2022 TechRaptor Awards Best Visual Design

2022 TechRaptor Awards - Best Visual Design

Published: January 10, 2023 12:00 PM

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There is no other aspect of gaming that is easier to see steady progression than visual fidelity. While games have become more realistic, they've also learned how to take all these new tools and technology to craft amazing worlds and settings for us to immerse ourselves in. 2022 is proof that it just keeps getting better, as we've got a great crop of games to celebrate.

Here are the nominees for TechRaptor's Best Visual Design Award for outstanding, cohesive aesthetic.

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Check out here for our other award categories and nominees.


Readers' Choice Winner - Elden Ring

Developer: FromSoftware | Release Date: February 25th, 2022

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FromSoftware is the developer to beat these days, as they have honed their talents to a dangerous edge. Elden Ring took everything in their pedigree and cranked it to 11. Exploration and curiosity receive boundless rewards from Elden Ring, as each now locale is a visual spectacle. It's easy to see why Elden Ring took home the vote with our readers.

Third Place - Horizon Forbidden West

horizon forbidden west visual design

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Developer: Guerrilla Games | Release Date: February 18th, 2022

Written by Tyler Chancey

Guerilla Games' Horizon Forbidden West has gone underappreciated among larger profile entries this year. This sequel doesn't just improve on its predecessor, it raised the bar for both visual fidelity and aesthetic design. This is a game that pays attention to every little detail, from how exposed flesh freezes or sweats in appropriate weather, to the ebb and flow of water, to the practicalities of each character's dress.

Pair that with a vibrant and warm color palette that gives each location its own visual identity, impressive visual vignettes like a sunken Las Vegas, and the imaginative design of the various robot dinosaurs protagonist Aloy fights, and Horizon Forbidden West becomes a visual masterpiece in motion.

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Second Place - God of War Ragnarok

god of war ragnarok visual design

Developer: Santa Monica Studio | Release Date: November 9th, 2022

Written by Andrew Stretch

If there's something major that first-party PlayStation titles are known for, it is there excellence in visual fidelity and design. God of War Ragnarok is by far no stranger to this level of quality, which explains why it's our runner up for Best Visual Design of 2022.

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From the soft fall of snow or branch swaying in the wind, to the way Kratos rips apart a poor barbarian for daring to step into his forest, every frame is a visual feast for your eyes. No doubt there will be large setpieces and intense combat that will stick with players for years to come.

While these larger aspects of the world show off incredible visual design, it is also in the more subtle aspects of the world, like the movement of a character while running or how the environment plays with those present, that makes the world come alive. A truly foreign land filled with Norse Gods and apocalyptic prophecies has come alive in this product.

Winner - Elden Ring

elden ring world

Developer: FromSoftware | Release Date: February 25th, 2022

Written by Austin Suther

One could spend days talking about the visual design of Elden Ring, so to limit my words on what makes Elden Ring such a beautiful game is almost criminal. Even still, if there’s one aspect of Elden Ring I can look at and say “this is why it deserves this award,” it’s because of its incredibly robust Legacy Dungeons.  

Legacy Dungeons are truer to the Souls experience we expect from developer FromSoftware, creating interconnected but open-ended deathtraps within a confined area. From the gilded Leyendell, Royal Capital, to the Volcano Manor, the visual design of these areas are executed with deadly precision, creating intriguing, varied, and stunning environments to slash your way through. The standout among the rest is Raya Lucaria Academy, an area filled with so much mysticism and mystery that if I could, I’d erase my memory and explore it all over again.