Bastion is the very first game that Supergiant Games produced and developed. It is a level structure Action RPG released on Xbox Live in July 2011 and then for PC in August of the same year.
Supergiant Games announced a browser version of Bastion available from the Google Chrome Webstore on December 2011. Supergiant Games later in the day also revealed the DLC bundle of The Stranger, which contains additional content.
Reviewers strongly praised the game, particularly for its plot, style of art, narration, and music. Opinions were mixed on the gameplay’s complexity, though there was an appreciation for the combat system’s variety of options.
The plot revolves around a mute hero, simply known as The Kid. The remainder of the world has fallen to pieces in the wake of an unspecified doomsday called the Calamity. It is the responsibility of the Kid to revive a refuge known as the Bastion.
The Kid wakes up on the ruins of the Rippling Walls of Caelondia and instantly sets off for the Bastion’s haven. As he arrives, he meets a stranger who asks him to collect the Cores that controlled the now-ruined city and hold the energy to restore the sanctuary.
Bastion contains real-time fighting set atop isometric fantasy-themed worlds that essentially come to life underneath the hero’s very feet. Players take on this silent protagonist’s role as he battles his way through the post-apocalyptic, vibrant world.
Each level includes searching collapsing places for Cores while also battling against a range of enemies trying to survive. The actions of the Kid are narrated seamlessly by an unknown stranger who also explains the plot.
The Kid comes back to the titular Bastion between stages, where he can spend in-game resources, called fragments, to acquire upgrades to weapons and unlock extra pieces of equipment. These are collected and used in different structures located in the Bastion.
The Kid also gets access to three separate remote arenas as the narrative unfolds, which reveals unique intrigue for the survivors. In-game achievements are documented by the Memorial, one of the Bastion structures, which rewards fragments when achieving the milestones.
While levels cannot be replayed once finished, the Kid can go to challenge courses intended to assess the skills of the player. Every Proving Ground is unique to the assigned weapon, with specific objectives and constraints.
There are three stages of a successful finish, each with a reward. The respective Proving Ground is permanently sealed once a weapon has been mastered.
A seven-people team split between San Jose and New York City built up the game over two years.
They launched the game at the Penny Arcade Expo in September 2010. It continued to be nominated for awards at the 2011 Independent Games Festival and won awards at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Bastion was released for Xbox 360 in July 2011 through Xbox Live Arcade and Microsoft Windows on Steam in August 2011 via digital distribution. Supergiant Games launched this in December 2011 as a browser game for Google Chrome.
It was released in 2012 for Mac OS X and iOS, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in 2015, Xbox One in 2016, and Nintendo Switch in 2018. Darron Korb produced and composed the soundtrack of Bastion, and in August 2011, a soundtrack album was put on sale.
As per the review aggregator Metacritic, Bastion received “generally favorable reviews” with scores of 86/100 for PC and 83/100 for Xbox One versions. Most critics lauded the graphics and soundtrack of the game.
According to GameSpot, “The world of Bastion is brought to life with some truly exceptional hand-painted environments.” Slant community agreed collectively that the game offered enjoyable, diverse gameplay and a unique storytelling style.