A couple weeks back I ran an enjoyable feature on Duncan Harris, the video game photographer behind the website DeadEndThrills. Harris takes some of the most evocative, beautiful video game screenshots I've ever seen, and we've been sharing some of his work each week here.

This week has some good stuff. Let's get into it, shall we?

First up, at top:

"I Am The Very Model of a Sideways-Scrolling Beat-Em-Up"

Or really, Mr. Harris? Well then:

I've information vi-o-lent and beat the bad guys to a pulp
I know kung-fu-ian theory and am teaming with a lot-o-moves
with many cheerful ways to shred anonymously evil dudes


(with many cheerful ways to shred anonymously evil dudes!)

Bonus points for the Gilbert & Sullivan reference! Here are Duncan's notes on this terrific shot from Bulletstorm:

Tools and tricks: custom game build, debug camera, custom FOV, 2160p rendering, FXAA injection, timestop.


"No Place Like Home"

Yet another shot that captures how gorgeous Modern Warfare 2 was in its wanton destruction. As I careened through this single-player campaign, I always felt like the art team had slaved over this incredible stuff, only to have us pass it by in the blink of an eye, actively penalized for pausing to take it in. It's nice to slow down and dig the lovely particle effects.


Duncan's Notes:

Tools and tricks: game client 1.0 (boxed version), MW2 Unleashed command console patch, high quality ambient occlusion, custom LOD bias, 2160p rendering, FXAA, no-HUD, timestop, free camera, custom FOV.



A beautiful shot from STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl (screw it, I'm not doing the periods anymore and you can't make me). Gotta play more of this game. Duncan's notes:

Tools and tricks: 2160 rendering, antialiasing (SMAA), free camera, time demo recorder, no-HUD, STALKER Complete 2009 mod, custom FOV (hacked game DLL @ FOV 50).


"Escape Velocity"

A very cool shot from The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Dark Athena. Duncan's notes:

Tools and tricks: 2160p rendering, antialiasing (FXAA), free camera, timestop.


"Hymn of the Big Wheel"

The ferris wheel from STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, which also makes a cameo in the best level of the first (and best) Modern Warfare. As Duncan points out, "In a city where the average age was just 26, it's fittingly cruel that the Pripyat Ferris Wheel, a decaying symbol of Soviet nuclear naivety, is today its most irradiated landmark. It might also explain where Modern Warfare's John ā€˜Soap' MacTavish got his superhuman powers and giant bollocks"

Heh. Notes:

Tools and tricks: 2160 rendering, antialiasing (SMAA), free camera, time demo recorder, no-HUD, STALKER Complete 2009 mod, custom FOV (hacked game DLL @ FOV 50).


"Crysis Collection #1"

To fill out this week, I'm looking back at Dead End Thrills' Crysis collection, which is truly a game made for this site. They are all gorgeous (how many amazing shots of an island can you drool over?), but I really like this one.


"Crysis Collection #2"

Too many games that have lovely looking surface water drop the ball once you go under water (I'm looking at you, Skyrim). But not Crysis. I love how this shot celebrates thatā€”few games go so far as to have an underwater view look as gorgeous as this one.


Seriously, go download the entire collection.