As video games look more and more realistic, video game photography has become more commonplace. While games don’t have full cameras and lenses to work with, they do have a wide variety of tools to capture amazing shots. In this list, we’ll take a look at some of the best games to play if you want to experiment with video game photography.
Photo mode offers a respite from the action and danger of the main gameplay, and lets you slow down and really appreciate
When Cyberpunk 2077 was released, the primary conversations were about the bugs and the unreal amount of hype that had been built around it during its long development process. But one of the conversations that went under the radar was how robust the photo mode is in the game. In fact it might be the best camera tool in a high-profile game. You can control whether your character is in the shot or not, and what pose and expression they’re going to strike during the photo. There are precise depth of field options, and sliders for exposure, contrast, and other common photo effects. It’s going to feel a lot different than a real-world camera, but it’s about as good as it gets. On top of that, Cyberpunk is a gorgeous game. With the power of ray tracing, the lights and reflections make the environment look immersive and realistic.
Forza Horizon 5
Forza Horizon 5 is a beautiful racing game with highly detailed cars and racetracks.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
The last several entries in the Assassin’s Creed series (Origins and Odyssey) contain photo modes, but Valhalla is the newest game in the franchise. You can journey through viking-era Britain, and go on a photography journey. You can wander the wilderness and take photos of forests and mountains, or you can take shots of bustling cities. You’ll have access to settings like depth of field, exposure, and contrast, as well as some additional options. While Assassin’s Creed is a single-player game, you will be able to see photos that other players have taken, marked on the in-game map. This can help give you inspiration on how to take your own photos! If you prefer an Egyptian theme or a Greek theme, you can try out the previous games, Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which also feature impressive scenery and good photo modes.
The world of Death Stranding is desolate yet beautiful in its own way. And the game has a photo mode to capture these landscapes. You are able to adjust focal length and focus, which is a sharp contrast to the photo modes in other games. In general, most other games forego real-world focal length and aperture values in favor of a depth-of-field slider. You are able to choose whether or not your character appears in the photo, and what pose he has, but you’ll rarely interact with other characters in the game. You will likely spend most of your time taking haunting landscape photos or photos of your character in harrowing situations.
Red Dead Redemption 2
If you want to capture images of the wild west, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the game you want to play. A photo from the game
Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn takes players to a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. But unlike other post-apocalyptic games like Death Stranding, the world of Horizon is colorful and majestic. The photo mode is pretty standard with the other photo modes mentioned in this list. It includes field-of-view, focus distance, exposure, aperture, and more. One standout feature is the ability to change the time of day, so you can still take daytime photos of a location even if it’s nighttime. You’ll also have the ability to change the pose and expression of your character or choose to hide them from the photo altogether.
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