Almost every gamer knows that video games can be the best medium for story telling, even better than movies or books. Video games can suck you into it’s story like a good novel, while still being a visual medium like movies and T.V. What separates games from their elder mediums is the level of control that a user has over their digital world, bending the game’s characters to their will.
It is my firm belief that a major contributor to a game’s success is how the game artists depict the world within their game. The environment, visual style, and music are all vastly influential and are what skyrocket some games into the realm of pure art.
This article will just give you a little taste on how there are plenty of companies out there that follow a simple rule: Video Games as Art.
Journey (2012) PS3
An indie game developed for PlayStation 3, Journey?‘ s story is told wordlessly through in-game and pre-rendered cutscenes. The player’s character begins on a sand dune in a seemingly endless desert. In the far distance looms a large, foreboding mountain with a glowing crevice that splits its peak. As the character approaches the mountain, they find remnants of a once-thriving civilization, eroded by sand over time.
Limbo (2010) Multi-Platform
Released on multiple platforms including Android, Limbo is a prime example of how amazing art style can make a game. The dark simplicity of the graphics does an amazing job at creating an integrating atmosphere that gets the gamer sucked into the world they are playing in.
Flower (2009) PS3
From the same developers as Journey, Flower is a simply gorgeous game. The game basically allows the player to control the wind as it takes a single petal around the world, giving everything it touches a breath of new life. You then create a floral trail that flows through the magical world that you have created as you guide the petals against the wind.
Mirror’s Edge (2008) Multi-Platform
Mirror’s Edge at its core is a high octane running/parkour game. Not only do the stylized graphics look beautiful, but they do a great job at creating an illusion of adrenaline and danger for the user.
Alice: Madness Returns (2011) – PS3, 360, PC
Alice: Madness Returns is all about atmosphere. Alice, a girl suffering from emotional trauma caused by the death of her parents, was discharged from a psychiatric clinic and now lives in an orphanage for mentally traumatized orphans. To get rid of the trauma and learn the truth about her past, she once again falls into Wonderland, where a new evil force has corrupted it.
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