It’s that time of year again! 2011 is almost over and it’s time to look back and award games that stuck out in our minds – games that achieved greatness, whether good or bad. Remember, all games and awards are purely the opinion of this writer.
What makes a game, or any form of art, for that matter, pretty? Sure, you can throw lens flares and pump up the graphics to nearly photo-realistic, but if your game’s setting and art style are generic and bland, it won’t do you much good. No, to truly make a game pretty, you not only need sharp graphics, but an intriguing art style to go along with it. With the power consoles (and especially high end gaming PC’s) have nowadays, any game can pump out the pretty graphics. It’s going that extra mile that nets a game this highly coveted award.
Seriously. Think about how cool a golden diamond would be.
The winner is…
The Witcher 2 – This one seems almost unfair, as (for now) it’s a PC-exclusive. Top-of-the-line gaming PC’s are practically a generation ahead of console games already in terms of technology and ability, but if you really sit back and look at The Witcher 2 in motion, you’ll know why it won this category.
At first glance, it can appear to be a generic fantasy game, with its forests, elves, trolls, dwarves and other fantasy creations. However, it’s the attention to detail developer CD Projekt put into the game that pushes it over the edge. The character models are incredibly detailed, and a glance at main character Geralt’s armor shows this off to great effect. As nice as the game’s towns and interiors are, however, they can’t hold a candle to the game’s outdoors. If you think Skyrim’s world is detailed and pretty, you haven’t seen what The Witcher 2 is capable of.
It will be interesting to see how well the game translates to the technologically inferior (compared to PC’s) Xbox 360, but the game looks gorgeous when played on even the lowest setting. When you can play it on high or ultra, however, your’e in for an entirely different treat. Individual blades of grass sway with the wind or movements. Droplets of blood fly through the air as monsters are felled in combat, and characters emote in such a way that would make L.A. Noire or Uncharted 3 jealous.
Sure, the gaming population may not remember Geralt or any of the other characters as well as some others. The world itself may not even be as memorable, but we’re talking about pure beauty, and in that category, no game can beat The Witcher 2. If you’ve got the hardware to run the game and like fantasy settings, you owe it to yourself and gaming as a whole to play this game. Your eyes will thank you for a long time.