Bastion is a game that has flown under the radar for me. A game that has been winning rave reviews since it was released on the Xbox and PC is now available on the iPad for $4.99. It’s a role playing game that see’s you take the role of young boy alone in what remains of the Bastion.
The game starts as it means to go on for as you wake the boy from his sleeps you’ll notice a couple of distinctive things happening. First is the way that the environment builds itself around you as you move through it. The second is the fact that all of your actions are narrated to you which makes you feel like you are in a movie.
Obviously if you’ve played Bastion before on either of the other platforms then you will know all this, however, if you are picking this up for the first time then both of these features are extremely engaging and set this aside from other similar games you may have played.
Your environment is full of weird and wonderful creatures that you must defeat that and for that purpose you have a range of weapons for you to use and upgrade. You’ll be taken through the process of how to use your weapons as well as navigate your environment across the first few minutes of the game that act as a tutorial as well.
You have a choice of controls too. One set will certainly lend itself to those who prefer a joystick as a virtual one is provided to move your character around, while the uses a control method designed specifically for the iPad as simply touching the screen will move your character to that locations. I used both controls and found them both good but ended up using the ‘classic’ controls most of the time.
You’re overall goal is to re-build the Bastion which was destroyed by an incident that goes by the name of the Calamity. The full story only reveals itself as you progress through the game, and much of this comes from the narrator.
The hand-painted environments look great and clearly a lot of detail has been put into them. That being said the you don’t get too long to pay attention to them as there is a focus on action in this role playing game that will see you fighting, running and avoiding for much of your time in this world.
Upgrading your weapons is key to survival and progression and while you can only have 2 weapons active at any one time you can switch between them at will. Although attack will get you so far you also have to be quick on your feet to defend too. Defending can be done using your shield but also by dashing out of the way.
Of course running and dashing around on a suspended world brings its own risks as you would find yourself falling of the edge of the Bastion. Luckily falling off the Bastion only results in a slight loss of health before you find yourself back in the heat of the action again.
Bastion may not have the complexity of some RPG games, but don’t let that stop you from picking up what is a wonderful title for what it lacks in complexity it makes up for in depth and enjoyment.
For added fun and additional replay value a ‘Plus’ mode is opened up for you once you’ve completed the game and the Game Center integration with leaderboards and 20 plus achievements will keep you going for bragging rights with your friends.
Bastion is a great introduction to RPG’s and yet stands on it’s own too, so if you’re new to RPG’s, new to Bastion or an avid player of RPG’s in general then dig out that $5 and splash it out on Bastion today, as long as you don’t have the original iPad which it won’t work on.[rating: 5/5]
What we like
- Beautiful hand-painted graphics
- Engaging storyline
- Control options
- Plenty of replay value
What we know
- iPad 2 or New iPad required