One thing the Final Fantasy series has built a reputation for, particularly in its more recent mainline entries, is always being at the forefront of graphics and visual design. Final Fantasy XV is no exception. The character and world designs are excellent throughout, and the pure level of detail is immense. Never has so much effort been made in making delicious-looking on-screen food.
Combat looks great in motion (Prompto never quite figured out the timing for action photos for me). Battles are always action-packed and despite some chaoticness it was usual easy enough to figure out what exactly was happening. Then there are the unique boss encounters, pitting players against gigantic foes in a visual treat.
The series has frequently created some iconic locations, and Final Fantasy XV keeps that going. The wilderness of Eos as a whole should be considered one, providing an assortment of areas that is simply enjoyable to wander through and behold. The Venice-inspired city of Altissa is also gorgeous to behold. It's just a shame that we only ended up getting to see a small part of the world.
The art assets in Darkest Dungeon stink. They induce a gag response; wet and slimy, the air of the graphics tastes of stale rot. And that is amazing. The game's visuals are incredibly evocative of the setting with a very low-detail style. Every element is impressive and engrossing just to look at. Add to that the work looks engrossing in all of the various torchlight conditions and it makes this collection of Mignola-esque heavy lines and wonderful colour selections even better. I eagerly anticipate the artbook landing on my coffee table.
First and foremost, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is not yellow this time around. The futurism in the design of all the objects is tangible and believable, but with a sense of style that feels just one step cooler than what might be the actual case in the near future. Placing this side by side with the post-soviet generosity of Prague is a delightful juxtaposition. The look of this game, from the secret bases, to the VR space, to the all-cyborg crate city, oozes proper damned cyberpunk(TM). There is a very clear sense of design and aesthetic in every element of the game, which is good to see in an ecosystem that encourages asset outsourcing.
by Alex Fuller, Scott Wachter