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Best Art Direction of 2019 - VGChartz
Best Art Direction of 2019

Best Art Direction of 2019 - Article

by Taneli Palola , posted on 03 January 2020 / 1,641 Views

Standing out with your visuals in today's extremely crowded video game scene takes something truly special. It's not enough to just have the most advanced technology or the prettiest graphics with the most pixels, rather the game needs to create a world that genuinely shows something unique to people. This year's nominees for the Best Art Direction Award have done exactly that, each being instantly recognizable at a glance. Whether it's the realistic visuals of Death Stranding, the almost toy-like art style of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, or Astral Chain's anime-inspired looks, all five of the following games successfully built their own striking - and unique - visual identities.

 

 

The Shortlist:

 

Yoshi's Crafted World

 Yoshi's Crafted World


The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

 The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

 

Death Stranding

 Death Stranding

 

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

 Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

 

Astral Chain

 Astral Chain

 

 

 

 

 

The Winner:

 

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

 The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

A prime example of how to update an old game while still retaining the style and tone of the original, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening's visual design feels like a genuine stroke of genius. Not only are the toy-like characters and diorama-esque world gorgeous and instantly recognizable at a mere glance, but the art direction also captures the style and feel of the original Game Boy game while still updating the game's look for the modern day. It's an artistic triumph and more than worthy of the award for the Best Art Direction of 2019.


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13 Comments

RolStoppable (on 03 January 2020)

Yoshi's Crafted World got snubbed. VGC writers biased against Nintendo, confirmed.


coolbeans (on 03 January 2020)

There's only so much energy I have to show these people the light, Rol.


  • 0
Zenos (on 06 January 2020)

I quite liked how Astral Chain looked, but the environments could've used some variety. I think my favourite game looks-wise this year was Blazing Chrome.


Leynos (on 03 January 2020)

Daemon X Machina and Astral Chain for me.


shikamaru317 (on 03 January 2020)

Eh, can't say I agree with this result even a little bit, the Link's Awakening artstyle is terrible. The Nintendo fanbase being the largest of all the fanbases on VGC really skewed some of these results.


Leynos (on 03 January 2020)

Your avatar is an anime woman with big tits. You don't seem the type who should be able to judge best art direction.


  • 0
shikamaru317 (on 03 January 2020)

You think Marie Rose has big tits? Lol She is an A cup. She's from Dead or Alive. As for Best Art Direction, I personally liked Kingdom Hearts 3 and Borderlands 3 the most this year, which didn't even get nominated here on VGC, but I do like Astral Chain and Control art direction as well.


  • -3
John2290 (on 03 January 2020)

Every award so far has been ridiculous.


Machina (on 03 January 2020)

All but one of the 10 winners so far also topped the community poll, so they can't be that 'ridiculous'.


  • +2
John2290 (on 03 January 2020)

Most awards are a joke but to see Sekiro fail to win here is just laughable, Maybe Astral Chain might be up there with it but both are so far ahead of the competition everything else is leagues behind, even Death Stranding and that is saying something. I think people misunderstand Art direction and what it entails for artsy graphics or even more so graphics themselves.The team behind Sekiro brought something special together that rivals even Bloodborne, right down to the UI and the Icons everything is masterfully done. Astral chain has the same level of competence and TLC from the short bit I've played of it and you can see the work in Death stranding after a short session but Links awakening, huh, maybe if it was best art direction in mobile games.


  • -2
coolbeans (on 03 January 2020)

I'm inclined to lean with you in regards to Sekiro too. I interpret this stylized update as a unique kind of nostalgia-bias: not so much that it's LoZ but how Ninty captures Link's Awakening's tone in much the same way you talk about Sekiro's details.


  • +1
Hynad (on 03 January 2020)

Yeah... No.


Dulfite (on 03 January 2020)

Yeah? Or No? Profound!


  • +1