A game’s cover art is hugely important. It’s the first thing see, and the first chance a game has to grab your attention. If you’ve never heard of a game, but it has interesting cover art, you’re likely to pick it up and take a look. In fact, it’s so important that our community has been talking about it in this thread.
Don’t see your favorite cover art? Tell us what it is in the comments!
Special thanks to Escapist community member Johnny Novgorod for starting the thread!
Ico (PlayStation 2 EU/Japan Cover)
First mentioned by: Johnny Novgorod
The different versions of the Ico cover art are in striking contrast to each other. While the American release is fairly straightforward and features the main character front and center, the version that was released in Europe and Japan was drastically different, and far superior. Employing a simple yet striking design and minimal color palette, it displays two characters running hand in hand. One appears to be holding a sword, but the main takeaway is the vastness of the world, and just how small the characters really seem. What are they running from, or running to? You’ll have to play the game to find out, says the cover.
Mass Effect (Various)
First mentioned by: Sigmund Av Volsung
Mass Effect was the game that launched an epic space adventure, and the cover made that plainly clear, even if you’d never heard of the title before. Starships, aliens, and a looming threat dominate the image, all surrounding your piece of the story: Commander Shepard. What made this cover even more powerful was that you began encountering the people on it almost as soon as you began playing the game.
Resident Evil 4 (Gamecube UK)
First mentioned by: Casual Shinji
It’s only fitting that the cover of a horror game would be dominated by a dark forest. The only person visible is the outline of a man-shaped figure holding a chainsaw. The menace of the forest drawing in on you as the sun sinks in the background is only amplified by this figure blocking what appears to be the only clear path. A dark forest at dusk that’s silhouetting a guy with a chainsaw? It’s everything you’d expect from a horror title.
Resistance 3 (PlayStation 3 UK)
First mentioned by: SoreWristed
The cover of Resistance 3 is simple, yet powerful. In the letters of the title, you can see the ruined buildings that suggest ruin and decay, and the unnatural skull of the Chimera dominates the stark cover. Most interesting is the use of the teeth of the Chimeras skull to depict the skyline of New York City, easily recognizable because of the Statue of Liberty. The cover perfectly captures the feel of Resistance, that of a lone soldier still fighting in a world that’s falling apart. You could flip the cover for a similar image with the soldier included, but it’s not really necessary to get what’s going on here.
Kingdom Hearts (PlayStation 2)
First mentioned by: Fox12
A giant part of what makes Kingdom Heartsawesome is its art style, so it should come as no surprise that that style is featured front and center on the cover. The use of the moon as the heart is a nice touch, and a hint of the game’s unique architecture is also present. They included both Goofy and Donald Duck on the cover, and most importantly, they didn’t go overboard. It stays simple, but still appealing.
Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
First mentioned by: MysticSlayer
While the main character doesn’t appear on the cover of Xenoblade Chronicles, there’s still no doubt what the game is about. The endless vista on the cover conveys the size of the game’s vast world, and the giant Mechon in the sky illustrates the threat that looms over you the entire game. Finally, the sword in the foreground seems to be an invitation to the player to pick it up and take up the quest. It’s a really well done cover.
Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 2)
First mentioned by: Glongpre
As you might gather from the title, Shadow of the Colossus is a game that focuses on the various colossi that you have to take on. That means it shouldn’t be a shock to see one dominating the cover art. We also see the hero, but he’s relegated to a small corner of the cover, which serves to emphasize the challenge he faces. However, the single ray of light falling on the hero seems to say that there’s still hope.
Grand Theft Auto V (Various)
First mentioned by: GundamSentinel
The covers of every Grand Theft Auto game look similar, but the iconic design serves a very straightforward purpose: it showcases exactly what the game’s about. Not only does it show off the main characters, it highlights many of the things that you’ll see throughout the games. The cover of Grand Theft Auto V features Trevor, Michael, and Franklin, and definitely gives you a taste of what you’ll experience in the game.