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Yeah, I wanted to say the same thing.  Props to the artists and musicians who worked on this game - you nailed it!  Wandering around this world is a pleasure, wondering what you'll see around the next bend.  The quality of the art and overall atmosphere makes you want to explore it.

 

It's a refreshing change from all the pure 3D engines out there, which are okay, but tend to feel a lot more cut & pasty than games like PoE or BG2.

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I fully agree. The 2D to 3D transition happened too fast. For example anime, no 2D cell true animations..mostly 3D CG now.  I like all the retro style games coming out lately, 2D is making a comeback! 

 

Speaking of Ultima Online, I've long wished for a "Modern" 2D UO game. Shards Online has some of that appeal but it's not 2D, I have yet to try it.

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the music is what does it for me.  that and some of the soul bits are quite good.. even some of the backer stories.. i know that part is a bit unpopular.. at least on these boards.. but i rather like some of them.  and when i come across one i dont.. i just close the window and move on :)

 

also, whoever thought of the story boards is genius.  very creative way to put reading back into the game.

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I agree 100%. The artwork in general is stunning across the board. I truly enjoy the 2D backgrounds that look like an animated painting. The music sets the mood perfectly. The ONLY suggestion I have is...MORE PORTRAITS. They are amazing, but i would love to see more of them!

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The art and most certainly the atmosphere does its job of making this a truly epic adventure. I liked the Gilded Vale the most, the tension and hopelessness felt very real the first time I got there.

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