Designing a level is a lot like baking a cake, big or small. It takes a lot of time and is easy to mess up. Visuals are also a key part, whether it’s to carefully home in on the design, set the mood or showcase the work itself. One key difference is that levels may not always come out exactly as intended, going through a myriad of checks, changes and trimmings throughout a game’s life-cycle. There’s a lot of iteration going on but when the results are good, they are very good. Let’s take a look at 12 of the most graphically amazing video game levels, big and small, and what made them stand out.
Control – Ashtray Maze
Behind its harsh Modern architecture, Control is home to some of the most surreal and eerie trips in gaming. The Objects of Power are the highlight and the Ashtray Maze is their crown. Upon gaining the power to navigate the maze, players are treated to a level whose walls cascade and guide them along, from shootouts to platforming challenges, all set to the incredible music of Poets of the Fall. It’s so awesome, even Jesse acknowledges it.