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But the work of Halo Infinite's art director is stunning

But is art games?

I've not read any of the words spilled about Halo Infinite's art style or graphics and I'm not going to. The wafting smell of all that chat did serve a purpose though: it pulled me back towards the work of Halo art director Nicolas "Sparth" Bouvier, like Jerry floating towards some delicious cheese laid by Tom.

I've been a fan of Sparth's since 2001, when he made a handful of Quake 3 maps under the handle 'nunuk' that look more like works of sculpture than deathmatch arenas. These include Platypus in 2001, and 2002's exquisite Sparth. If I created something that looked as good as this, I'd name myself after it as well.

A Quake 3 map by Halo Infinite's art director, called Sparth.

Both these maps use colour and lighting in ways that are entirely unlike any other user made levels at the time. Nearly twenty years later, his ArtStation page is filled with artwork depicting futuristic cities, spaceships, and stunning landscapes. My favourite's have a similarly approach to the Quake 3 maps, ignoring fine detail in favour of bold shapes.

Graphic City by Sparth.
All images copyright © Sparth.

Primitive City by Sparth.

Oceanoship by Sparth.

Pendul City by Sparth.

Orange Spaceship Over City by Sparth

Futuristic Port by Sparth.

There's a lot more detailed work among Sparth's catalogue, including examples of his work on previous Halo games. It's these speed paintings that I keep coming back to, however.

The image at the top of this post is taken from the cover of The Art Of Halo Infinite book. The cover is by Sparth, and he presumably has a lot more work inside. You can also buy PSD files of Sparth's work and more on his Gumroad page.

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Halo Infinite

Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

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About the Author
Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.