3. Far Cry 5
Ubisoft created a beautiful fictional county in Far Cry 5 known as Hope county, based on Montana, USA. The loading screen is a relaxing departure from the hectic gameplay, which is fitting because often these loads have been sparked by being outnumbered and/or outgunned. There’s a certain relaxing, yet ominous tone throughout Hope county and these animated load screens take slices of the map to focus on. These are based on the areas controlled by the Seed family, the antagonistic cult of Far Cry 5, with Jacob Seed’s area reflected by a river flowing through a dense forest, and John Seed’s area is fittingly defined by a white chapel sitting on a field nestled between a couple of trees and the American flag. The most noticeable inclusion in John Seed’s load screen is three white flowers in the foreground, with everything slowly moving to the Montana breeze. Far Cry 5 was among the best games of the generation, and these load screens have been appreciated.
2. Destiny 2
Let’s be real, some of the load screens in Destiny 2 are boring, with geometry that flips around on a blank background as a clear replacement to a progress bar. These screens aren’t what I’m interested in. The Destiny 2 load screens that are interesting are when a Guardian goes from planet to planet and the player is able to see their ship (Javelin or otherwise). Destiny 2 has a combination of appealing factors to its ship-based load screens. On one hand, the interstellar visuals are impressive even to the biggest Bungie haters. The fact that most load screens occur when moving from one planet to another in Destiny or Destiny 2, it makes sense that they’d feature your selected space ship. There are over 20 ships to choose between in Destiny 2 and while you’ll get sick of the base one after a while, eventually you’ll get your hands on the perfect ship and it feels extremely rewarding sailing that ship that you worked really hard for from one load screen to another. The combination of beautiful visuals and the touch of player freedom and customization make Destiny 2’s ship-based load screens among the best in gaming on current-gen.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2
The original Red Dead Redemption continued the classic Rockstar style of comic book style images with a progress bar, but the images of Red Dead Redemption 2’s load screens are just the world slowly being filled with color and coming to life. The oil aesthetic of the scenery before the gameplay finally loads feel like us, the gamers, are being ripped back into history before the plot starts, before the first bullet is shot, before a horse is able to neigh. Just as quickly and effortlessly as Rockstar is able to bring us back in time with all of the best aspects of Red Dead Redemption 2, the SSDs of Xbox Series X/S and PS5 are already loading RDR2 so quickly that this process of old school oil paintings transitioning to gameplay is as quick as loading a small indie game on current-gen. The load times of the future are exciting and I’m always excited to get into the action, but a lot of artists put hard work into these load screens, and Rockstar takes the cake with the way their load screens breathe life into Red Dead Redemption 2. While I can’t wait to say goodbye to loading completely, these load screens from Xbox One and PS4 have made getting back into games more seamless.
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