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Best and Worst of 2000

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Switch to Video Games
screenshot
Best Graphics, Artistic

Sacrifice
Publisher: Interplay
Developer: Shiny Entertainment
More about this game
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"From the fantastic, brightly colored terrain, to the bizarre creatures, to the incredible spell effects, virtually everything in Sacrifice looks great." - Greg Kasavin, GameSpot Review

It's a given that games will improve incrementally in all aspects from year to year. More powerful processors and the availability of more memory allow game designers to add depth to their games in the form of a more believable artificial intelligence, better scripting, and dynamic sounds. Graphics, however, is a facet of gaming that seems to improve at an exponential rate. Faster and more powerful 3D graphics cards are the fuel that powers the tools used by texture artists and modelers to create fantastic worlds, stylized levels, and memorable characters. This year had a number of notable games with an artistic flair all their own, including The Longest Journey, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, and American McGee's Alice. But without question, Shiny's Sacrifice beats them all.

screenshot
Click for full size image
Sacrifice's five distinctive worlds are like vivid, dreamlike environments. The world of Persephone, the goddess of life, is defined by lush, rolling terrain and is dotted with blooming flowers and tall trees, while Pyro's land of fire more closely resembles a nightmarish world filled with ash and brimstone. Gnats and insects swarm and buzz through the death god Charnel's pestilent lands, while the serene, solid rock formations are evident in the areas under the control of James, the god of earth. Meanwhile, the enigmatic air god, Stratos, owns stretches of territory that are covered in beautiful, wind-swept snow and crystal. These massive landscapes literally stretch out to the horizon, and what's more, you can actually traverse every canyon, plateau, hill, and plain.
screenshot
Click for full size image
The twisted creatures of each of the five gods look indescribably surreal, and they are animated in such a manner as well. Likewise, the spell effects granted to your wizard by the game's five gods are also a sight to behold. You're able to summon a wall of fire, black tornadoes that stretch far into the sky, and even a devastating volcano that rises up from the ground to rain fire all around. All this is brought to life by Shiny's real-time deformation and tessellation technology, which adjusts the game's graphics to match the capabilities of your own computer. Through this process, you're ensured good graphics at a great frame rate, which is great considering that the graphics are certainly one of Sacrifice's best features.
 
  Multiplayer Game of the Year »

 


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