News: Darksiders II’s chunky, vibrant visual style came about because developers Vigil Games wanted to “own the style” and avoid the “next-gen grey” look that too many games opt for, according to lead designer Haydn Dalton and art director Han Randhawa.
Take one look at the chunky architecture and vibrant colour scheme of Darksiders II and you can probably name the game immediately. Developers Vigil Games will be glad, as that was exactly the point when settling on a visual style.
“We want to stand out from the crowd,” art director Han Randhawa told BeefJack. “We want to make sure that if you see a Darksiders piece of artwork you feel it’s Darksiders. We want to own the style, we want to make a house style.
“That’s very important for us. We didn’t want to be just lost in the swathe of other projects out there.”
Lead designer Haydn Dalton lamented the fact that too many modern games opt for a dreary colour scheme, meaning you can’t tell they’re legitimately “next-gen”.
“The big key thing is that if someone sees a screenshot of our game, they automatically know it’s a Darksiders game,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like a next-gen game but you can’t tell because it’s ‘next-gen grey’. Ours is much more vibrant. We’re happy to be different like that.”
It’s creative director Joe Madureina’s background in comic books that birthed the style, according to Randhawa. “We’re not going for an ultra-real look, even if the surfaces do have some treatments because of the next-gen nature of the game,” he said. “[O]ur silhouettes, the shape and language, is very chunky and comparable to a graphic novel.”
Darksiders II is more like “Darksiders 2.5″, thanks to its vast number of improvements over the original, according to Dalton. The game launches on August 14th for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, with a Wii U version to follow.