Every once in a while a video game comes along that defies expectations, and makes such an impact that the game is known across the world. Often, it is a video game that pushed the current technological limits, and introduces players to the next level of gaming. Half-Life 2, for example, shattered gaming limitations by being the first game to have a true in-game physics system. Using this technological breakthrough, and exceptional gameplay design, the game stood apart from all those around it, and found its place in the gaming halls of fame.
Some games, like the pokies New Zealand has to offer, however, don’t need to make breakthroughs on the technical side of design to stand apart, and become globally recognised. Cuphead, a recent game that has seen success on an unprecedented scale, shattered boundaries by having some of the most unique art ever seen in a game. And who would have thought artwork could have such an impact in modern gaming, especially since the artwork in question is strongly reminiscent of an obsolete art style many decades old.
Cuphead – Incredible Artwork
Upon first glance, a person could mistake Cuphead for being created in the 1920s. The striking artwork is strongly designed to reflect old cartoons, namely those that were created before computers were even a concept. Often referred to as “rubber band” animation, the style is noted for being extremely bold, over the top, and incredibly creative. And, if thoughts were that this animation style was simply recreated using computers, that is where Cuphead is most intriguing. All the artwork in the game was done by hand, the old fashioned way, and many struggle to believe that this was done in era where digital is king.
But it was done. The amazing, fluid animation in Cuphead was all done by hand, and it was certainly no small task. The game was developed over many years, with animators and game designers working together. And, if there was any question, the resulting game is an absolute feast for the yes. The game is stunningly beautiful, and has one of the most unique visual aspects in any game, perhaps ever.
But it is not just the artwork that has made Cuphead such a remarkable success. The gameplay aspect of the game is that of a side-scrolling shooter, having characters move from left to right, shooting enemies as progression is made. And this is the next notable element of the game. It’s extremely difficult, to a degree that is deliberately unforgiving.
The game mostly consists of boss fights, putting the player up against a single, very difficult to overcome enemy. Virtually none of the bosses will be defeated on the first attempt, and the player is all but guaranteed to die repeatedly. But, in an era where games like Dark Souls are praised for their difficulty, Cuphead came out at just the right time. Modern players see this difficulty as a chance to prove their skills, and boast about their achievements.
In other words, Cuphead has achieved massive success where it may not have been possible just a few years ago. Either way, the game is worth a look, even if just to marvel at the artwork.