Graphics are Important, Copernicus Screenshots

There’s no secret to the fact that I love stylized graphics, and I’m a little bit of a graphics whore.  I prefer stylized over the ‘realistic’ approach for a number of reasons including: (1) My imagination works better with stylized, (2) I think they age better, and (3) Many more liberties can be taken in the design of a game when the graphics aren’t constraining you to reality.

If I had to identify my favorite look, the perfect look of stylized graphics in a game, it would be the graphics in this screenshot below from 38 Studios’ Copernicus. Yeah, yeah, I’ve been talking a lot about them lately.  Screenshots were leaked today, supposedly by some unknown person.  For all I know they’re fake (which I doubt since Curt linked to them via his twitter) but that doesn’t matter.  The images inspired me to write, and already my imagination is creating landscapes, places to go, and gameplay to experience based solely on the art.

Graphics need to excite my imagination.  I’m positive that they play a bigger role than I’ve given them credit in the past.  There’s a lot of “gameplay over graphics” argument out there, and I am 100% on board with the idea that if the gameplay sucks nothing else matters.  Once the gameplay is solid, though, the graphics must bring it home.

Anyway, what do you think (about graphics in general for you and the Copernicus screenshots)? I predict plenty of “Looks like WoW” comments, and to them I guffaw because even my untrained eye can see them as night and day, despite both being stylized.  I love the lack of texture on the horse contrasting the detailed brick work … sheesh I sound like those people I hate from back in my college humanities classes.  I’m done.  Your turn.

The other two Copernicus screenshots can be viewed after the jump. (more…)