Games of the Decade: Bastion is a labour of love

November 27, 2019
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To mark the end of the 2010s, we’re celebrating 30 games that defined the last 10 years. You can find all the articles as they’re published in the Games of the Decade archive, and read about the thinking behind it in an editor’s blog.

Sometimes you make a connection with a game that’s very enduring. I was introduced to Bastion by my then-flatmate, the same person who introduced me to this very website, while I was thoroughly disenchanted with video games as a whole. It made me want to look deeper into what games could be, what they could become if a team focused on its unique talent and the things that were important to them. A little less than a decade later I’m here doing just that, so it’s safe to say that Bastion is my most personal game of the decade.

Initially I was confused and slightly annoyed by what I now feel is Supergiant’s biggest asset – the narration. It seemed a little creepy to have an omniscient voice follow you around while your own character stayed silent, but I changed my mind as soon as I realised how ingenious it really is. Bastion could have been a simple action game with a silent protagonist, but instead it’s a perfect example of how story matters. With nothing more than a few sentences here and there Supergiant breathed life into its world and told a story of conflict, community and tolerance. It whispered enough of that story to feel real but deliberately left gaps that kindled my imagination. Its refusal to tell you everything felt as unique as the mode by which Bastion told its story, and more importantly, it opened up a world beyond known tropes – no cops and robbers, no cowboys, no knights. Just a boy and his hammer.

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