At E3 2011, several of my friends told me to stop by Warner Bros. Interactive’s booth to check out Bastion, an action-RPG for Xbox Live and Windows PC. I’m super glad that I did. The game is right up my alley — classic action-RPG gameplay, a beautiful art style, and surprising storytelling for a downloadable game. While Batman: Arkham City was getting the lion’s share of attention at WBIE’s booth, people in the know were spending a lot of time with Bastion.
If you enjoyed games like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, X-Men Legends, and Marvel Ultimate Alliance then you’ll likely dig Bastion. The perspective and gameplay mechanics are similar to the ones in those games. You run around, fight things, nab loot, fight more things, get new weapons, and fight some really big things towards the end of each level.
I was surprised by the diversity in Bastion. Changing weapons and abilities really give the main character a different feel. Whether you like getting up close and personal with melee combat or enjoy firing away from a distance with ranged attacks, Bastion has a fighting style for you.
The game’s art is really striking. WBIE refers to it as “painterly”. The artists use a cartoon-like art style and a bright palette of colors. Check out the screens above. If Bastion’s art style doesn’t make you feel happy then there’s no hope for your soul. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but the art should be able to elicit some degree of warm fuzzies…or at least a hearty grin.
There are more than 40 levels for you to play in, which is surprisingly high for a downloadable game. WBIE promises up to 10 hours of gameplay, not including a “new game plus” mode that allows additional ways to experience the game.
Bastion will be released this summer. On Xbox 360 it will be part of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade, which kicks off on July 20, 2011. On Windows PC it will be part of…the Windows Summer of Haywood Jablome (not an actual event). I’m super psyched to play it. It feels familiar and looks cool. Let me know if Bastion is something you’d be into.