Having read Dan’s review of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, I found myself desperately wanting an Xbox again just so I could play this one game (you fortunate ones can enter the amazing competition. Not that I’m bitter). It then struck me that, as someone who fell well and truly out of love with gaming, the games that have been tempting me back to my console of choice are those that dare to be different and, more often than not, these have a unique and distinctive art style.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, an unlikely system seller?
I know there have been countless discussions about whether video games count as works of art but I’m not here to discuss that, mainly because everybody finds art in different things, rather I wanted to see if the styling of a video game will sway you to spending money on it?
Having very recently bought Limbo based purely on this aspect and anticipating Journey purely based on this aspect, it has become a very powerful marketing tool for me personally. And there seems to have been a dramatic increase in games which feature a distinctive style. Is this because we are now in an age where graphics are expected to be great and physics are expected to be nailed? With many different studios using the same engines and mechanics, is the styling of a game the one area where it can truly be defined and made to stand out?
Limbo is still the poster child for inspiring art style in downloadable games.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not naive enough to think that the future of video games rests with the art department, that’s ridiculous; after all, look at Modern Warfare. Here is the biggest selling entertainment release of all time and yet it couldn’t look any more generic and default if it tried.
It’s a glimmer of hope though that perhaps we’ll begin to see more and more people putting a unique creative stamp on the games that we buy and that can only be a good thing, right? Because I’ve rabbited on a bit, I’d also like to reiterate my earlier question. How important is the styling of a game to you and would you ever purchase something purely based on how it looks?