Alongside the World War I adventure game Valiant Hearts, Child of Light is one of two games released this year using Ubisoft's Ubi-Art Framework, an engine designed for art-driven titles. The French-Canadian publisher had a rather controversial year with some of its larger titles, but the Ubi-Art Framework escaped this drama, and in the case of Child of Light, the results are absolutely stunning. With gorgeous, heavily detailed vistas, beautiful animations, and a distinctly French-Canadian overall design, Child of Light presents a fairy tale world that's easy to become absorbed in. It's an easy choice for RPGamer's best graphics award, and frankly, the game probably could have won based on Aurora's flowing red hair alone.
Stoic Studios accomplishes its goal of giving its first game, The Banner Saga, a very distinct look and style. Harkening back to older Disney-styled art, The Banner Saga has a classic hand-drawn appearance with beautiful backdrops contrasted with rugged-looking character designs. Artist Arnie Jorgensen manages to perfectly capture the Scandinavian atmosphere and setting by mixing in vibrant colors with the oft snow-covered terrain. The animations are fluid and the battles brutally capture the violence of skirmishes with vikings, giants, and golems.
It should be no surprise in a lot of ways that Transistor rounds out our best graphics category. Cloudbank is luscious, dark, and uncomfortable to navigate through, and yet we want to know the mystery surrounding Red, her sword, Transistor, and why her world is collapsing around her. The game makes amazing use of silhouettes, color schemes, and adding life and vibrance to a dark world. From the flowing of Red's yellow dress to Transistor's light shining in the darkness, Transistor is a feast for the eyes from beginning to end.
by Adriaan den Ouden, Johnathan Stringer, Sam Wachter