May 1, 2009

Rant: For the love of God, stop cell shading my games!

I don't have a problem with cell shading. Or, at least I didn't until recently. Back in the last console generation, it was the new, cool thing to do. Then, the graphical style seemed to fade away. Recently, though, it's made a comeback. Quite a comeback, indeed. I can understand that some people want to make a stylistic choice, and often it works, but lately it's just been too much for me. Games like Madworld and No More Heroes can get away with it because they're over-the-top and aren't meant to be taken seriously. Prince of Persia was quite nice but now it seems that everyone wants to capitalize on its popularity.
Take the game Borderlands, for example. It was announced back in 2007 and was barely heard from since. Why, you ask? Because it was receiving a stylistic overhaul. It went from looking like this, to looking like this. I'm sorry, but how many Sci-fi shooters have you seen that look like PoP? One: XIII. Why did it work? It was over-the-top. I'm not sure I want to be playing Prince of Persia with guns. Another one was revealed today: Red Steel 2. It needs to stop, guys. What's next? Halo? Metal Gear? There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way the first Red Steel looked. You don't see High Voltage making The Conduit look like that. And guess what, it works. The Conduit looks great. Which reminds me, just because it's on the Wii doesn't mean you have to make it look cartoony. Developers can do it with whatever they like, I suppose, but it doesn't make it a good idea. At this point, Champions Online is starting to turn me off- even though they were one of the first to go with that style, they're just unlucky enough to rlease it in a thicket of lookalike titles that zaps the originality right out of it.
It's not quite just cell shading. They call it something else these days like "concept art style" or someting. Truth is, it's not a far cry from the cell shading used in Zelda. Though it looks more realisitc, it retains that element of unrealism. I want more games that look like MGS4 and GoW2. I'm tired of playing cartoons, especially when it's in a realistic setting. For the love of God, stop cell shading my games, dammit!

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