When I was reading the Halo feature at Waypoint, I started to think about how the simpler designs of Master Chief and things in that universe like the Warthog or early Covenant designs compared to more recent games such as Destiny made them more memorable to me. While I’d usually ignore this as a case of nostalgia taking precedence, I think the fact that I’ve only played one Halo game (Reach) sort of makes me apprehensive to boil it down to just that.
It got me thinking about other recent games, and I feel like the extra detail of modern graphics stops me from thinking of their designs as iconic. I have difficulty conjuring up the look of characters from Uncharted to Horizon: Zero Dawn to even Persona 5, as distinct designs rather than just seeing them as people in cool outfits. There’s the cliché of newer characters from franchises like Pokémon or Sonic actually becoming more disjointed and forgettable as they increased in detail (though I somewhat disagree with this, the sentiment certainly has some basis in reality).
What do you think? Could this be a case of the test of time only remembering the iconic characters, so the era seems more memorable in retrospect (and the same effect will happen with games today as time goes on). Do you think there’s any truth to the idea that when developers are restricted (whether technically or by choice) in how detailed they can get, the results end up being more memorable character designs? I’m undecided on it which is why I’m making this thread.