Beautiful Games  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Beautiful Games  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 8 Games That Could Be Considered "Art" Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:13:05 -0500 buymymixtape123

Video games have come a long way from the 8-bit sprites of the 80s. Games now rival other forms of media in art style, storytelling and music. Video games are as much of an art form as a movie or a piece of music. Here are eight games supporting this thesis and showing the boundaries gaming pushes as a art form.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt  

The Witcher 3 is as beautiful as a game could get. Just peering over the horizon while the sun is setting is just as soothing as looking over a real sunset. Furthermore, the narrative and music are exceptionally good, rivaling other popular high fantasy stories like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. I remember the first time I played this game back in May 2015, and just riding through Velen for the first time on Roach and taking in the sights and sounds of the world changed the way I looked at gaming. This game made me realize that gaming is art.


Cuphead is one of those games many gamers would look at and think it's a 1930s cartoon. Cuphead is brilliantly designed and stays true to the 1930s cartoon look, even having the strong film grain cartoons and movies of the past used to have. This run and gun, boss rush game is notorious for its hard difficulty but just taking the time to appreciate the art that this indie studio, Studio MDHR, made is enough to make you fall in love with this game.



Bioshock is a game on this list that's artistic for more than its art style. This doesn't mean Bioshock isn't a beautiful game, just going down into the underwater city of Rapture in the first few moments is going to make your jaw drop. But the narrative is what pushes this game into art territory. The game pushes you to think about what is wrong and what is right, and even comments on tyrants and the struggle of power and narcissism. Not a lot of games cover subject matter like this, and Bioshock does it beautifully, to the point where you want to know what is going to happen next in this amazing story. Bioshock is more than a game; it is a piece of art.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

There is one moment in gaming I will never forget and it is the moment at the start of Breath of the Wild, where Link first comes out the Shrine of Resurrection and looks over the horizon of Hyrule for the first time. At this point of my life, I never thought a game would surprise me like that and this moment did to the point of tears. Breath of the Wild isn't a perfect game, but it is art in every aspect of the word. The attention of detail Nintendo did with the landscape of the world, the cartoonish but beautiful graphics all show how gaming is art. 

The Last of Us

The Last of Us shows that video game narratives can be just as compelling and serious as a feature length movie. The Last of Us story of Ellie and Joel as they survive together in a post-apocalyptic world is heart wrenching, addictive and bittersweet. Not to mention that this game is beautiful and dark, which the PS4 remastered port expands upon. This game's story is so beautifully crafted that it's well-known outside of gaming. Even non-gamers know of this title and enjoy Naughty Dog's creation.  


Journey is one of those games that will impact you immensely in the short time it takes to beat. It isn't hard and doesn't have complicated mechanics, but it uses beautiful visuals and music to tell an emotional tale of a robed individual in the vast desert. Journey's soundtrack was so beautiful that it was nominated for a Grammy in 2013, one of the highest awards in music. If after you play Journey, you still don't think video games are art, you may have to get your head checked out.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was hated when it was first announced. Nintendo went for more of a cartoony, colorful experience than following the graphics laid out in Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask. But, people came to notice how beautiful this game really was and how fun the game is in general. Nintendo really focused on facial animation in Wind Waker, where Toon Link makes a certain face when he swings a sword or tries to push something that is too heavy for him. Also, the game is gorgeous for its cel shading graphics. This games still looks as good, if not better, than games coming out on the Switch.

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is beautiful because of how little it does compared to other games. Other games on this list earn their beauty from a wide arrange of colors and architect. This game does not have any of that, as there are no towns to go to, nothing to really look at and no other quest besides killing all of the Colossi around you. It is similar to Journey, where the game takes you on a emotional roller coaster without really doing much. This is the beauty of gaming: it is able to tug at your heart strings just through gameplay, art style and music alone, without a direct narrative putting it all together. If you are unsure if Shadow of The Colossus is in fact art, please check out the PS4 remastered that just came out recently.

