Deus Ex: Human Revolution is definitely a pretty game by industry standards (check out the newest trailer from the Toyko Game Show), but the art style is almost overwhelmed by both black and gold. Wonder why? It was a deliberate decision made by the game’s art director, Jonathan Jacques-BelletÃªte, who drew the inspiration from seeing an ad on TV.
Okay, so that was just one day… one picture. I think it was like a Sunday, and I saw this black and gold advert – I have no idea what it was. But it just struck me – this could be a great palette, it’s never really been used in videogames. It was great for communication, packaging, bags so on.
If you look at Assassin’s Creed, it’s white and blue. Ours is gonna be black and gold. And I think it worked well, because if you look at the Renaissance, the painters at the time like – Rembrandt, Vermeer… – a lot of the colours they used were black and white. Obviously they could paint in the daytime, but if they wanted to paint at night they didn’t have leccy [electricity] so would paint with candles – which resulted in this warm, black and goldy color.
He further explained that the black represents the cyberpunk nature of the game, while the gold represents a Renaissance tone. While the color scheme never was an issue for me, the explanation given makes a lot of sense and seems very fitting. Obviously, the color black as a featured color can be very overwhelming. Typically, games have used the color as more of a contrasting element, rather than a static color. But considering the story of the game where cybernetic elements are being introduced into the human race resulting in a war between those who choose to embrace it and those who reject it, the color scheme could not be more appropriate. Let’s just hope the future won’t always look that way.