The Aggie Awards – The Best Adventure Games of 2018 page 9

Continued from the previous page...

Best Graphic Design: Detroit: Become Human


Regardless of whether you believe David Cage's latest choice-based adventure is a storytelling triumph or an exercise in heavy-handed melodrama, it’s hard to deny that Detroit: Become Human looks anything short of phenomenal. It's clear right from the beginning that Quantic Dream threw an enormous amount of effort and care – and yes, money – into the game's visual presentation, which includes both wonderfully lifelike character design and photorealistic environments that you genuinely want to explore from top to bottom. Even the game’s weather systems are incredible; when its heroes trek through the wind, rain, and snow, they look absolutely miserable and chilled to the bone. While such attention to detail might seem like a trite thing to praise, a lot of games fail to hit this mark and yet it’s imperative to get right when attempting to tell an emotionally-charged story with an emphasis on authentic interactions.

Detroit blows right past the uncanny valley with characters that look amazingly realistic, infusing the game with a nuanced believability that’s absolutely essential to the experience. The meticulously modeled city itself, meanwhile, benefits from the developer's willingness to keep one foot on the ground. It certainly feels like a futuristic metropolis, from its state-of-the-art cars and stoic android population to its sleek, modern architecture, but it's not so far removed from our own world that you can't relate to the surroundings. Tucked beneath the neon glow and electronic veneer lies a beating human heart, which you'll encounter in the surprisingly mundane (and tech-free) suburban homes and all-too-familiar neighbourhood convenience stores. The entire package is pure eye candy, and the more time you spend admiring the sights all around you, the more you’ll feel like you’re actually there. It almost seems unfair to compare games having multi-million dollar budgets with small-scale indie productions, and yet historically we’ve chosen the more stylized artistic directions over slick hyper-realism. This time, however, Detroit blew us away, earning the game our Best Graphic Design Aggie over some impressive competitors.

Runners-Up:


Unforeseen Incidents

Unavowed

My Brother Rabbit

Repentant
 



Readers’ Choice: Unavowed


For anyone unclear on why pixel art is still a thing now that technology can support so much more, the answer is simple: Unavowed. It’s not a case of lower resolutions concealing a lack of talent, it’s an art form in its own right that looks sublime in the right hands. Hands like Ivan Ulyanov and Ben Chandler’s. The former’s character models are wonderfully diverse, representing a realistic cross-section of New York City (and beyond), while the latter’s landscapes are vividly painted with bold colours to establish a supernatural flavour. There are no blue skies (or even grey clouds) here, just ominous hues of pinks, orange and red. The lighting is similarly evocative, and while there are plenty of recognizable backdrops, from back alleys covered in graffiti to the streets of Chinatown to the shoreline overlooking the Statue of Liberty, there are also troubling signs of another world creeping into our own around the edges. Rarely have pixels ever looked so good, earning Wadjet Eye another reader Aggie.

Runners-Up:


Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry

Detective Gallo

Lamplight City

Unforeseen Incidents
 



Next up: Best Animation... the envelope, please!

Continued on the next page...


content continues below
Comments

DaveGilbert DaveGilbert
Feb 21, 2019

I don’t often comment on these things for obvious reasons, but I just wanted to make one small correction.

“Violet Young deserves a special shout-out for convincingly providing several young girl voices – a notoriously difficult role for adults to get right.”

Violet Young was able to convincingly play a child because she is a child herself. She is 12 years old. Smile

Either way, thanks so much! Back to hiding. /swooshes away

Jackal Jackal
Feb 21, 2019

D’oh! Well, that’s quite the achievement in its own right! But I’ll correct.

(And congrats!)

DaveGilbert DaveGilbert
Feb 22, 2019

(Also: there was never a game called The Blackwell Conspiracy)

(sorry)

Jackal Jackal
Feb 22, 2019

I don’t know WHAT possessed me when I wrote that. Tongue

SplinterX
Feb 23, 2019

It is so inconvinient without the summary. I want to see all winers for all categories with all nomenees in one page. It is annoying to go to different pages so often just to see the whole picture. I mean this awards can be a reason to play such games. I want to see a list of them not a sheet.

Corduroy Sombrero Corduroy Sombrero
Feb 25, 2019

Fantastic to see Larry back and getting some mentions Smile

CaliMonk CaliMonk
Feb 25, 2019

We’re working on a sub-category on the site in which you can find an easy overview of Aggie Award winners, per category, per year.

Doraleous
Feb 25, 2019

Bravo, Unavowed made me come back to this genre after years of pretty much only MOBA’ing. What a f***** good game.

CaliMonk CaliMonk
Feb 27, 2019

Great game indeed :-)

small dickie small dickie
Mar 5, 2019

Great Aggie Awards! Really enjoyed them. Great videos, superbly voiced by Ivy Dupler

But i have one questions: Why was The Red Strings Club not considered for the awards? I just started to play it and i noticed that it was released in 2018

Jackal Jackal
Mar 5, 2019

We just felt it was ultimately more of an interactive story game than an adventure game proper. Certainly close enough to cover here at AG, but we try to reserve the Aggies for games that meet our full genre criteria.

Post a comment

You need to be logged in to post comments. Not a member? Register now!
feature