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Brave New Apocalypse

By Fiona Gregory, editor

Mar 18, 2013: Bastion isn’t your regular apocalypse story. In ingredients maybe (meteors, plague, . . . .aliens?), but not in presentation. The story is told alternately through text passages, video clips, audio tracks, and images. The point of view shifts between different characters, and different points in time after "E-Day". This sounds like it would be very hard to follow, but actually, the story flow seems to work. If you do get confused, there is a handy Timeline page. The text passages are well written, and the videos proficiently acted. The audio and video clips are not randomly thrown in, but integrated into the story world, i.e. one is a radio broadcast, another is a character’s Christmas greeting to her family. (Transcripts are provided for those readers who can’t or don’t want to play the sound.)

To give an example of how it all manages to fit together, in spite of what sounds like a chaotic presentation, the latest episode at the time of writing was a documentary from five years after. "How can this not give everything away?" I wondered, "is this going to be the end?"Actually, what it did was give a "big picture" on what has happened up to a point in time just past the latest previous eposide – which we had of yet only seen from the narrow perspectives of certain individuals – and then leave a big cliffhanger as to what is about to happen next!

This is pretty darn cool, and definitely worth checking out, for the exciting story and interesting characters as much as the innovative format.

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