Introducing our brand-new video game monthly feature; Our video game of the month feature!
Games are by very definition, beautiful. How else would developers and publishers manage to steal our beady-eyed attention long enough to convince us to part ways with our hard-earned minimum wage? With gameplay? Pah! Sometimes all we need is something amazing to feast our sight on. To drink in the details of a perfectly sculpted face, to revelling in the rippling wind on the leaves or being creeped out by a realistically rendered spider crawling across your field of view.
Whatever gets your eyes hungering for more, we have you covered! Here are some of our top picks for amazingly photogenic games.
“Beautiful” isn’t a word typically used with horror, unless you’re a complete psycho. But Resident Evil Village is just that.
Each location looks unique with incredible attention to detail. Capcom’s RE Engine really is something special, it’s been used in the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes, Resident Evil 7 and now Resident Evil Village. Each title looks stunning, but each one also improves on the last. Village is no exception. From the snow-covered titular village to the grandeur of Castle Dimitrescu.
Every inch of my video game of the month is dripping in equal parts blood and detail. Even the character models are beautifully realised. So much so I kinda fell in love with one of Lady Dimitrescu’s daughters - Bela... yeah. A bit weird. I really should see someone about that.
I know what you’re thinking, ‘How can a Dragonball Z game be one of the best visual spectacles you’ve seen?’ and I completely agree with you. This game does not compare to the likes of God of War, Red Dead Redemption or even The Legend of Zelda on Nintendo switch. So why have I used this particular image as my screenshot for my video game of the month?
Simply because the graphics in this game are my favourite for this genre. Anime shows have always had a hard time when it comes to entering the video game world. With the nature of DBZ games being incredibly frantic and fast-paced, sometimes it can be hard for consoles to keep up. DBZ Kakarot, from what I have experienced does not flail as others have. As you can see in this image everything is crisp and sharp. From the wind rushing past them to the spit coming from Super Buu’s mouth, you really feel as though you are in the cinema watching an Anime movie.
Even though the camera angle has zoomed in on Vegito and Buu’s fight you can see the detail in the environment around them has not distorted. The clouds in the sky are clear and the mountainous landscape really captures the Earth we know from the show. The art style may not live up to Dragonball FighterZ but you can’t enjoy roaming around the environments like you can in Kakarot.
I have had the pleasure of playing Ratchet and Clank this week on the PlayStation 5. Shortly after putting my eyes back in their sockets, I thought I would write a few words about this gorgeous piece of art. Firstly, we all know Insomniac do great things with their games. Spider-Man, Miles Morales and even the last Ratchet and Clank game all look amazing. Ratchet and Clank: A Rift Apart is on a whole other level though! Fasten your seatbelts and hold on to your eyeballs.
You know you are playing a pretty video game when the cutscene stops and you have those awkward few seconds of wondering why your character has stopped moving. After which you realise you are actually in-game and have to start going about your business. let me tell you Ratchet and Clank is a looker. Bundled with a superb photo mode, I think I have spent far more time than I am willing to admit lining up beautiful shots of our dynamic duo in my video game of the month.
The level of fidelity and animation clarity is simply superb. I watched an animated film the same day as this and between you and me, the difference was negligible. The whole time playing this beautiful piece of art is like watching a Pixar animation. Little Sebby, in his younger years, would have lost his mind if he knew this is how far video games would progress. The whole game is indistinguishable from an animated motion picture and aside from that, is also an absolute pleasure to play.
From the beautiful ray-traced reflections to the individual fur fibres on each of the Lombax’s heads, the level of detail is something I have not seen before. I even zoomed in on the character's eyes in photo mode and can actually see true reflections not even noticeable in-game without zooming in. The attention to detail is sublime. As for the lighting, wow, lens flares, sunbeams and various other light sources all look amazing. Each new planet you visit is so full of life, immensely rich with detail and a pleasure to explore.
Gameplay-wise, there is something nice about a little adventurous romp over gloriously looking planets just shooting baddies and collecting stuff. I feel sometimes we lose what makes games fun and the gameplay of Ratchet and Clank takes me back to being a younger lad, playing video games and being happy. It really does help your enjoyment though when the game looks this damn good!
I doubt anybody seeing this image would be able to tell the game it comes from is almost 7 years old. Most screenshots you will find scattered online of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are justifiably of its beautiful and diverse natural scenery. From its peaks to the blue water, every inch of the world is just eye-poppingly pretty and it shows. Undoubtedly, The Witcher 3 has to be my video game of the month.
As a city boy though, I absolutely adore urban sprawls. Hierarch Square is a place you will see a lot of while travelling in and out of the city of Novigrad. This is because it is involved in many of the game’s quests. But to me is so much more than a hub. There are not many games that make me actually stop and look around like I was live streaming. From the evening sun shining on the detailed cobblestone to the moss on the building facades all the way to the wary look towards Geralt from the passer-by, this screenshot of the golden hour in Hierarch Square represents everything I love about the city of Novigrad and the game itself.
The Witcher 3 is critically acclaimed and regarded as one of the best games ever made not just because of its gameplay and its writing but also thanks to the sheer amount of detail and gorgeousness even its most mundane parts are filled with.
The devil is in the details. And oh boy, do I love the devil! So, by extension, I also love detail. The small details are what get me fascinated the most. It is the very thing that has made me go back to education to pursue a career in game design. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition offers me so much to awe over, especially given that these games are several game generations old at this point.
I never got the chance to play the original Mass Effect game. Now, I have been spending SO much time exploring planets! I have already racked up over 35 hours of gameplay on a game that can technically be completed in just a few. I imagine a lot of the things I love are due to the graphical overhaul, but my gosh is this game pretty! Forgot the sexy aliens, the attention to detail on outfits and weapons etc. The thing that I love the most is the background!
This screenshot was taken with the in-game photo mode, and just look at the detail! The details in imagery help to paint a picture, this one in particular really makes you think. We know the planet in the distance is unhabituated due to exploring the galaxy overlay. But, now we can see potential reasons why. Perhaps that crater was an extinction-level event? Perhaps that giant scar was the aftermath of a worldwide tectonic rift? Are the smaller impact craters the lasting scars from the previous reaper culling? Small details like this are what really grab my eye. And rack up the hours of playtime! I'm proud to say that Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is my video game of the month!