Ori and Naru by Johannes Figlhuber, Max Degen (Ori and the Blind Forest)
Citing The Last of Us as her favorite video game from an aesthetic perspective, Patricia stated that Never Alone was her highlight of Into The Pixel’s 2015 collection, branding its artwork “evocative and beautifully executed.” However, while Never Alone was developed on a comparatively shoestring budget when measured up against the likes of The Order: 1886, Patricia conceded that the realistic, technically impressive visuals showcased by games funded by wealthy publishers are also of great importance to the industry. “As we have seen from top filmmakers, the use of special effects and art direction is often more important than the storyline,” she explained. “This carries over often to the gaming industry; they have to lure the viewer into the game, by creating sometimes more realistic visuals and using state of the art computerized software and techniques.”
Good Knight Stories by Evan Cagle (King’s Quest)
But wonderful artwork can be found in any video game no matter how small or poorly funded its development team may be. Even though we’re all often prone to complaining about the industry, which is an inevitably given its meteoric rise in such a short period of time, we truly are living in a golden age of video games in which there’s something for everyone, both in terms of gameplay and aesthetics. One need only look at the press conferences from E3 to see how greatly the industry has evolved, with us complaining only a few short years ago that the market had become over-saturated with grey, pallid shooters, which the industry has in turn responded by delivering more diversity in its art styles.
We saw the unveiling of Dreams, Media Molecule’s latest game which boasts a visual direction unlike anything we’ve seen before in the medium, while Ratchet and Clank had the appearance of an interactive Pixar movie. Then there was Cuphead, a game borrowing its art style from 1930s cartoons, while Beyond Eyes attempts to portray the world as experienced by a blind girl. There was a lot to take in, and unlike previous years, a vast majority of games on show were suitably inveigling in their own right.
Labyrinth by David Fernández-Huerta (Monument Valley)
It’s all incredibly exciting, and it ensures that the likes of Into The Pixel will have plenty of artwork to feature at the expo far into the future. With their 2015 collection a terrific reminder of how far the video game industry continues to push its own boundaries visually, it will be interesting to see what makes the cut in the 2016 collection, after E3 showcased how bright, colorful and wonderfully diverse the medium is becoming.
Paul Tamburro is the UK, Tech & Gadgets and Gaming Editor for CraveOnline. When he isn't busy reporting upon all the latest developments in the tech and gaming industries, he spends his spare time surrounding himself in the latest technology and video games, and enforcing his opinions on everything from Apple to Nintendo onto other people. It's fortunate that this is his job, really.