The Journey Down: Episode One Review and Giveaway (Windows PC)
Posted by David “ZerolinK” Vizcaino, May 30, 2012 16:32
As a writer, games with good stories, such as Nier, interest me. As a former artist, games with fantastic artwork, such as El Shaddai, fascinate me. As a rhythm-less drummer, games with good music, once again Nier, keep me hooked. The Journey Down, has each of these in spades.
The Journey Down, episode 1, centers around three residents of a city named St. Armando: Bwana, the owner of a refueling station near a port, his brother Kito, and Lina, a university student searching for a book containing information about the mysterious Underland. Unfortunately, the story does not start off strong, and it barely picks up the pace throughout the first episode. Thankfully the interesting back stories behind Bwana and Kito, which centers around their missing father, help carry the game forward until the mysteries of the Underland begin to captivate you.
Or at least it did for me. The one thing I have to give The Journey Down the most credit for is for its portrayal of people of African descent, particularly Lina and Bwana. Bwana is most clearly Jamaican and, in some ways, he feels almost like a stereotype, yet as you progress, it’s easy to see that he isn’t (in ways I won’t reveal such as to not spoil the story). Lina, on the otherhand, is immediately non-stereotypical, in that she is an intelligent woman who isn’t simply being lead on an adventure, as most intelligent women in games today seem to be, but she instead initiates the adventure. As a person of African descent, I knew it would be possible that I would be offended by a game featuring predominantly black characters, yet I wasn’t. There are some stereotypes (mainly two that I can think of), but even these are inoffensive and are actually fun characters. This shows that a lot of thought was put behind the characters in The Journey Down, especially when you consider that the entire game was made by a group of Swedish developers.
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