Saturday, September 28, 2013

God of War Title sequence
(for some reason blogger won't let me embed this)

So my post from last week got me interested in looking at video game title sequences (the few that there are) and how they differ in structure from more traditional film title sequences. They deal with an obvious structural problem, games are expected to be interactive, and title sequences draw upon film in that they are clearly not. So, last week I talked about how the title sequence in The Last Of Us had other utility in that it was useful for the story. This week I want to talk about the title sequence from "God of War 3", published by sony. Again, this is one of the few video games that has a title sequence in the first place, but the title sequence here is useful for another reason, it artfully fills in the "previously on" sequence. Almost every tv show will include a "Previously on" segment including information that the viewer will need to understand the story. So is the case with video games, this type of information fill is fairly common, especially when the gaps between sequential games can be years, programmers find it useful to fill in the player with backstory if they didn't play the earlier games, or remind previous players what happened.

So first I want to talk about this title sequence specifically for its art style, because it is so incredibly striking. It looks like it is a painting from a greek pot or sculpture, which fits in with the mythology of the game. The background texture is incredibly detailed and cool, and the characters are appear as mostly psedo 2d and 3d cutouts on a 2d background, with some drop shadow to give dimension. Also, the use of lighting is incredible, especially at the beginning, to emulate a forge. Some interesting particle effects are used as well to transition between events.

One thing that I want to focus on however is the fact that this title sequence serves another purpose. The things that are animated are events that happened in previous games. It fills in the gaps that the player may or may not have, artfully, avoiding the simple "previously on" sequence that every media viewer in the world is tired of. I find it really cool in both the cases of The Last of Us and with God of War that the game makers decide to use a title sequence to make their game more "cinematic", as many games try to be, but also work to give this sequence extra utility. This title sequence passively fills in the viewer on the backstory of the world, without getting so much in the way, and still being entertaining and interesting to watch

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