Best Animation: The Immortals of Terra: A Perry Rhodan Adventure (a.k.a. Rhodan: Myth of the Illochim)
Bringing to life a fictional world, either fantasy or futuristic, is a job requiring care for all the little details, lest it otherwise fail to suspend the player’s disbelief or allow full immersion in the story. Originating from a popular sci-fi book saga, The Immortals of Terra: A Perry Rhodan Adventure already had a well developed world, the so-called “Perryverse”, to draw upon to tell a believable story with established characters to populate it. Still, Perry Rhodan faced the challenge of successfully translating this literary universe to an audiovisual format without compromising its authenticity. Fortunately, its skillful use of animation manages to do so superlatively.
The first few minutes of the adventure are awe-inspiring, with an opening cutscene that is not only visually stunning but also sports a cinematic quality that's very uncommon in the genre today. The diverse game environments are just as smoothly animated, whether through beams of light glittering in the dark, spacecraft flitting through the sky, patrolling androids, or flashing lasers. Even the character movements are fluid and impressive, from the numerous strolling passersby to the pompous guards of the Residence to technicians repairing damaged machinery, with sparks and smoke rising from their tools. There are moments when you’ll want to stop playing, just to watch Perry Rhodan’s universe coming to life and drawing you into this strange, fascinating world, utterly convinced of its plausibility.
Runners-Up: A Vampyre Story, Insecticide, Part 1 (PC)
Readers’ Choice: A Vampyre Story
Too often we see an adventure protagonist's arm lazily waved in the general direction of an item, only to see it magically disappear, but not so in A Vampyre Story. The comic adventure goes to great lengths to animate every action in detail, earning it the top reader vote and completing its graphic domination over the nearest challengers, Sam & Max: Season Two and The Immortals of Terra.
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Next up: Best Music... the envelope, please.