I was itching for a cheap new game a couple of weeks ago and turned to Steam to satisfy my need. Bastion was at the top of one of the store lists, but unfortunately wasn’t out yet for the PC so I bought it off of XBLA instead. I don’t know how the PC version compares, but I assume that it is of the same/better quality as the console version since it has received fairly high marks all around. Bastion is a fantastic isometric action-RPG. At heart it is a fairly basic game both as both the gameplay as well as the story or more-or-less standard fair for an action RPG. Just about everything about it though works out very well. It’s polished, the mechanics are tightly controlled and it’s fun. The graphics and sound are both a treat.
In short, the world was destroyed during an event known as “The Calamity”. It is up to you, The Kid to rebuild it. Action RPGs are a dime a dozen; So what separates Bastion from the rest? For one, the excellent narration. The entire story is live narrated by a gruff old wise-man known as Rucks. By live narrated I mean, everything down to minute actions are beautifully narrated. It adds a lot of depth and flavor to each section of the game.
There are a good range of weapons and upgrades. You are permitted to equip a total of two weapons and one special attack. There’s a weapon that will cater to just about every play style. As you level, you unlock slots that can be filled with various potions that will add passive modifiers to your abilities. I do wish that the enemies were a little more varied. As you progress through the game, higher difficulty usually equates to either more enemies or more AoE attacks. It works, but it’s a little uncreative to say the least.
It’s a fairly short game at around 8 hours of gameplay for a single playthrough. After you complete the game, a new game plus mode is unlocked, allowing you to retain all of your weapons from your original playthrough. Bastion isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it sticks to it’s roots and presents a neatly package, extremely polished game. There’s a demo of Bastion up on Steam by the way.