Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Art of Video Games

Tasked with restoring an afflicted sapling to its former beauty, you bring it to life with a swirl of your paintbrush. The sapling bursts with light, a melody of soft pink flowers blooms on its young branches, and lush green meadows breathlessly sweep away the cursed countryside, returning vitality to the diseased landscape.

The story of the video game, Okami (Wii) is told through cinematic cut-scenes and a visual presentation designed to mimic the style of traditional Japanese artistry -- specifically woodcut and watercolor paintings. This unique look is complemented by cel-shaded graphics and the result is beautiful. The word picturesque accurately describes the setting as Amaterasu (main character's) runs through the spectacular, giant-sized locales, all seemingly straight out of a painting.

Compare this:

To this:

Indeed, the first one is an in-game screenshot of Okami, and the second is concept art for the game. They are both beautiful, aren't they?

Okay, let's head on over to my favorite place: Zelda.

In-game screenshot:

Concept art:

Yeah, it isn't as close as Okami is, but it is still portrayed nicely.

1 comment:

alex-ness said...

This is such a nice way to show how video games are not just products but creative works. The quality of artwork makes or breaks a video game I think, or, at least, for me.