With two young children I have little time to play video games anymore, and this has definitely heightened my demand for quality over quantity in terms of gameplaying. Therefore in my list for Most innovative in video gaming 2005, I was definitely fixating on more evocative, and aesthetically pleasurable experiences, than the flow games I spent endless amounts of time on in the past.
In terms of execution and the creation of captivating cinematic worlds I’m instinctively drawn to the works of Fumito Ueda, Keita Takahashi, and Hideo Kojima (not listed). The reason for this? They all bring out a strong auteur vision in a medium that requires strong collaboration and teamwork. The production design of Keita’s We Love Katamari or Ueda’s Shadow of the Colossus, are strikingly different from other contemporary work, they don’t offer derivative genre-driven scenery and set design.
Where Shadow of the Colossus wins through though, is in the way it offers an intelligent evolution of world exploration, and a unique take on progression and challenges within its world – with the hunting and battling of the Colossii. Like Fumito Ueda’s previous video game, ICO, world creation is finely crafted, with lush detailing, and evocative character design. World’s away from the commercial franchises and the diminishing returns of numerous gaming sequels, Shadow of the Colossus is a work of art. It stands apart from the multitude. Something worthy of everyone’s attention.
Winner, Most innovative video game: Shadow of the Colossus by Fumito Ueda / SCEI