Creative direction in video games is an important part of keeping the overall theme of your game on track. When creating a game, it should try and portray a certain feeling or emotion through its theme. Whether it is a horror theme portrayed with dark colour and gloomy music, or an 8bit theme with pixel art and animations.
So why is it important? Creative direction is an important part of any project, whether its games, film or advertising. When creating a project of any kind, you have to have a final goal in mind, otherwise you aren't going to get off the starting line. Once you have this final goal, whether it is for a client or for your own project, you can start the design process. Keeping a consistant feeling or theme through your entire project is important because it keeps the player grounded and familiar with your game.
Straying from your games main theme isn't always a good idea, but sometimes it can be used effectively to suprise your audience. Changing themes alot can confuse your player which may make them lose interest. An occasional change in feeling or theme can sometimes be welcomed, as long as its done correctly. Returning to your main theme is important to keep your player grounded.
A world famous game designer that is known for his great creative direction is Hideo Kojima. Komjima prides himself on his work and is well known for his creative direction and is mostly known for his work on the Metal Gear series. Kojima's games are all very well made as they focus heavily on story and changing up the game industry. Metal Gear was his first big title and was originally supposed to be a war game. Instead, under Kojima's direction Metal Gear was created a stealth combat game. This forced players to think intuitively about their next move in order to finish the game, rather than running and gunning like similar games around that time. Another thing Kojima is known for is his long, dramatic and cinematic cutscenes. He had a great love of film which really shows in his games. These heavy cutscene set the mood and theme for the player which are very unique to Kojimas games.