Gorgeous Chivalry shots! I should start playing that again, was a lot of fun! :)
Yeah. Wow. I need to play it, is the first one best played first? Also are you using mods?
I'm not using mods, just a simple .ini edit to get it running in widescreen. I think they managed to hit a golden spot just where 3D graphics could be rendered smoothly enough to not be directly offensive and artistic abstraction which implies a lot more detail than what's actually there. Some shinier textures and fancier shaders and it could be released today without betraying it's age.
There's a mod for Homeworld 2 that adds a load of complexity, but also the amount of visual density. I know it was called Point Defence Systems, but I want to say they maybe changed the name to something else after one of the versions. The trailers were usually pretty sweet. A look at its ModDB page suggests it's still actively being worked on. Which, quite frankly, is a bit bonkers.
Burtal Legend (I know there's a typo, but considering my feelings to it at the moment, I'm okay with that).
As much as I deride the actual gameplay, the aesthetic is wonderful. It's a damn shame the game can't keep up with it though. Also, the engine sometimes. Whilst the recommended requirements are (questionably) high, I don't have absolutely everything set to full. Even so, the as you can see in some of the pics some of the textures aren't great and the frame rate can get really spotty while driving. I think the one word that could best describe BL, in its entirety, would be "inconsistent". Such a shame.
Here's some more from the Sonic Generations Unleashed mod. I was messing around in the final level, Jungle Joyride. It's very pretty.
Who builds a tower in a lake??
Dancing tribal badniks!
Out towards the ocean.
Waterfall enclave. (Apologies for the blue ball. Only way to capture as much of the buildings as possible.)
The rings and character designs always look so anachronistic against the realistic environments in 3D Sonic games. Sega should really take a note out of Nintendo's book. Or Brutal Legend's, for that matter.
The move towards a more realistic world in Sonic was never something I liked. Basically, humans came and ruined it all. That said, I do think Jungle Joyride is great, especially if you look at it with Aquatic Ruins (Sonic 2) in mind. Another level, Empire City, is entirely in a contemporary city and it doesn't fit well with me at all. Whilst Rooftop Run (which is in vanilla SG too) is in a city, I think the brown hues of a city built on older styles makes it not quite as jarring.
It's a shame because Sonic Team quite clearly have good designers who are able to produce some lovely looking games. There just needs to be the right direction. Of course for every one who agrees with me, there'll be an equal counter.
I'm struggling to think of another game that has a similar aesthetic. It doesn't bother me in film, but then Roger Rabbit and Bedknobs and Broomsticks were formative movies for me.
Hmm, I never did play Homeworld 2 much, despite loving the first one to hell and back. I've been feeling RTS-y lately though, so maybe I should see if I still have the disc sitting around anywhere. If not, does anyone know whether it is available on any download services?
A guy who used to live in the same building was always raving about Homeworld, but to no avail ...
Come to think of it, I even may have played the first one ... and bounced completely off of it, IIRC. How accessible is the sequel (I'm not much into RTS these days, which probably doesn't help)?
Edit: Oh, Skalpadda has already answered the part about modding. Disregard, please.