Aesthetics Wiki

7 HD is a graphical aesthetic trend of the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was utilized at a period when publishers preferred to stress their systems' realistic capabilities. This aesthetic's colors were often subdued with sepia/brown color filters, with strong directional shadows and a heavy bloom effect. Gears of War established standards for other companies to follow and served as a model for Unreal Engine 3 in other games of that generation.

The dull colors of the aesthetic tended to lead to a Post-Apocalyptic setting with destroyed buildings, rubble, and a dusty sky, but other drab settings such as deserts and cities were also seen.

The gritty aesthetic gained so much traction that video game mascots such as Sonic the Hedgehog used it in their titles. Designer Steves Peeps coined the phrase in 2023. With the debut of the eighth generation of consoles, including the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, this aesthetic's fall accelerated over time. With increased visual capabilities, using the aesthetic appearance was no longer necessary and, in the grander scheme, looked down upon.

Video Games[]

  • Burnout Revenge (precursor)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • Commandos 3: Destination Berlin
  • Farcry 2
  • FlatOut 2 (precursor)
  • Gears of War series
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Half-Life 2
  • Killzone (precursor) - Killzone 2
  • Metal Gear Solid 4
  • Motorstorm
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) (precursor)
  • Resident Evil 4 - 5
  • Resistance: Fall of Man
  • Shadow The Hedgehog (precursor)
  • Sonic The Hedgehog (2006)
  • Tomb Raider Legend - Underworld
  • Spec Ops: The Line


  • Brown
  • Bloom
  • Sharp directional shadows
  • Sepia color grading
  • HD
  • Film grain
  • Muted colors