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The Top 7... prettiest games of 2008

 

“First Person Shooter” is the guiltiest genre when it comes to browning everything to a dull crisp. That’s why the palette-slathered Daily City grabbed our eyes by the balls and never let go, as it was an FPS actually pleasing to stare at. Gone were the dingy buildings of CoD: W@W and the war-torn alternate world of Resistance 2, and in their place were walls drenched in exaggerated colors:

 
 

 
 


 

 
 

 
 

The colors, children, the colors. Such vibrancy comes at a cost though; the world is as lifeless as it as varied. Aside from a few birds on the rooftops and planes flying miles overhead, there’s nothing happening, so it all seems bizarrely empty despite the rainbow-colored environment.

We still salute the effort to gussy up the FPS genre though. Playing through the admittedly short story mode was a breath of rejuvenating fresh air in a scene normally littered with smoking cars and bloodthirsty monsters. Assuming EA gets to pump out a sequel (please, we’d love to do more with this world), we’ll probably see a jump in populace and overall interactivity. Or, if the DLC is any indication, we’ll see a whole lot less city and a crapton of abstract Escher paintings come to life:

 

 

 

Keeping with the “visually striking yet supremely lifeless world” vibe, WipEout HD’s time trial track blasts you down a psychedelic kaleidoscope sure to send some unlucky gamer into a seizure so riotous you won’t be able to tell if he’s dancing to the game’s infectious beats or, you know, actually about to pass out. The track speeds up with each lap and constantly rotates through a series of colors freak-out colors you really, really ought to see firsthand. Do so below, then buy the damn thing on PSN.

 

Above: Head here to see it full screen

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Top 7

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48 comments

  • TheWebSwinger - December 10, 2008 12:39 a.m.

    I agree with a lot of these. Where, though, is De Blob? Also, I just don't think Valkyria Chronicles is THAT good looking. P.S. I hate Anime, but that new Naruto game is gorgeous. Just sayin.
  • Smeggs - December 9, 2008 11:08 p.m.

    WTF? The girl in the new PoP looks like the main lady in Law and Order: SVU!
  • screath - December 9, 2008 10:35 p.m.

    I think that Banjo-Kazooie should have been more than just a runner up. It looks like a pixar film come to life. There are few games that even attempt to be this good-looking. It's the prettiest game on the Xbox 360 in my opinion. Maybe it doesn't deserve number one, but runner up? Come on now.
  • jar-head - December 9, 2008 9:27 p.m.

    second page last vid=KOTOR pod racing...ha
  • sixboxes - December 9, 2008 3:40 p.m.

    I like the discussion up here. I think that's why maybe GR's top 7 format is good, because there's no way in hell they can do a definitive list with just 7 slots, so that bumps the comment count. I also think this list proves that as this gen strives toward more realistic visuals, they move away from more appealing visuals. Almost every pick was a game with really stylized aesthetics.
  • TriLink - December 9, 2008 3:04 p.m.

    Where the hell is Okami?? I WANT OKAMI!
  • AyJay - December 9, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    i was gonna put a comment on about how u shoulda put brawl on, but then i read the last paragraph. ur right, all nintendo games are pretty
  • Ravenbom - December 9, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    I almost thought this article wasn't written by Elston, until I read the last sentence, that is.
  • Hurricrane - December 9, 2008 3:21 a.m.

    I'm so glad you guys mentioned Tales of Vesperia... GO AND BUT IT ITS A GREAT GAME!!!!!!!!!3!!!11
  • Corsair89 - December 9, 2008 2:28 a.m.

    preeeety! ^_^
  • WiLdFiRe567 - December 9, 2008 2:20 a.m.

    i really dont think this counts but Okami 4 Wii or did that come out last year? any ways remake so if u wanna call me on it go ahead i dont mind
  • superfunk - December 9, 2008 2:03 a.m.

    Look I don't want to be called a halo nerd but come on all of the different colors were there. Sure some of the levels were dark green and brown but some were exploding with color. A of the covenant weapons blasted blue and the spartan laser red but the choices were still pretty good.
  • FierceDeity - December 9, 2008 1:42 a.m.

    wow wipeout really is a lot slower than f-zero gx
  • Jacob816 - December 9, 2008 12:37 a.m.

    for fuck sake, please stop looking the rearview mirror in WipEout and crashing!
  • cart00n - December 9, 2008 12:28 a.m.

    Yeah, I'm with Jimmy, how DID Fable 2 not make the list? Gorgeous sunsets, brilliant lighting, fabulous color palette, what's not to like? I mean, seriously, I so totally expected to see this on the list, I thought there was another page to the article that hadn't been put up yet. Is it because it's a sequel? Because I notice Viva Pinata 2 didn't make it, either (perfectly aware that PoP and Banjo are sequels)...
  • Z-man427 - December 9, 2008 12:27 a.m.

    I would have crapped myself if PoP hadn't been on the list. lo and behold, it was #1. i love how the concept art look just like the actual game.
  • Dude - December 8, 2008 11:24 p.m.

    I thought Mirrors edge would have been #1 but, whetev
  • EdHas503 - December 8, 2008 11:13 p.m.

    "WipEout HD’s time trial track blasts you down a psychedelic kaleidoscope sure to send some unlucky gamer into a seizure so riotous you won’t be able to tell if he’s dancing to the game’s infectious beats or, you know, actually about to pass out." Epic LOLlypop
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - December 8, 2008 10:49 p.m.

    @ lewis42025: Ninja Storm was actually on the list for a while, but I opted to go for DBZ instead. Both great-looking games though. Also, TF2 and Oblivion came out last year.
  • RonnyLive19881 - December 8, 2008 10:31 p.m.

    Banjo and PoP are pretty but VC looks ugly to me. I beat it only cause the story was interesting and the game play was great but the grapghics were barly better then Wind Wakers, just with amazing particles. The character models were just creepy looking. Only if they went for the PoP look it would have been awesome!

Showing 1-20 of 48 comments

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