There you have it, eight games symbolizing why video games can be considered art. When it comes down to it, if any other media like movies and music can be considered art, then video games should be as well. 

The seven most beautiful games of 2015 Thu, 03 Dec 2015 07:30:54 -0500 Rob Thubron


So, that’s it, the most beautiful games of 2015. I know the year’s not over yet, but we’re unlikely to see any of the games released in the remaining weeks of December challenge those on this list.


As the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” so not everyone may agree with my number one, but I’ve personally never played a game that made my jaw drop in awe the way that The Witcher 3 does. So thank you, CD Projekt RED, for showing that truly beautiful art is possible in video games – and so is having sex on a stuffed unicorn.


1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt


I don’t mind admitting that there were moments during the Witcher 3 that were so beautiful it almost brought a tear to my eye. Staring at the mountains over the lake at Kaer Morhen, watching the birds on the horizon as the sun comes up over Novigrad docks, standing on the bridge to Kaer Trolde with the snowy peaks of Ard Skellig in the distance – all moments that made me understand why some people get emotional when looking at world-famous paintings.


There may have been other games released this year that are more photo-realistic, and there may even have been 2015 titles that do textures better, but the Witcher 3 manages to combine so many top-quality graphical elements that it actually makes you want to be in Geralt’s world – even with all the monsters and murderers.


The lushness of the forests, the quality of the water and fire, the snow on the mountains, the birds, the weather, the sunrises, the creatures, the landscapes – I could go on and on. If anyone tells you that video games aren’t art, show them this. If I could somehow show my 10-year-old self the Witcher 3, I have no doubt that this young version of me would want to hop in a cryo-chamber and stay there until its release.


There have been some breathtakingly gorgeous games in 2015, but in my opinion none can match the Witcher 3. A stunning piece of work and my game of the year.


2. Rise of the Tomb Raider


Last month saw the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to the 2013 reboot of the franchise and a game that manages to capture the magic of those original Lara Croft titles from so many years ago.


Not only is Rise of the Tomb Raider an excellent action-adventure game, but it looks stunning. Mostly taking place in the snowy landscapes of Siberia, the environments really are amazing. Snow and water are never easy to recreate in games, but the designers replicate it here brilliantly.


Sadly, despite the critical and commercial praise it received, Rise of the Tomb Raider never got the attention it deserved upon launch. And why is that, you may ask? Becuase it was released on the same day as Fallout 4! As Comic Book Guy would say: “WORST. DECISION. EVER.”


3. Everybody’s gone to the rapture


Everybody’s gone to the rapture is one of those games that seems to polarize opinion: a lot of people, especially critics, love it, but there are plenty of gamers who hate it and reiterate the old “walking simulators aren’t games” argument. But no matter what your thoughts are on The Chinese Room’s English-set mystery, it’s impossible to deny that it looks amazing.


If you’ve ever played the similar The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, then you’ll know what to expect: plenty of stunning scenery, lots of time to admire it, and tons of walking. The small, Shropshire-based town the game is set in is brought to life thanks to the gorgeous, highly detailed graphics. Atmosphere is crucial in a game like this, and EGTTR doesn’t disappoint – you can almost feel the sun on your face and smell the English countryside (which doesn’t always smell great, just btw). 


Everybody’s gone to the rapture is so beautiful you’d think you could reach into the screen and touch it. Plus, it’s a damn fine game.


4. The Order: 1886


Now we get to one of those games whose gameplay doesn’t come close to matching its frankly astounding graphics and fantastic atmosphere. The Order 1886 makes you feel like you’re controlling a live-action movie with its lifelike visuals. Unfortunately, it’s one of those movies where, most of the time, not much is happening.


It’s not that The Order is a terrible game, it just should have been so much better. The huge number of quick-time events and restrictive gameplay can make it feel like a long cutscene. Overall, it just isn’t much fun.


Like a narcissistic Instagram girl, the game knows it’s beautiful and wants you to realize this. There are plenty of moments where the action takes a backseat so players can marvel at the details and high-quality textures of the game’s objects. You can almost hear The Order: 1886 screaming “Ignore my many faults! Look at how beautiful I am!” as it takes yet another selfie.


