Gaming has come a long way from the simple text-based-entry days. Now the graphics engine of a game is as important as the story itself, with each new game attempting to push its visuals above the rest.
It's not enough to just be the most realistic-looking game anymore though. Now it's about creating a certain mood, a certain feeling in order to cast a player into a believable world. From pixel art, to comics, to tropical paradise, and to a dream, these are our nominees for best visuals of 2012:
The Walking Dead
The zombies are nowhere near as detailed or horrific as they appear in the show, but they are still appropriately disgusting rotten hunks of flesh. The Walking Dead pushes Telltale’s engine to its limits. The result is their best looking game to date with a distinctive comic book aesthetic"
Read the full The Walking Dead review
"All this amusement is wrapped up in a beautiful presentation. The character design is lovely, and FEZ's commitment to environmental variety keeps it feeling fresh throughout the entire journey. Whether you're entering lighthouses, exploring ancient temples, or climbing trees in thunderstorms, the world of FEZ remains consistently enthralling."
Read the full Fez review
The visuals and combat of Borderlands 2 are a sensible step forward, the improvements in narrative and writing is a stuntman jumping over the world's longest chasm. Borderlands 2's story is so good that it fools you into thinking the first wasn't so bad.
Read the full Borderlands 2 review
Far Cry 3
The game looks utterly gorgeous on PC
Read the full Far Cry 3 review
Through subtle animations and a gorgeous blend of colors, Journey's world is a joy to be a part of, a world that can genuinely etch a smile onto the player's face. I would love to further describe this alluring marriage of interaction, sight, and sound, but to relate any one example would be to take away the joy of discovering it yourself, and Journey is a game best walked into without knowing quite what to expect.
Read the full Journey review
Congrats to all the nominees! We'll be announcing the official winner on Friday, December 14. In the mean time we want you to tell us which game this year had the best visuals. Plus, be sure to go vote in our Community Choice Award for your favorite game of 2012.
Check out all our other categories and nominations: