Unveiled yesterday, the Mass Effect 2 box art stirred up quite a reaction among the readers of The Escapist. Many people criticized it for being bland and flat, while they themselves were criticized for apparently suggesting that the lame-o cover would somehow reflect on the game inside. Depending on your perspective on these things, hilarity may or may not have ensued.
In any event, it must be the week for that sort of thing because hot on the heels of Angry Shepard and the Magic Melon-Head comes the cover for BioShock 2, featuring a creepy-looking Little Sister cowering behind a menacing, drill-wielding Big Daddy.
What’s that you say? No, I’m not describing the cover from the original BioShock. Well, yes, I am, but that’s also what you’re going to see on the front of the sequel: The helmet is different, Daddy isn’t quite so grossly misproportioned and this time around the BioShock logo has barnacles on it (and a 2, of course) but other than that, we’re looking at pretty much a do-over.
It’s not quite as bad as Mass Effect 2, no, it’s just more of the same. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but more of the same on the box makes me wonder if it’s not just more of the same in the box; BioShock was a good game but if I’m going to cough up for a sequel, I’m generally looking for something more than just a gussied-up rerun.
Of course, opinions on box art, like every other kind of art, will vary dramatically; I tend to prefer the minimalist approach (although Valve’s decision to make the Orange Box look like a technical manual didn’t really turn my crank) while others would rather see something more clearly and directly connected to the game itself or, in many cases, just don’t care. And at the end of the day, no, it doesn’t really matter; if it’s an either/or question, I’ll take a great game over a great box any day. But wouldn’t it be nice to see publishers put a little more effort into it once in awhile?