The first trailer for Thatgamecompany's Journey might bring a tear to your eye.
The next title to come out of FlOw and Flower studio Thatgamecompany will be Journey for the PlayStation Network, another game deemed somewhat of an "experiment." Journey's first trailer has been released and is so lonely it might make you want to call a friend or loved one.
The game is absolutely gorgeous, and will likely be added to the pantheon of titles used in the "games as art" argument. Journey's gameplay in general is still being kept under wraps, but we do know that it has a big component of exploration. Players will be moving through sand dunes, snowy mountains, and other areas as their robes flow in the wind, searching for... something. The trailer does show off another living, or at least presumably living, snake-like golem creature, so these lands may be populated by outlandish creatures too.
This trailer might give you the idea that Journey is all about searching through a mysterious land by your lonesome, but it actually does have an interesting multiplayer component. While Journeying, those online may come across other human players on the way, but they can only be communicated with through primal means and not actual language. Whether you choose to hang beside these players or leave them in your dust is up to you.
The idea is to create an emergent, emotional mechanic that sees the game's "powerless" players trying to work together to create unique gameplay situations, or remaining aloof and finding out what can happen solo. I know all we've seen so far is Journey's trailer and some screenshots, but it's truly reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus, which also imparted an engaging feeling of loneliness. Journey appears to be similar to the Team Ico game, but might be a look at what Colossus would be like if you randomly came across other players in the search for its giant bosses.
Journey will be released sometime in 2011.