing adventure game by Supergiant Games, you play the role of "The Kid", a young hero who is slowly bringing together parts of his fragmented world, to build the Bastion (as in a place of refuge). As the Kid, you travel to other parts of the world collecting crystals of energy needed to enhance the Bastion, battling a variety of opponents placed to prevent your from succeeding. Bastion offers fast action, lots of battles, gear upgrades and a lot more. It will keep any action adventure game player busy for quite a while.

As The Kid, you awaken to find the world has been destroyed by the "Calamity", a catastrophic event that tore the world apart. You set out to see if there are other survivors, and eventually find the Bastion. Rucks, the narrator of the game, is already there, and together you decide to build the Bastion into a stronghold for any survivors.

The narrator is a major entertaining aspect of Bastion. He comments on just about every action you make the Kid do. Itís quite amusing to hear his comments. Complete a mission, and he comments on this, fall off the edge and he points out that "The Kid" needs to be careful about the edges, defeat a monster and he praises your actions, kill lots of some variety of monster, and he makes a comment, learn a new weapon and he comments on your use of it. The dialog is almost as endless as it is funny! Even if you click on him when there is no reason for it, he will say something like, "sometimes there is just nothing to say." I was impressed that the game producers made comments for just about every possible action, no matter how important or un-important it is toward playing the game. I am sure they put a few comments in there just in case players decided to try something unusual!

Gameplay takes place in a city called Caelondia. The city has been fractured into many different plateaus floating in space. As you move along the paths of these places, the path builds itself ahead of your movement. The surfaces of the world are solid enough, but be careful of holes and edges. The plateau floats in the air, if your walk into a hole or over an edge, the "Kid" will fall to his death.

Caelondia is a cartoon like world, bright and very colorful. Itís topography is filled with colorful walls, plants, buildings, and a wide variety of creatures. Some items you can destroy with your weapons, others you need to travel around to get past. The paths skew at a variety of angles, so you need to pay attention to movement as you travel. The creatures as well as the environment of Bastion are both very imaginative and very colorful. You need to experience it to fully comprehend the skill that went into crating and designing this unique world.

The Kid gains levels by acquiring experience, which is earned for destroying obstacles and other items found on the paths, defeating monsters, and completing certain other goals. As the Kidís level increases, so do his abilities and the special skills and weapons he can use. As you play the game, you also collect "fragments", the gameís currency. These fragments are used to buy enhancements to weapons, special abilities, and other things that help the Kid along.

As you travel on your missions in the world, you will find several different types of places to interact with. First of all, there is the Bastion, which is home base, and were you can upgrade your gear, get rewards for completing quests, increase the difficulty of the game, and much more. The Bastionís resources expand as the game progresses. The next type of place is one designed to let you practice with a weapon. There is one for almost every weapon and each offers rewards. If you are interested, you can travel to these practice grounds any time and attempt to complete the mission goal. Once completed, you are rewarded with an item that can be used to upgrade that weapon. There are generally three prizes for each weapon practice area. You donít need to visit them all. Personally, I found one set of weapons that worked best for me and stuck with them. I will get more into the weapons in a bit.

The next type of area is one that contains an item you are looking for - an energy shard or crystal, a person to bring to the Bastion, or even a new weapon. In these areas, you travel along the paths, avoiding obstacles and battling monsters as you search for that item of interest. As a general rule, you must fight your way to the item, then once you have it, you will need to fight your way to the Skyway entrance to return to the Bastion. Earlier missions are easier then the later ones.

When you find an area that offers a new weapon, you gain this weapon almost immediately after you arrive and lose access to the weapon you came with. This means that you are essentially forced to use the new equipment, trying to survive long enough to complete the area or to locate the areaís Arsenal (an Arsenal can be used to change the weapons the Kid carries). While it is probably a good idea to get players to experience each new type of weapon, I found a few of them were so much not my style that it was difficult surviving long enough to find the Arsenal.

There are also some special areas that you find and bring to the Bastion that offer you an opportunity to gain more of the local currency so you can buy upgrades. These are areas filled with challenges and rewards for completing them. They can get very intense and often take a bit of time to complete.

The Bastions transport system is called the Skyway. The Kid has a contraption that lets him fly on the Skyway from the Bastion to other plateaus. When you enter the Skyway from the Bastion, you are presented with a map of the world, which shows the areas you can go to. When you mouse over an area, you get a general description of what it is. Practice areas are listed as such, completed areas are starred over and unavailable, and unexplored areas that might contain an item of interest are so described. When you enter the Skyway, you choose where you want to go. You can return to the practice areas to practice any time, and hopefully gain the reward. If you think you are ready, you can travel to a section that contains an item you need for the Bastion.


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