Meet the Box Art for Left 4 Dead 3 - Er, Heavy Rain

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Meet the Box Art for Left 4 Dead 3 - Er, Heavy Rain

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Once again, the box art we get in America is a marked downgrade compared to the version everyone else gets - just look at Heavy Rain.

Yesterday, Sony revealed the official box art for upcoming action-quicktime-what-are-we-calling-this-again Heavy Rain - the US version, that is (as seen to the right here). The EU box art also surfaced on the 'net, and a direct comparison between the two finds the US one to be a bit... lacking.

There's something very poignant about the understated box that our friends across the pond are getting - it's a bloodied origami crane (the mark of the Origami Killer) lying in the puddles created by the eponymous heavy rain. In comparison, the US box art takes the same image and shrinks it down to superimpose on the images of the game's four protagonists. It's a bit busier than the original, and a lot less aesthetically pleasing (and I don't get why - of all things - they opted to change the logo to something less interesting).

My question is - why? The net result is something that wouldn't feel out of place in Left 4 Dead (three guys, one girl, guns - all you're missing is the zombies) like for instance, the art for the Hard Rain campaign. I understand that not all gamers obsessively read up on upcoming titles, and that publishers understandably want box art that grabs someone who may never have heard the game before but who sees it on the shelves at a store. But is a more "action-y" title always the way to go?

On the plus side, there's a silver lining - Sony will be offering a pre-formatted .pdf of the EU art to print out and use as an alternate box art for those of you who pick the depressing game up and prefer the subtle Origami Killer version. So I guess everyone wins after all.

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the EU boxart is way better

I really like the EU box art, and I'm never one to really complement or even pay attention to box art.

Monkeytacoz:
the EU boxart is way better

Seconded.

Go EU. We have to wait longer... No wait I don't care, Now my exams have finished all that matters is getting peace walker. *sits still and waits patiently* DAMN IT HURRY UP.

EU is definitely nicer... and what's with the italicized "Rain?"

This is similar to what happened with the box art for Dead Rising.
At least I think that was the game.

Monkeytacoz:
the EU boxart is way better

Yeah, agreed.

Although, this still isnt too bad, gives it a very art noir feel

Hahaha. While I feel like far too big of a misanthrope saying this, I think I understand why they took this route perfectly.

You see, the feature that dominates the European edition's boxart is the crane. Stylistic; noir; thrilling. Excellent from an art point-of-view.

The thing that dominates the American boxart is a woman. More specifically, a woman's breasts. More specifically, a woman's breasts, slightly glistening with rain.

That's probably why they simplified the typeface. Also, there's more light on the left side of the picture, as well as a lot more activity. Can't help but accuse the boobs.

I suppose they were afraid that American gamers would mistake this for some bizarre origami game for use with Sony's expected motion-detection controls. "omg wtf is this, 'Fold or Die'?"

But yeah, the design fails in a significant number of ways. Who is Sony using for their packaging design, anyway?

I prefer the EU boxart. Less is more in this case.

What is it with you Americans and your boxart? I pity you all :P

Though... that is a mighty fine logo there...

The American boxart looks too cliche and stereotypically American.

I like the Euro one better. Its mysterious in a way.

Wait, the US box art is so bad that Sony is telling people to download and printout the Euro box art to cover up the ugly? Why the hell don't they just change the damn box art?

CuddlyCombine:
Hahaha. While I feel like far too big of a misanthrope saying this, I think I understand why they took this route perfectly.

You see, the feature that dominates the European edition's boxart is the crane. Stylistic; noir; thrilling. Excellent from an art point-of-view.

The thing that dominates the American boxart is a woman. More specifically, a woman's breasts. More specifically, a woman's breasts, slightly glistening with rain.

That's probably why they simplified the typeface. Also, there's more light on the left side of the picture, as well as a lot more activity. Can't help but accuse the boobs.

I think you have summarised the difference between European and Americans cultures better than I ever could hope too

What do you know, one of the few subtle box arts in a while butchered in favor of a wet T-shirt display and a brandished gun. Now if only there was a fiery explosion in the background and a few more guns to go around, it would be perfect.

It's not like the EU box art can challenge book covers either, though. Game covers are almost universally crap unless they come out of Japan. Which makes it kind of tragic to consider that those covers are usually replaced with the "standard" gun-boobs-explosion cover during localization.

I like the American one, but I guess that just makes me weird...or just American....

why not make the game cover reversible with the EU version on the alternate side? why should I have to waste printer ink?

John Funk:
Once again, the box art we get in America is a marked downgrade compared to the version everyone else gets - just look at Heavy Rain.

Oh no!

You guys have it so bad. I feel for you.

The EU box art is a lot nicer IMO. I've never really understood companies need to redesign the packaging for different markets.

Damn this game REALLY makes me wish I had a PS3. I also agree the EU version is waaay better.

Anyone else notice that the bottom of the letter E and V make it look like nipples? Can you say subliminal advertising of sex? I mean, come on thats just fucking stupid.

Notice how the woman is in front, lit up, and wet. While the rest of the characters are behind her, and darker, and not wet.

Patroclus:
why not make the game cover reversible with the EU version on the alternate side? why should I have to waste printer ink?

What he said.

That shit's expensive.

You guys got awful Ratchet & Clank box art as well (which was our Special Edition cover). Some might not find box art important but I find a good bit of art on the box makes the whole thing feel much higher quality, so I feel sorry for you.
Sony admitting to making worse artwork for you is a bit bizarre. Maybe they're hoping the people following Heavy Rain already will buy and replace with good art, and casual shoppers will see generic action art and buy it on impulse?

I like the EU boxart because its simple and we really don't need to see what the characters look like before the game is purchased.

I don't think this one looks bad in any way, but the EU version does look better. Inmy opinion, the US version looks better than the L4D box are even. Only thing that made that better then looking like utter shit was how they have the hand represent the name, in a way. Still won't even consider buying this game though.

American one tries too hard to look like an American drama

Just google-image any of the US dramas, they all have this "look serious whilst posing in a line at intresting angles" thing going on

EU boxart looks like something out of Silent Hill--but this . . . this is just sad.

I like how the women is dripping wet. :|

Definetly perfer the Eu box art. Good that I'm from sweden, and we don't get this one.

Suckers! Sorry

It's pretty bad. Composition, colour and even the font style is bland and uninteresting. It doesn't really draw attention to itself... and geez can one get more cliched?

The european version radiates attention. The focus on the origami, the use of a bolder and blurred font and the subtle hind of a bloody tinge in it's entirety show so much more to the on looker while remaining ambiguous to it's content.

The US version is like, CSI or something... holy crap that's bad. Someone has no clue of marketing OR quality. A child could compose a better image (no joke).

Europe seems to go for more of an artistic design when it comes to box arts. Whereas ours capture the characters themselves.

Still, it's a shame that we lost out on this one.

:l

I'm gonna agree with pretty much everyone here and say the EU boxart is better.

CuddlyCombine:
Hahaha. While I feel like far too big of a misanthrope saying this, I think I understand why they took this route perfectly.

You see, the feature that dominates the European edition's boxart is the crane. Stylistic; noir; thrilling. Excellent from an art point-of-view.

The thing that dominates the American boxart is a woman. More specifically, a woman's breasts. More specifically, a woman's breasts, slightly glistening with rain.

That's probably why they simplified the typeface. Also, there's more light on the left side of the picture, as well as a lot more activity. Can't help but accuse the boobs.

I think you got it down pretty well, just what I thought.

Story in short: someone from Sony USA looked at the European box art and said "not enough tits."

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