Covers are odd things. I mean it’d be nice if they actually represented the game, but most of the time they’re just idealised images or some beautiful render of what the game should have looked like before they actually started on the graphics engine. Sure the back cover gives a lot more details on the game, and some real shots of the title, but the front cover is normally your first impression of a game.
Anyway ignoring this moaning about cover art, lets look at the upsides. Cover art is awesome, particularly the stuff from my formative gaming years. I mean take the art from Sonic the Hedgehog. Look at the mischievous hedgehog, his infamous wagging finger held high. The character is reprimanding you before you’ve even purchased the game. Of course the cover gives you almost no clue as to what the game’s actually about, apart from the very small section of Green Hill Zone which shows that something will happen with loops. Probably.
Compare this old school cover to the cover for the “biggest game of last year”, Modern Warfare 2. The colour and fun of the Sonic art is completely gone, instead replaced with something that’s clearly meant to “gritty” and “tough”. I guess that sort of fits the title, but there isn’t really a lot going on and what is there is lost in a scene of dust and fire (a lesser man would say that this reflects on the game itself). Titles like Uncharted 2 show that covers can still be cool and fun, but these seem to be rare gems in a sea of boredom.
Time to throw open the floodgates, what do you think? Do you have a favourite cover or do you really not care? Am I slightly weird for putting this forward as a genuine topic?