The Top 9 Vogue Video Game Covers
Today’s developers and consoles have really raised a video game’s potential to enthrall the player in a roiling surge of sensory experience. Unfortunately though, video game box art, especially American, has lamely hobbled behind. Not that box art has any repercussion on gameplay at all, it’s still surprising that this element seems to be slighted frequently, especially in a visual-centric culture. In recent years I noticed a startling trend that may correlate with game publishers’ attempts to address the problem; I’m not that sure though whether it’s going in the best of directions.
I started noticing it with Modern Warfare 2’s box art. “Hmm, this is surprisingly un-violent” I thought as I regarded the very unconcerned Army Ranger on the box. The contraposto stance once a classic detail in art, pretty much just suggests the slow motion “movie shot” walk. He’s also pretty much unconcerned with me, the consumer who had just dropped $60 dollars to have that box art stare apathetically into the distance. There was something oddly familiar about the imperious, almost classy petulance of that box cover ranger that says “yeah, you just over-paid for me you crass rube of a dolt.”
Yeah, I knew where I had seen that. Just open up any fashion magazine and you’ll find the best glossed disdain that large marketing budgets can buy.
For whatever reason, some developers have thought that maybe vogue chic might be the way to go with box art. There also seemed to be a trend in that most of the games that were doing this were both FPS and adventure games. To contextualize my thoughts, let me start with an example of non-vogue box art: Mega Man 9. No idealization here, just a constipated man with a ray gun and a chemo-blaster as well as the love spawn of a flamboyant octogenarian and Rex Lewised Cobra Commander. Now here are the top eight examples of vogue box art I found. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t ready for some of the parallels I found.
#9- Demon’s Souls
Don’t you feel like you accidentally walked into something important with this one? Obviously these two are looking at something far more interesting that doesn’t concern us. And who do you ever approach from profile? This pretty much says, “oh, you caught me on my side… now go away.” Also, these two seem to have a thing for high collars.
This game is every five year old who liked to stick forks in outlet’s dream. Great action game where you get to shock things, pretty simple to draw a cover right? No, there’s so much more going on. Notice the shoulder sway, Cole isn’t just going to broil your nervous system by boiling all that cerebral fluid, he’s going to caramelize that system in style. The head tilt downward is also a nod to his scantily clad partner here. This isn’t even mentioning the jacket, one that can only be described sartorial caviar; the most tender Italian calf skins graphed directly onto the Apolloesque cut of Mr. Macgrath here. Isn’t this guy a bike messenger?
I really like playing this game, but it goes as number seven. I think we can all be honest and say that more than just a little inspiration was taken from another particular game concerning warfare of the modern persuasion when the box art was developed. Is this the frontline or the runway? Plus, with a practically black and white color scheme, we could easily play Where’s Waldo if we put this cover in Calvin Klein’s next catalog.
Let’s stop and think a moment about Modern Warfare 1’s box art. It’s a marine rushing forward, rifle aimed. That pretty much said “there be terrorizers ‘round these parts and ‘ima shoot ‘em.” So what the hell happened? This guy’s holding his rifle like bottle of Perignon Rose. And a light haze of shrapnel? Since when can shrapnel haze?
#5- Dante’s Inferno
Even before the comparison, Dante has some chic inclinations. A full set of armor? But it’s sooo second crusade! And everyone knows that in Milan only shoulder plates are the rage. And how useful is chain mail when it’s only for your face? But the greatest offering to the sartorial altar? Red, no excuse me, Scarlet, silk, of only the highest thread count, sewn directly to his skin. Uhhhh…
#4- Gears of War 2
Marcus Fenix uses a chainsaw mounted onto an assault rifle to politely coerce hindrances. Marcus Fenix punches grenades into enemies. Marcus Fenix uses fires explosive arrows out of a bow made out of guess what? More weapons. Why is Mr. Fenix then contemplating whatever’s in the distance with the first autumn leaves tickling his knees as he holds cog tags like high heels for no particular reason?
This is one of those series where saving the world never detracts from good fashion sense for any of its protagonists. Plus all the classic vogue aspects of “the pose” are present: Contraposto, the succinctly self-absored off-stare of poignant contemplation, the wind just about to whip up that cape; oh, and the sword, yeah an afterthought.
#2- Halo 3 ODST
Everyone knows black ballistic battle armor says two things: lethal, and swank. Isn’t the best way to take down the enemy by making them stop and say “nice pants” before severing their spinal cord. I mean there’s rain on the cover! This illustrator was clearly going for vogue. Along with the averse stare into no where and showcasing the rifle like a Tag Heur watch, it’s easy to see the similarities to our fairer friend here, Audriana Page. Plus, they both seem to love a black and blue color scheme.
Ah, the classic brooding Michaelangeloesque flex of contemplation. There is vengeance to be had and it will be fierce (in style)! Stonewash jeans, a white button-down, and a vintage leather jacket; the wardrobe of vengeance indeed. And some sartorial sorcery has to be at hand to keep that hoodie in place.