The ninth annual Develop Industry Excellence Awards is just around the corner, with more than 90 studios competing for top honours at the July 20th event in Brighton.
In the run up to the big night, Develop is running a series of profiles of all the nominees in each category.
We continue here with the finalists for Visual Arts. To be eligible a studio will need to be based in Europe and have built a new game, since July 2010, that excels in graphical fidelity, artistic impact, or preferably both.
The final choices, chosen by Develop’s editorial team, are found below. The ultimate winner will be decided by a 100-person-strong judging panel of industry pros, and announced at the awards show on July 20th.
To watch the event live, email Kathryn.firstname.lastname@example.org to book your seat.
Bulletstorm (People Can Fly)
Though the beautiful vistas and destroyed environments of the supremely well designed Bulletstorm sometimes pale in comparison to the game’s colourful use of language, they are still one of the most impressive elements of one of the best shooters of the year.
Crysis 2 (Crytek)
New York has had its fair share of doomsdays over the visual entertainment years, but rarely have they looked quite so attractive as when powered by the CryEngine 3. The Ceph returned, and avoiding the resulting falling skyscrapers was a thrilling terror.
Enslaved (Ninja Theory)
Speaking of ruined Big Apples, the effortlessly charming Enslaved deserves more than a passing mention. Ninja Theory consistently grasp what makes something visually engaging, and here delivered with the powerful, tragic beauty of the slow reclamation of civilisation by nature.
MotorStorm: Apocalypse (Evolution Studios)
As if New York alone wasn’t enough, Evolution decided to blow up the entire world in Motorstorm: Apocalypse. The result was a wonderful, outlandish visual treat that reset the notion of how much was too much.
Killzone 3 (Guerrilla Games)
The war with the Helgast exploded across some stunning intergalactic surroundings in Killzone 3, giving Guerrilla a more than overdue chance to show what they were capable of. The Helgan forests, the frozen tundras and the eternity of space to name just a little. It’s a very deserving entry on the nominees list for the Dutch studio.
Stark, expressionist and black and white, Limbo had all the visual calling cards of a game that shouldn’t quite work. Playdead showed just how far from correct that notion was, and Limbo is one of the most striking games of recent years.
Shogun 2: Total War (The Creative Assembly)
The ever-attractive Total War series went back to where it all began this year, and Shogun 2 richly exploited the hauntingly elegent asthetics of classical Japan to create a timeless design for an excellent game. The Creative Assembly know a pretty picture when they see one.