A lot of watching presentations like the PlayStation Showcase is just thinking a game might be a sequel to a thing you like, and as a Journey fan, Sword of the Sea had me by the throat for a hot minute during the show.
The game comes from Giant Squid Games, the studio behind The Pathless, but its Journey DNA is pretty apparent in its visuals. That’s because Matt Nava, the artist who worked at Journey developer thatgamecompany, is also working on Sword. There are scenes and set pieces in the trailer that look straight up pulled out of Journey, from the glistening desert sand to the way its main character boards across it, if you didn’t see the title card at the end, you’d think this was a Journey sequel. While it’s clearly trying to recapture the 2012 game’s magic, it’s going to have its work cut out for it when it launches later this year.
Check out the trailer below:
While Journey was a pretty once-in-a-lifetime video game experience that is hard to recreate, I do commend Sword of the Sea for just really committing to the bit of being legally distinct while clearly drawing inspiration from the original game. What remains to be seen is just how much it will riff on the same ideas of connection Journey leaned into with its seamless, wordless multiplayer experience. The game seems much more interested in letting you do sick tricks on your board, so it’s unclear just how much it will lean into the solemn framing of its inspiration.
Admittedly, I never got around to The Pathless, but now that it’s been brought to my attention just how much Journey is in Giant Squid Games’ work, I’m tempted to go back and give it a second look. At the very least, it will give me something to do until Sword of the Sea launches exclusively on PlayStation 5.