Over the past weeks two of next year’s most highly anticipated titles, from two of this generation’s most respected developers, released their official box art. BioShock Infinite, Irrational Games‘ long awaited follow-up to the first BioShock, debuted its box art over the weekend, and for many, it seems like a missed opportunity.

The idea of emblazoning the game’s protagonist, Booker DeWitt, on the cover does adequately communicate the idea that the player will be experiencing the game through Booker and not as a blank slate — like in the first BioShock — but the general layout and design of the cover fails to capture the true wonder of the game.

Moreover, DeWitt’s pose is oddly reminiscent of Nathan Drake from the Uncharted franchise; a comparison that becomes compounded when you realize Troy Baker (the next up-and-coming Nolan North) is voicing the character.

Nevertheless the zeppelin and burning American flag — important symbols of Columbia’s historical setting and political situation — are captivating images, even if they are dominated by a rather generic pose. Check out the full BioShock Infinite box art by clicking the image below:

BioShock Infinite Box Art

The other box art revealed over the past few weeks is for Insomniac Games‘ upcoming cooperative shooter Fuse. Despite a long history of games featuring creative weaponry and a goofy sense of humor, Fuse‘s major appeal rest with that aforementioned 4-player co-op experience.

As such, the box art for Fuse that has been revealed focuses more so on the game’s 4 playable characters, except it doesn’t show their faces. As well, the box art borrows heavily from the recent trend of orange-accented covers — seen most primarily in EA titles like Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3 — but outdoes them all with a very orange design.

And the fact that the game’s main appeal, or at least anything that communicates something about the game, rests with some cut-off heads is pretty peculiar. The co-op idea is there, but it’s not necessarily all that well displayed.

Check it out by clicking the image below:

Fuse Box Art

While seasoned and informed gamers won’t necessarily be dismayed by less than desirable box art, it’s hard not to feel disappointed by the designs for both games’ covers. Each title has the potential of being a major standout for 2013, and we doubt the box art will impact sales, if at all, but for those who enjoy that sort of thing these could be seen as major disappointments.

What do you think of the box art for BioShock Infinite and Fuse? Do you like them, think they could be better, or could you care less about box art?

BioShock Infinite releases February 26, 2013 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Fuse is slated for a March 2013 release date on the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Source: Irrational Games, Game Informer