thatgamecompany is well known for their PlayStation exclusive game Journey. Their new game Sky, much like Journey, is a cinematic experience.
We previously covered the news last year that thatgamecompany was working on a new game. They’ve just released a Preview for fans who subscribed to news about the game. Personally, I’ve never owned a PS3 so have never experienced the phenomena that was Journey. So, as soon as thatgamecompany announced a mobile game, I was extremely excited!
Some context (and history)
Journey was famous for a couple of things: 1) Its minimalist visuals and UI that emphasised exploration over menus and 2) Its multiplayer mechanics that emphasised non-lingual communication. These two particular features are also the main themes of Sky.
Sky, based on the few teasers we got before, is set amongst floating pieces of land surrounded by cloud. You, the player, can glide or between areas as well as interact with other players. Last year, we didn’t have too much information on the mechanics or objectives of the game. However, the Preview helps clarify a few things which I’ll touch on shortly.
Sky Preview: First look
Standard disclaimer: of course, this game is a preview so cannot be expected to reflect the final product.
Firstly, the game’s resolution seems to be turned down for the preview. However, that doesn’t detract from how gorgeous the visuals are (I’m a sucker for minimalism). Also, the visuals are so cinematic that it feels more like a beautiful interactive movie. The styling and vibe remind me a lot of Hayao Miyazaki. Both Miyazaki’s films and Sky share themes and an openness to their worlds.
Secondly, the soundtrack is also beautiful. It’s so important in setting the tone of the setting that as you play, you get just a bit lost in the environment.
Thirdly, despite the lack of a menu, the tutorial is straightforward as are the input and movement mechanics. You use two fingers to pan, one finger to move and interact and various swipes or flicks for other actions.
Watch a preview (of the Preview) here:
In addition to the video above, here is a selection of screenshots from the first 20 minutes or so of the game:
I’ll need to play through the preview a bit more but so far, I’m really enjoying it. There’s no information yet as to how much the game will be on release so we’ll post an update as soon as we know more.