There's a moment, nearing the end of the game's relatively short campaign, where you guide your team of petals up an angled high-way. That moment is unlike any other we've ever experienced in a video game - there's a sensation of pure, unbridled freedom. It touches on pretense, but the experience manages to be pure enough not to overstep the mark.
It's of course why we're excited for Journey, the next PlayStation Network exclusive from thatgamecompany. Journey is a marked detour to thatgamecompany's traditional philosophy. It is a game. There's a jump button and character control. There's an objective.
Journey places you in the middle of a vast, open desert, looking towards a looming mountain. The objective is to reach the summit of that mountain. thatgamecompany pin their inspiration on a conversation one of the company's co-founders, Jenova Chen, had with an astronaut. That astronaut explained of a new spiritual awareness those who land on the moon feel. Looking down on the Earth, apparently, makes you realise just how small and insignificant we are. Chen's aiming to recreate that sensation with Journey.
Exploring the vast sand-dunes of Journey's environment, you'll encounter other players. It's up to you whether you choose to co-operate, compete or simply ignore these other players. They are just loners in the world beside you, but they are in no way significant to your experience. Unless you want them to be, of course.
At its core, Journey is a platformer. You're able to interact with great sand waves, which can be surfed. thatgamecompany are also looking to implement a realistic cloth system. Pieces of cloth can be found across the world and used as parachute-like apparatus.
There are no enemies or bosses in Journey. The "enemies" are represented by the challenges you face trying to meet your goal - the summit of the mountain looming in the distance.
thatgamecompany are hinting that Journey will release next year exclusively on the PlayStation Network. Going by what we've heard, it's going to be a pretty special release indeed. We simply cannot wait.