5. Ori and the Blind Forest


Not every game that’s considered to be beautiful has to feature almost photo-quality graphics; a good example of this is Ori and the Blind Forest, a 2D platformer that uses vibrant, stunning colors to make it pop off the screen.


The multiple layers of Ori’s levels add an extra element to the visuals, giving the game that sense of depth, rather than it looking like a flat cartoon. During some sections, this layering is used to great effect - especially with the rising water. And trust me when I say: there are some scenes so fantastical, you’ll feel like you're inside a real fairytale.


Ori and the Blind Forest is a brilliant, emotional game that’s made even better with its luscious graphics and a memorable musical score. Try it out, you won't be disappointed.


6. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


The thing with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is that it’s such a good game to play, many people are oblivious to how pretty it is. What looks to be Hideo Kojima's swansong for Konami is up there with Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3 as a contender for Game of The Year. Not only does it redefine the concept of what’s possible in an open-world game, but it also looks fantastic.


The two main locations of Afghanistan and Zaire are loving recreated in MGSV and Big Boss’ offshore headquarters, Mother Base, is a thing of beauty – made all the prettier thanks to the surrounding crystal blue waters of the Seychelles.


The many cinematic sections look like they’ve been taken straight out of a movie, the character and animal animations are spot-on, and the weather effects are outstanding. Metal Gear Solid V is as attractive as it is fun.


7. Child of Light


Child of Light is a magnificent RPG/2D adventure-platformer hybrid whose visuals are truly lovely. Every little bit of this game looks hand-painted by a master artist for a children’s book. It has the same graphics engine as the recent Rayman titles and its use of light and shade - something that I generally never even notice in games - adds so much atmosphere to Child of Light.


Some of the most visually impressive moments in the game come when you’re interacting with Child of Light’s many gigantic creatures, who can take up the majority of the screen. Each level’s background resembles an interactive art gallery painting, and the characters are fantastically designed without feeling childish. The aesthetics of this game will give you a warm and fuzzy sensation, often inducing feelings of childhood nostalgia (they did in me, anyway).


Child of Light is unlike most games; it’s artistic without being pretentious, child-like without being patronizing, and emotional without being saccharine. A gorgeous, incredible, magical game, and also available at a very low price. I highly recommend it to all RPG fans.


It’s common knowledge that just because a game has beautiful graphics, it doesn’t mean that it’ll be any good. Some titles look breathtaking but are, for want of a better word, a bit shit. On the other side of the coin, you have games that look like they were made twenty years ago yet are utterly brilliant, such as Minecraft, Spelunky and Super Meat Boy. Of course, there occasionally are those titles that manage to combine looks and gameplay into one perfect game, which make up the majority of this list.


Every new year brings advancements in game engine technology, graphics card drivers (for PCs) and game optimization, meaning 2015 saw some truly beautiful titles. Not all of them were brilliant to play, and some were downright balls, but there’s no denying that we’re reaching a point where graphics in video games are hitting almost photo-realistic levels.


So here we have been the seven prettiest, most beautiful games of 2015. Yet more proof that we’ll soon never want to leave our homes, living out our lives as a virtual avatar in a picturesque world while a robot butler feeds us and our chairs double as toilets. Maybe... hopefully.

Video Games: The Beauty Beyond the Bullets Sun, 22 Jun 2014 09:51:22 -0400 Fathoms_4209

I'm strolling along a bustling street. The sun is shining, enthusiastic vendors are hawking their wares, a town crier is attracting a small, mildly interesting group. I continually scan the skyline; not to catch the occasional flitting bird, but to marvel at the wondrous architecture of a time long past.

It's Rome and the year is 1503. It's not real but as I'm playing Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, I choose to focus on the beauty and meticulously designed environment. I'm tempted to simply stand and watch. I watch the forbidding movements of the patrolling guards, the limping of an old man, the swaying of the courtesans; I watch with relative awe.

"It isn't real," my brain says.

No, it isn't. But it's an example of the beauty of interactive entertainment that often disappears beneath a maelstrom of bullets and blood.

I switch games.

Here, I'm a little boy. One night, he wakes to find his world has changed. A quiet yet atmospheric rain continually dampens the Parisian sidewalks along which I scamper. When the rain hits my body, I'm at least partially visible. When I am sheltered from the ceaseless drops, I am entirely invisible, although I do leave telltale tracks in the water.

The mysterious beasts that roam the night hunt another prey. There's a little girl who always seems to be just beyond my grasp. She's being pursued and I must reach her in time. I have no weapons; I have no super skills; I'm just a little boy, living a compelling nightmare that arose from the broad pastel strokes of a talented artist.

When I've had my fill, I leave the artistically infused world of rain behind.

Now I stand in the midst of a seemingly barren landscape. I'm holding a sword and I'm riding a valiant steed. I hold the sword up to the slanting sunlight; the blade catches it and magically focuses on a point on the horizon. I head off at a dead sprint, intent on reaching my quarry. The subtlety and mystery of my situation is somewhat disconcerting, as is the knowledge that whatever I find could crush me into a fine powder in a matter of seconds.

As I approach my destination, my pulse quickens and my mind begins to whirl: What will I have to do to conquer the mammoth beast? Will it require an attentive, strategic examination of the environment first? Or should I find a safe place and observe my gargantuan foe for a while? Or, what if I can't see it initially? How do I bring it close enough without losing my fragile life? And could my courageous horse be of any assistance?

When the latest mammoth enemy comes into view, a thrilled, fearful emotion rips through me. After working and thinking hard, I finally bring down the immense beast with an equally immense satisfaction. I take out Shadow of the Colossus disc and try something else.

I'm nothing but a little stick figure. Or rather, I'm a godlike being that can tell this figure when (and how quickly) to walk. He has only one goal: Reach the exit - marked by a simple black circle - without falling. It seems relatively simple at first and indeed, the first puzzle is simple. However, I immediately grasp the future complexity of the game.

"Perception is truth," they say. Here, we find that exemplified in one of the more challenging interactive experiences in existence. I twist the puzzle one way, I twist it another. I try to find the exact right position, which will allow a path to open that wasn't there before. As I think, the soothing strains of a violin concerto allow me to concentrate and further appreciate the art form before me.

It's a little frustrating but an appreciation for what has been created overrides the irritation. Hence, I switch from echochrome (with the full knowledge I will return), and sample another.

I am but a bit of paper. I can assembly myself almost as I see fit; the more paper accoutrements I unlock, the more customization options I have. I run on spindly paper legs and interact with a world made up entirely of paper. The enemies, the trees, and indeed, every last bit of the environment is comprised of paper. It's an immensely creative, wonderfully engaging world that constantly surprises me with its innovation and singular sense of style.

It distinctly reminds me of another set of games, where I play as a cute little sack puppet of sorts, who interacts with endlessly imaginative environments, the likes of which I'm allowed to create (if I've got the requisite motivation and imaginative skill). Between Tearaway and LittleBigPlanet, there are mountains of unique possibilities. I need only open my mind and discover them.

Time for something completely different? All right.

Should it be the brilliantly presented desert in Journey? Or the brilliantly presented desert in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception? Two desert environments; two worlds created entirely differently and with entirely different purposes. Should I play through Alan Wake again? I recall the tortured writer's frightening travels and the otherworldly experience he has; I recall feeling simultaneously edgy and intrigued. Perhaps I'd rather pick up the 3DS and relive the glorious days of yesteryear, when my friends, Mario, Metroid and Zelda, proved year in and year out that beauty - if in a more family-friendly form - is forever part of Nintendo's milieu.

From floating on a breeze as a bunch of flower petals, to catching a picturesque sunset in an amazingly appointed fantasy landscape, my options appear limitless. Do they go beyond bullets and blood?

Oh, absolutely.