As Resistance 3 brings its unique style to stores, we pick some of the most memorable examples of PlayStation cover art.
Don't judge a book by its cover, they say, and the same goes for video games. Yet what you see on the front of the box will often leave a strong first impression – and no game proves this more stylishly than Resistance 3.
To celebrate its release, we've rounded up some of the most striking examples of PlayStation pack art. Feel that we've missed anything out? Then head to facebook.com/sonyplaystation to set the record straight.
Talented British artist Olly Moss has cleverly used Manhattan's famous skyline to reflect the shift away from a traditional military shooter to a story of survival at all costs. The stark approach has gone down a storm with fans, thanks in part to Olly's love of video games.
"When I met with [developer] Insomniac Games about this project, they asked me if I was familiar with video games and I just laughed," Olly recalls. "I'm definitely a gamer first and a designer second! It was a challenge and I have a massive new appreciation for pack art designers."
Clap your eyes on the unique art and hard-hitting gameplay of Resistance 3 on PlayStation 3 today.
Shadow of the Colossus
Isolation in the face of towering odds is a central theme in PlayStation 2 classic Shadow of the Colossus, and that comes through loud and clear in this dramatic cover. "I wanted to make it look mystical, eerie and timeless – just some of the many qualities the game has," Sony Computer Entertainment Europe designer Steve O'Neill tells us. "I'm very proud of this pack. Designing it was like working on an oil painting."
Revisit the game's dreamlike splendour as part of ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Classics HD, available on PS3 from September 2011.
Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake
"I like the madcap energy of this pack, the vibrant colours, the two sides about to clash into one another and the funny little princesses," says SCEE designer Steve O'Neill. "It does what it says on the pack." He's right – the art perfectly depicts the raw mayhem running through the game, with weaponized baked goods and the kidnapping of outsized royalty forming the bedrock of the action.
You can try it for yourself by picking up Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake on PSP.
Assassin's Creed II
You might think a man in a white robe would be an unexciting subject for punchy pack design. SCEE designer Umesh Mistry disagrees, however. He had no involvement with Assassin's Creed II, but he admires the effect it conveys. "My preference for pack designs tends to be simple imagery, just like this one," Umesh points out.
Discover how the murky plots of Assassin's Creed II contrast with its clean artwork by downloading it to PS3 from PlayStation Store.
Medal of Honor
Look at the cover art for Medal of Honor and you'll get an immediate sense of what lies ahead: gritty, night-time warfare and secret missions shrouded in denial. It's a war game with a difference, not least because its main character looks more like a pirate than a special forces operative.
Go deep into enemy territory in Medal of Honor on PS3 and see the world in shades of grey.
Of The Shoot, the game which puts you and a PlayStation Move motion controller under the spotlight of a movie set, SCEE cover art designer Steve O'Neill says: "I wanted to create a kind of fun arcade look that didn't take itself too seriously and which had bags of energy. Great fun to work on."
Just as much fun to play, too. Don't wait for the director's call – get in on the action now with The Shoot on PS3.
Racing at the end of the world is emblazoned all over the front of this high-octane pack, and you'll know what you'll be facing when you line up on the starting grid. Notice the little details: the chip in the visor, explosions all over the track and stray wheels hurtling through the air.
Brave the carnage yourself by picking up MotorStorm Apocalypse, now available on PS3 as part of the Platinum range.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Stealth hero Solid Snake's bizarre premature ageing made for a standout cover image even by the high standards of the Metal Gear Solid series, with the deep lines creasing Snake's face hinting at the fine web of lies and intrigue underpinning this epic espionage adventure.
See if you can untangle it for yourself by playing Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, only on PS3.
Another favourite of SCEE designer Umesh Mistry is this minimalist effort from SEGA for its shooter, The Club. "Key features from the game and showcasing the characters in interesting compositions make for winning game pack art," he tells us. SEGA has carried that off here, nailing the underground feel of the game with this graffiti effect.
Join The Club on PS3 – membership requirements are sharp eyes and a quick trigger finger.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
"One of my favourite covers is the very old PS one title Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, primarily because of the Ayami Kojima illustrations," SCEE designer Mike Alder says of the classic Konami game. With its shadowy artwork, you'll feel like you're peering into a tomb even before the vampire action begins...
Iconic imagery on the front of a box is a mere taster for the wonders that await in all these PlayStation experiences. You can pick all of these games up in-store now, and be sure to check PlayStation Store from your PS3 system for downloadable titles.