Graphics are great. Everyone loves 4K, ray tracing, dynamic shadows, and every other technical buzzword. All those graphics don’t mean anything if they aren’t also paired with art direction. It is art direction that takes pretty pictures and makes them into a cohesive vision. Graphics without art direction is notes on instruments with no harmony. This year featured developer at the height of their craft showing off aesthetics that have been honed and polished over years and decades of experience. We are proud to present the nominees for Lords of Gamings 2023 Golden Lance Award for Best Art Direction.
Winner: Hi-Fi Rush
Runner Up: Diablo IV
There is something to be said for the fourth entry in a franchise that has spanned decades. Diabo IV feels like the execution of the vision that Blizzard has had in their mind hearkening all the way back to 1997. From the disgusting oozing morasse of creepy crawling creatures to the fountains of blood. The aesthetic is so cohesive and transformative. It brings you to a realm of despair, desolation, and downright ugliness. It does all of that with a heavy metal style that keeps you wondering what depraved creature is coming next. That is not even mentioning the incredible loot that is so meticulously crafted that it will have you spending hours looking at not just stats but design.
Runner Up: Starfield
Let’s just get this out up front. I have an astrophysics degree, and I love NASA. The fact that Besthesda took the aspirational chunky space shuttle designs and made an entire aesthetic out of it is incredible. Everything about the Starfield art style feels lived in and like an extension of where we are today. So many sci-fi settings go over the top with their design aesthetics. They put in a million flashing lights and crazy contraptions. Starfield ignores that. It feels like whatever NASA designs 200 years from now will look a lot like what Starfield has envisioned. I loved every second of looking around in this game, and I can’t wait to come back for more.