Video game cover discussion

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by sea, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. sea

    sea First time out of the vault

    Oct 5, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2023
  2. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    I don't see what's so ridiculous about having the main hero or iconic character of the game in close-up on the cover. Hero in the front, background that defines the mood/setting in the back, pretty common sense. It's either that or some basic icon from the game, like the minimalistic TW1 or BG2 cover art. I'm not sure what else you'd want. Few covers stray from those two options, and it's not really a new development at all. See covers for 10+ y.o. games like Serious Sam, Duke Nukem 3D, Resident Evil 1, Etherlords 2, and compare to the ones you posted.

    I think the TW2 cover is pretty representative of the game story. So are all the covers you posted barring perhaps DX:HR.

    So since you're so quick to criticize it just because it's popular, pray tell, what would you like to see? What's both representative of the game and, in your opinion, good-looking?
  3. PainlessDocM

    PainlessDocM Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 5, 2010
    I don't really mind the "cool character walking towards the camera" all that much but I do prefer a more symbolical and creative approach. You're right in saying that this is not a new phenomenon, however the box art of the games Sea posted do take uninspired copy/ pasting to a new low IMO.

    As for the W2 intro trailer, I think it looks absolutely great, one of the most artistic and atmospheric trailers I've seen in the last years.

    The box art is quite the opposite of the trailer, way too much action and characters cramped into a small canvas combined with Geralt's boring tried and tested posture make for a very bland cover IMO.

    Some examples of box art I find a lot more creative, interesting and alluring than the action man walking towards you:


  4. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Guest

    I don't want to derail this thread, but here is one example. It features the main characters but in a more interesting way. Much better than the other covers that were shown. Remember that badass FF7 cover with him looking at the reactor? What about the Resident Evil 2 cover with the zombie? Lately the covers have been pretty lackluster on all platforms. Even the PC covers have degraded significantly, but the Witcher 2 one was alright . They aren't horrible by any means, but not nearly as memorable.
  5. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    Well, the box art should present the game for what it is. Something more wacky like Catherine will have matching art. Something more generic like Dragon Age will have the typical fantasy fare. I kind of like the TW2 art because it captures the game's story and setting in one snapshot.

    Cover art like BG2 (or Heavy Rain, or Quake, or NWN1/2 etc.) can be considered equally uninspired. There's a considerable number of box art that consists only of game title and/or a simple icon on a plain background. It's hard to argue it's any more creative or unique than the cover you claim to dislike. What it does do is fail to capture attention of gamers not familiar with the brand.

    Talking about copycats and lazy cop-outs:

  6. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    It's less a matter of creativity and more about quickly communicatingwhat the game is about and drawing attention to the box on the shelf. Are "hero walking towards the player" covers popular, even too much? Maybe they are. But they are effective at communicating the tone of the game and what they're about.
  7. Sub-Human

    Sub-Human -

    May 31, 2011
    I'd have to disagree. At least for me, pictures are rarely a way of captivating my mind. If they're really generic anyways, what am I supposed to think about the game? Something that I played yesterday, but with a different name?

    Titles are where it's at. Personally I get more interest in a game after reading its title. 'Fallout'. Awesome! Now let's see what this has... 'Deus Ex'. Great! Now let's see some in-game screenshots... Both of these have a super-awesome guy in a thematic-styled background, something every other game has too.
  8. Serge 13

    Serge 13 Cranium Cat oTO Orderite

    Jul 20, 2006
    I fully agree with sea on this...
    :mrgreen: [/spoiler:530eabc02f]
  9. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    The problem is that you linked covers for shooter games. What else would you put on the cover? Maybe there's an issue with the over-popularity of military shooters, but the covers themselves are hardly the crux of the problem.

