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FromSoftware’s recent titles set high bars for graphical fidelity, and this year’s entry, Elden Ring, is no exception. Every rotting zombie, massive giant, and eldritch abomination is rendered in full detail and ready to kill. The lighting effects in each crypt and cave give off the creepy atmosphere that something is just around the corner, ready to strike. All of the game’s animations are as smooth as butter; with every sword swing, magic effect, and monster swipe rendered to make the player feel like part of the action.
What sets Elden Ring apart from its predecessors, however, is that the visuals aren’t just limited to claustrophobic crypts and caves. The moment players emerge from the first tomb and witnessed Limgrave for the first time, the massive scope of the Lands Between become a reality. The lush, colorful environments will readily make players forget many times that they are holding a controller. The heat in the Volcano Manor, the bitter cold in the Mountaintops of the Giants, and the vertigo while making one’s way to the topmost areas of Leyndell City can be felt thanks to the incredible visuals. The Nokstella Eternal City is one area that can truly take the player’s breath away with its gorgeously rendered buildings and magical night sky. Elden Ring is easily one of the most beautiful games there is, and players will have plenty of time to appreciate it.
The wild frontier of Horizon Forbidden West is quite a sight to behold. From tons of intricate details on the various robodinosaurs and characters to the lush colours of the game’s environments, the graphics are a feast for the eyes. Whether it’s Aloy swimming in sunken ruins, the deep blue of the ocean, or the rust-coloured sand storms, Horizon Forbidden West’s graphics bring its post-apocalyptic world to life.
Ghostwire: Tokyo impressively melds yokai and supernatural abilities with a photorealistic world, while managing to avoid falling into the uncanny valley. While the level of detail in every inch of post-yokai-invasion Tokyo is most definitely one of its draws, the real showcase of the game’s visual impressiveness is in its character design and art style. Each yokai is clearly designed with care, and is not only believable within the world, but graphically impressive, thanks due to the intricate and high-quality textures employed. Elsewhere, the powers wielded by protagonist Akito and his ghostly partner KK bring forth excellent action, working superbly with the setting and complementing the neon enivronments. Each time players pull an energy thread out of our arm or released a massive fireball spitting off a chain of particle effects onto our enemies, they are brought deeper into the world through the superb lighting, reflections, shadows, and more that are applied across the game. With its incredibly well realised version of Tokyo, the amount polish and effort Tango Gameworks put into the game is readily apparent.
by Kelley Ryan, Sam Wachter, and Andron Smith