Journey Releases On PS4 Today, Free For Those Who Own It On PS3

Journey, the beautiful, minimal exploration game developed by thatgamecompany, makes its way to the PlayStation 4 today.

Journey is the third game released by developer thatgamecompany, and it released to wide critical acclaim when it first launched on the PlayStation 3 in 2012. The setup of Journey places the player in a large explorable desert world, and the player is left to piece together clues about who they are, what they’re doing, and where they’re going. Journey received many awards after its release, including many nods from game-of-the-year lists. Critics commended it for it’s eye-catching visuals, minimalist style, and fully orchestrated score.

One of the main unique hooks of Journey was its approach to online multiplayer and co-op. The game featured a partner system that merged worlds of two players, allowing them to progress forward together. The game didn’t allow any direct communication, instead giving each person a small “chirp” sound they can make as their only means of talking. In their original review, Christian Donlan of Eurogamer commended the co-op system.

“There’s no voice chat available, and there are no naff combo moves to pull off in concert, but you can sing to them – this is essentially Journey’s musical spin on a multi-purpose interact button – and you can often get basic points across in a kind of heavy-handed mime. It sounds like rudimentary co-op, but it feels like nothing else. You’re together, but separated. You meet, but you’re always kept at arm’s length, and you have no say in who you’ll encounter.”

The game remained a PlayStation 3 exclusive up until today, being published by Sony Entertainment Network. The new port brings with it increased visual quality and a smoother frame rate, along with giving the online co-op portion of the game a renewed interest, increasing player population. As detailed on the PlayStation Blog, Journey is part of the PlayStation Cross-Buy promotion, giving those who own the game on the PlayStation 3 an instant, free copy of the game for their PlayStation 4 systems.

Sony is also producing new merchandise to celebrate the relaunch of the game. An all-new merch store dedicated to Journey contains collectibles like shirts, bags, and statues.

The release of Journey comes as the first part of Sony’s PLAY 2015 promotional campaign for their online storefront, the PlayStation Network. The promotion offers discounts for current members of Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription platform, as well as bonuses for those who purchase multiple games from the promotion.

In addition to Journey, something else PlayStation 4 users can look forward to this week is GTA V‘s week-long bonuses for users playing GTA Online.

[Image via thatgamecompany]