There are moments in your life when you realize you are witnessing something truly magical, when you can just tell you're experiencing something truly unique. I've had the privilege of having several of these moments in my life: The night I stepped out on the Champs Elysees to see snowflakes flitting through the Parisian night, or that evening I stood on the dock in Key West and watched the sun sink into the ocean and swear I saw that green flash. I didn't expect to have one of those moments standing on the show floor at E3 this month, but then I came across Bastion.
The term Action RPG has come to mean something specific of late, a certain breadth of game, a certain expectation of consequence and epic storyline. Very rarely do you hear this term connected to an XBLA, but Supergiant Games took on the task of creating a different kind of Action RPG when they started work on their first game, Bastion. Just saying the name evokes sacred images of home, of sanctuary, and the feeling that you get playing this small, quiet game is just that: sacred.
The format it simple: Your character wakes up to find himself lost and alone on a floating island, and must find his way home. Immediately as you begin to move your character around, you see -- and hear -- that the architecture running this game is far from simple. The terrain builds itself as you approach, and the narration reacts to what you are actually doing in the game. Somehow the storyteller narrating new that you had a penchant for exploding barrels, and says so. Toward the end of my hands on time with the game, I even heard the narrator say "Aw, he shouldn't have done that," when I ran headlong into a battle -- a clear indication that I had done something terribly wrong.
Bastion is a game that requires little of you, but gives you much in return for your time. For all its beauty, for its quiet power, and for the innovation the streams out of every pixel, I am proud to say that Bastion is definitely the Game Geex Best of E3 title. I would say more, but this is one game I really want you to experience for yourself. Bastion will be available during the Summer of Arcade on XBLA, and later on in the Winter on PC.