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Best Art Direction of 2018

Best Art Direction of 2018 - Article

by Jackson Newsome , posted on 04 January 2019 / 3,209 Views


As the current generation begins to wind down, developers are flexing their creative muscles in both two and three dimensions. These nominees will be remembered for their gameplay as well as striking visuals, artistic cohesion, and originality. God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 pushed console hardware near to its technical limits and detailed their contrasting worlds for optimal player immersion; GRIS and Octopath Traveler are 2D beauties which are striking in motion as they are in screenshots; and Valkyria Chronicles 4 is like an anime painting brought to life.


The Shortlist:

God of War




Octopath Traveler


Red Dead Redemption 2


Valkyria Chronicles 4



The Winner:

God of War

In relocating Kratos from Greece to Midgard, Sony Santa Monica crafted a visual and technical showcase. Its presentation excels, not only because of high pixel counts and stunning particle effects, but because of the fine detailing that brings each of its environments and characters to life. From realistic footprints in the snow, to environmental and character model degradation, every inch of the game speaks to Kratos’s long and arduous journey. Sony Santa Monica raised the bar for art direction in AAA gaming and will be a tough act to follow in the year to come.

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Machina (on 04 January 2019)

I think GRIS deserved this one personally; it just didn't have enough exposure to get the votes required to beat God of War. Such a beautifully unique art style.

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KLAMarine (on 05 January 2019)

GRIS or Octopath would have gotten my vote.

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Podings (on 05 January 2019)

That's some curious picks for the shortlist, but some really pretty games all in all.

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shikamaru317 (on 05 January 2019)

Yeah, Gris deserved this for sure. God of War's art direction is basically realism with a touch of fantasy. Gris is a beautiful piece of artwork by comparison.

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LuccaCardoso1 (on 05 January 2019)

God of War? Really? In a year that gave us GRIS, Octopath Traveler, Return of the Obra Dinn? Okay... Feels like the voters confused Best Art Direction for Best Graphics.

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Masked_Muchaco LuccaCardoso1 (on 05 January 2019)

There's a lot more to art direction than just art style.

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Masked_Muchaco LuccaCardoso1 (on 05 January 2019)

Having said that, I also think God of War doesn't have the most interesting art direction of the bunch.

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LuccaCardoso1 LuccaCardoso1 (on 06 January 2019)

I'm not talking about just art style. I think God of War has a pretty average art direction, nothing outstanding.

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Luke888 (on 05 January 2019)

Voted Octopathcand think either it or GRIS deserved this one, there were other categoreis where GoW shined more than in Art Direction

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