GameFront 2010: Best Game Box Art of 2010

Every year we’re lured to pick up games with the seductive use of marketing and design. While not every awesome game box surropunds a cool game, there are some that stand out every year. Here are the game covers that resonated best with a few of our writers.

Enslaved: Journey to the West

Shawn Sines

I like game covers that sell the core concept of a game right up and in your  face and Enslaved, Ninja Theory’s latest platform adventure title told me everything I needed to know about it on the cover. You play a burly guy with a hot red-headed sidekick who is being relentlessly chased through the post-apocalypse by robots. Namco, you had me at hot red-head.

Fallout: New Vegas

Obsidian and Bethesda know what draws Fallout fans – power armor, weapons and next-generation brown. Throw in some neon Vegas glow and you’ve drawn me to the box. Then again, maybe the eerie glowing eyes peering through the helmet or the nice ballistic hardware worked just as well. Either way New Vegas  grabbed me from the get go.

Limbo

In a throwback to my years in Art School, the minimalist approach of Limbo really sells the game for mee. The smoky setting and visual ties along with a simple, nebulous design that doesn’t feature much more than a shilouetted protagonist evoked mystery and got me interested enough to download the demo.

Gran Turismo 5

Phil Ownes

It’s a tame cover, which is why it works so well. Like the game itself, this box art doesn’t scream for your attention, because it doesn’t need to. The title on the box speaks for itself, and so the art is content with just being quiet and classy.

Alan Wake

This art sets the mood, with Alan a dark figure in the middle of foggy woods, but what makes the cover is the tagline — “A Psychological Action Thriller” — presented in the very muted Futura font. That font, in this context, is creepy and comforting all at once, and it’s perfect for such a minimalistic cover.

Alpha Protocol

I really just enjoy looking at this box. It’s in the style of a movie poster, and the outline of our hero evokes the Bourne movies — which is appropriate since it’s a game about spies — without aping those movies’ posters. The faces, then, communicate that you’re getting a complex game full of interesting-looking characters. But, as I said at the top, what’s most important here is that it just f–king looks very pleasant.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Ron Whitaker

Blizzard always knocks it out of the park in the art department, and Cataclysm is no exception. Deathwing just looks flat-out menacing on this cover, and his huge claws seem to indicate he’s about to head out of the cover to lay waste to your house, just like he has most of Azeroth.

Medal of Honor

When EA said they had a first-person shooter in the works that would be more realistic, and less over the top than the Call of Duty games, I chuckled a little. I believe my first thought was, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” That is, until I saw the box art.

The subdued cover, showing only a Tier 1 operative standing on the line between light and dark, perfectly captured the mood they were shooting for with this game (no pun intended). It didn’t need a lot of visual cues, it was just right.

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