    Games about happy unicorns will have unicorns and rainbows on the cover.
  10. Stanislao Moulinsky

    Stanislao Moulinsky Vault Fossil

    Jul 16, 2009
    Cover with just the title and/or an icon can be original, artistic and eye catching while a guy walking towards the camera is only a guy walking towards the camera.
  11. DevilTakeMe

    DevilTakeMe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 12, 2011
    Covers and packaging are more about marketing than the game, no matter how creative the game itself is. Marketing is about eye-catches and getting the random consumer interested in a box just enough to get them to pick it up and let them take a look at it. They see a neat looking cover and then they pick it up, turn it over, and the back of the cover tells the rest of the story.

    A casual glance at the cover of a game is what is meant to hook initial interest. If there's a guy on the cover looking like a badass, it instills just enough interest to take a further look.

    It is also sometimes used to pander to a certain demographic who find a similarity to an earlier product. This is, of course, not just limited to video game covers, but books and movies.

    A truly unique cover is very difficult to pull off, because sometimes, it's just not honest. Like movie trailers. "Don't judge a book by it's cover."

    This cover made me look twice. As opposed to the generic, angry guy walking towards the camera (or rather, the number of generic looking space shooters in which Phalanx was competing against), we have a drunk hobo the producers found wandering lost around the studio, with a banjo. Then again, this sort of cover presents an unrealistic depiction of the product it's representing.
  12. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Guest

    Shooters used to be so much better.....

    Final Fantasy games were better then too........

  13. Ilosar

    Ilosar Vault Fossil

    Apr 20, 2010
    I agree to an extent, but that's what covers are for; attracting the guy who buys games simply by passing by them in the store, finds the cover cool, maybe looks at the rest of the box, and then decides if he wants it or not. It's not meant to attract the kind of people who spends time in video game forums, keep tabs on potential purchases, and analyzes them in depth after playing (such as you, Sea). And as you said, it's not representative of the final product. I would never buy a Modern Warfare game, but Human Revolution is my 2011 GOTY, with TW2 firmly in second place, and Mass Effect 3 is my number 1 purchase of 2012. I don't like their covers (the 360 one in TW2' case), but I don't care either.

    Also, while ''normal'' editions have this, usually Collector's Editions have better covers. ME2 has a scowling Shepard and thr requisite alian and hot girl, while the Collector's Edition has a broken piece of N7 armor in the rain. Much better, because it's more targetted at the fans who are usually better versed in that sort of thing.

    Plus, I don't se what the ME1 cover is doing here. Shepard is not scowling or holding a weapon, the box art has three other major characters in prominent display, along with the Normandy and the game's Big Bad and an assortment of mooks. It looks more like a film poster than anything. And I like Crysis 2's cover, so there.
  14. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
    Man, this thread's been going on for a while and no one's mentioned Planescape: Torment's cover? It is often blamed for the game's middling success. Too weird.
  15. gabahadatta

    gabahadatta First time out of the vault

    Jun 8, 2005
    You mean the one with a big blue face of an ugly reggae singer?

  16. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all

    Apr 3, 2003
    Actually, that's the game's producer, Guido Henkel.

    But yes, that cover. It and other parts of Planescape's marketing, presenting it as too "weird", are often cited as part of the reason for the game's limited success.
  17. Makagulfazel

    Makagulfazel Adept Bungler of Things Orderite

    Jun 14, 2007
    Judging by MoO's box art, I thought I was going to be playing tag with spaceships.

    Was not disappointed.
  18. Mutoes

    Mutoes Mildly Dipped

    Feb 5, 2008

    And here is the infamous Megaman cover for the north american release, most likely the worst cover for a game i have ever seen.

    As for the good cover art, i always liked the more simple covers like quake or something that has some artwork like mgs series or doom 1/2
  19. DevilTakeMe

    DevilTakeMe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Sep 12, 2011
    Well, Capcom embraces the cheesiness of the Megaman box art, since they did the whole "retro" thing with Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10.
  20. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Guest

    Believe it or not that cover attracted me to the Mega Man game when I was a kid. I thought it was weird in a good way.