The Week In Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots

A couple weeks back I ran an enjoyable feature on Duncan Harris, the video game photographer behind the website DeadEndThrills. Harris takes some of the most evocative, beautiful video game screenshots I've ever seen, and we've been sharing some of his work each week here.

This week has some good stuff. Let's get into it, shall we?

First up, at top:

I Am The Very Model of a Sideways-Scrolling Beat-Em-Up

Here are Duncan's notes on this terrific shot from Bulletstorm:

Tools and tricks: custom game build, debug camera, custom FOV, 2160p rendering, FXAA injection, timestop.

No Place Like Home

Yet another shot that captures how gorgeous Modern Warfare 2 was in its wanton destruction. As I careened through this single-player campaign, I always felt like the art team had slaved over this incredible stuff, only to have us pass it by in the blink of an eye, actively penalised for pausing to take it in. It's nice to slow down and dig the lovely particle effects.

Duncan's notes:

Tools and tricks: game client 1.0 (boxed version), MW2 Unleashed command console patch, high quality ambient occlusion, custom LOD bias, 2160p rendering, FXAA, no-HUD, timestop, free camera, custom FOV.

Wormwood

A beautiful shot from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. Gotta play more of this game. Duncan's notes:

Tools and tricks: 2160 rendering, antialiasing (SMAA), free camera, time demo recorder, no-HUD, STALKER Complete 2009 mod, custom FOV (hacked game DLL @ FOV 50).

Escape Velocity

A very cool shot from The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Dark Athena. Duncan's notes:

Tools and tricks: 2160p rendering, antialiasing (FXAA), free camera, timestop.

Hymn of the Big Wheel

The ferris wheel from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, which also makes a cameo in the best level of the first (and best) Modern Warfare. As Duncan points out, "In a city where the average age was just 26, it's fittingly cruel that the Pripyat Ferris Wheel, a decaying symbol of Soviet nuclear naivety, is today its most irradiated landmark. It might also explain where Modern Warfare's John 'Soap' MacTavish got his superhuman powers and giant bollocks."

Heh. Notes:

Tools and tricks: 2160 rendering, antialiasing (SMAA), free camera, time demo recorder, no-HUD, STALKER Complete 2009 mod, custom FOV (hacked game DLL @ FOV 50).

Crysis Collection #1

To fill out this week, I'm looking back at Dead End Thrills' Crysis collection, which is truly a game made for this site. They are all gorgeous (how many amazing shots of an island can you drool over?), but I really like this one.

Crysis Collection #2

Too many games that have lovely looking surface water drop the ball once you go under water (I'm looking at you, Skyrim). But not Crysis. I love how this shot celebrates that -- few games go so far as to have an underwater view look as gorgeous as this one.

Seriously, go download the entire collection.


Comments

    "It might also explain where Modern Warfare‘s John ‘Soap’ MacTavish got his superhuman powers and giant bollocks."

    Except Soap was never in 'All Ghillied Up'. MacMillan and young Lieutenant Price. :3

    I use to do this with Unreal Tournament 2004 and UT3.
    Max out the settings and fill it with 20 bots. Let the bots battle it out, pause the game, then move around the map in free cam mode, taking screen shots of anything good.
    Rinse and repeat.

      I've gotta try that, you make it sound so exciting.

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