By Mayu_Zane 265 Comments
Being someone who draws and paints for a living, I have a lot of interest in art in videogames, from background assets to weapon designs and character designs. Aesthetic pleasure is a major reason why I replay Uncharted 2 from time to time. The deliciously-detailed and impressively-designed backgrounds are like porn to me.
Most of the games I enjoy tend to have what I consider to be fantastic character designs, like Team Fortress 2 and Odin Sphere. Team Fortress 2 succeeds in giving each playable character class a distinct silhoutte and just the right amount of detail to help players understand immediately what each class does. The cartoony aesthetics help to reinforce the idea that despite the violence, the world of TF2 is one that lives in the realm of humor and silly fun. As for Odin Sphere, aside from the gorgeous painterly 2D graphics, each character is unique in design, loaded with detail and every playable character has his/her own distinct color scheme that suits their personalities.
I also have a kind of a morbid fascination with terrible art, and that includes pig disgusting videogame character designs. What I mean by 'pig disgusting' is unintentional ugliness, or a failure to express what the character's supposed to be. Well-designed monsters are meant to be ugly or disgusting, but a badly-designed monster looks like something little children could have scrawled, with little care for aesthetic sense. Games like Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust is home for many terrifying examples of supposedly attractive characters that look like the stuff of nightmares.
There are also cases where the character design is bad in the context of gameplay. Example: Brown characters in a brown background under a brown sky. While it may make sense for a military-themed videogame to have characters wearing camouflage to match the colors of the environment, if you're playing a game in third-person and your character as well as other characters look almost exactly alike with little difference in silhoutte shape it can get pretty confusing.
I'd like you to share with me: What game(s) do you personally think have terrible character designs, and is there a reason why you consider them to be awful?