It’s the end of the year, and you know what that means! End of the year awards for games, movies and just about everything else! That’s right, just about everyone has opinions on what game/movie/show/book/whatever is best for that year, and this writer is no different. It’s important to remember that all of these games are purely the ones chosen by this writer and in no way reflect foamcage.com as a whole. With that said, let’s get going!
The Golden Diamond Award for Prettiest Game
Final Fantasy XIII – If you’ve paid attention to games the past three or so years, this should be a no brainer. FFXIII is a gorgeous game. Say what you will about the game’s mechanics, story and characters; you cannot deny that this game is beautiful. Square Enix managed to make an entire game look like a pre-rendered cut scene, making it difficult at times to tell when a sequence is in-game and when it’s pre-rendered. Often times, a game’s beauty is best viewed from afar, but go ahead, spin the camera around and look at the textures on the characters skin, clothing and ground. While not perfect all the time, it’s an incredibly impressive feat nonetheless.
Oh, and this game isn’t just a treat for your eyes. The music is some of the most beautiful in series history, giving your ears a delicious treat as well. Whether you’re in the claustrophobic corridors of Cocoon or the vast wilderness of Gran Pulse, the game never fails to impress. If you’re looking for a game to show off your new HDTV and show some non-gamers just how beautiful a game can look, look no further than FFXIII.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West – Believe it or not, this was a harder choice than you may think. Now that the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC have been around for a while, it’s more and more common to find a game that features incredibly beautiful graphics. However, one thing Enslaved does that sets it apart is its post-apocalyptic wasteland. Too often, if a game’s world is set in such a setting, the world is going to be destroyed, with little to no plantlife to speak of. Enslaved takes a different approach, with its world being taken over by plants in the absence of humanity.
New York has never looked prettier than in Enslaved. You’ll scramble around ruined buildings that have been taken over by plants and vines, with robotic enemies peppering the landscape. While the game may not be quite as pretty as FFXIII, it very much holds its own. Oh, and the cutscenes? Ninja Theory has taken realistic character models to another damn planet with the emotion they display as they talk. Enslaved is a great accomplishment in storytelling and visual presentation that’ll set the bar incredibly high for future games. Too bad no one played or bought it.