Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Let's Play Sword & Sworcery Part 01

It's rare when a story, in any medium, invokes the most primitive images of humankind in order to convey its tale. Whether in books, movies or games, characters are normally fleshed out and plots made intricate and detailed. However, sometimes the best stories are the ones that allow us to fill in the gaps. Journey, the most highly downloaded game on the Playstation Network, is one of those games. However, Sword & Sworcery also ranks among them, and rightfully so. A barebones plot detailing the adventure of a warrior Scythian in search of Gold Trigons, the Megatome and the destruction of the Gogolithic Mass, it is a tale pitting protagonist against antagonist without going into much detail.

While some people might think that a weakness of the game's story, it's actually quite a strength. Fairytale stories, such as the Chronicles of Narnia, would allude to larger worlds without actually exploring them. This allowed the reader to populate that world with their own imaginations. Sword & Sworcery does the same, allowing you to venture out and explore a world, seeking the destruction of an ethereal foe. Why? It does not matter. It only matters that the foe is mostly a symbol, one conveying death and destruction. Why root for the protagonist? It does not matter. All that matters is she is a symbol, one representing life and protection of the innocent.

There is a game here, of course, that involves more than just wandering about. It is like an adventure game, in that there is a world to explore and inventory items to use, but this is applied minimally. Then again, so is the combat system, which takes cues from Mike Tyson's Punchout and asks the player to respond to intricate timing and gestures initiated by the various foes of the world. Finally, there are search games involving cuing up musical notes in order to invoke Sylvan Sprites and forward the plot. These might seem like disparate elements, but in the world of Sword & Sworcery they combine elegantly, and allow you to feel involved in it. As the Scythian, you do all this, stumbling on hints of lore and legend that fascinate and propel you forward.

It is definitely a game worth playing, especially now that it has transitioned from the iPad to PC. However, this is a Let's Play! So I kindly invite you to watch my playthrough of Sword & Sworcery. This is part one of two parts of coverage. Let's do this.

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