Bastion features some light
mathematics in a few elements, including collecting and spending money and the
game's battle mechanics, which rely on the various statistics of weapons and
Bastion offers levels full of secrets, optional quests that reward
players with new items and upgrades, and several different ways to customize the
player's character. Players can choose to upgrade each of their weapons in
different ways if they've collected the requisite materials. One bow upgrade,
for example, may allow players to choose to either shorten the bow's charge
time or increase the amount of damage each arrow does. Instead of simply
increasing a weapon's strength this allows players to customize their tools to
suit their own preferred play styles, and any time the player visits an armory
these upgrades can be rearranged freely.
Players also choose from a collection of tonics that grows throughout the game
and gives the Kid various upgrades, like the ability to draw in nearby items or
increase the power of his attacks as long as he stays at full health. The Bastion's
shrine allows players to choose whether or not to pay homage to the game's
various deities, which causes enemies to either grow or weaken in power and may
grant the Kid experience bonuses. All of these options allow players a level of
control over the game, despite the fact that its main stages proceed linearly
from the beginning to the end.
By the Developer:
The focus of Bastion is on a few of its more superficial elements. Its
graphic style makes a great first impression and is the biggest selling point.
Shown in an isometric view, the world of Bastion is made up of thousands
of environmental details that constantly fly through the air to meet the Kid as
he explores each area. The gorgeous pixilated environments are populated by the
Kid and the game's imaginative enemies, which fit in nicely despite being
modeled in 3D.
The game's most
innovative element is its progressive voice-over. The Kid meets an old man
early in the game that acts as the game's narrator. Rather than having dialogue
between characters, he explains what is happening as if it's being read from a
book. He periodically offers commentary on the Kid's actions during a level,
reacting in real time to the player's choices.
Bastion rewards players with currency for defeating enemies, completing
optional stages and exploring the game's world. This money is used both to
upgrade weapons and to purchase items at the store in the Bastion. While
players will need to save up in order to collect every item in the game, Bastion
is usually generous enough that players will be able to upgrade their
favorite weapons comfortably and still pick up plenty of extras.
Bastion does not include
any multiplayer modes, and players aren't allowed any control over the game's
conversations or plot.
Players have a number of decisions to make regarding customizing their
character that will affect their capabilities in battle, which are important as
the game's combat is its central focus.
Each different enemy type attacks in a distinct manner. Some charge up and then
unleash a powerful blow; others try to swarm the Kid; others still launch
projectile attacks from afar. Each of these asks the player to use different
styles of weapons and techniques. Players can choose any two of the weapons in
their arsenal to carry at once, and picking a set of tools and figuring out how
to use it for any given challenge is the game's central challenge.
Each weapon is distinct. The shotgun weapon fires a wide blast but has
considerable recoil, the hammer attacks slowly and powerfully, and the bow
offers special charge attacks for players that can master the timing. Players
also always have access to a quick dodge roll and a counter-attacking shield,
and it's up to players to choose how to use these different options in every
Special lengthy arena battles can be accessed from the Bastion that test
players even further, and the short bursts of challenge offered by the optional
“proving ground” levels help players to master certain aspects of each weapon.
The game's combat mechanics are spread out across so many different types of
stages that it's hard not to appreciate the thought that went into them.
Bastion is not a simulation game.
Bastion has been praised
universally since its release. It has been praised for its story and the level
of customization it offers players, and in particular for its soundtrack and
colorful, detailed art style.
can alter the difficulty level of the game by visiting a shrine that is
unlocked early on. Here a series of options can be toggled separately that make
changes to the game's battle mechanics. One makes enemies attack more quickly,
while another might allow them to sustain more damage. These make the game more
challenging but reward the player with bonuses to their experience points.
Other audio and visual options are also available.
Bastion was rated E 10+ by the ESRB with
descriptors for Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence and Use of Alcohol and