Are graphics hurting games?

Are graphics being traded for gameplay?

  • Yes

    Votes: 102 52.6%
  • No

    Votes: 76 39.2%
  • I stopped buying new games.

    Votes: 16 8.2%

  • Total voters
    194

DukenukemX

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A trend I've been noticing in games is that they look great. Graphics have never looked better. Almost every game now comes with HDR and realistic physics. Though one other trend I noticed is that games are now shorter. If they aren't short then they suck.

What I'm saying is that game companies have the idea that graphics is what gamers really want and gameplay isnt important. Tomb Riader Legends and HL2 were both good games but were so very short. They both used state of the art graphics but did it need it? Most of the time I've seen developers use it for ambience and not so much gameplay involved.

So are companies trading the cost for gameplay for graphics?
 
Z

Zinn

Guest
I disagree that all games with good graphics are short. Take Quake 4, Doom 3, Far Cry, and most notably Oblivion. These games all have great graphics, and they're pretty long. I also thought Half Life 2 was a respectable length.

I do think that graphics are focused on too much these days and people are less willing to take risks and make innovative games when they're blowing a 20 million dollar budget on making fancy pixel effects, textures and polymodels. So yeah, I would say that graphics are hurting games, for the most part at least.

But every now and then a game like Oblivion comes along and my hope is restored :)
 

KillerMonkey

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Zinn said:
I disagree that all games with good graphics are short. Take Quake 4, Doom 3, Far Cry, and most notably Oblivion. These games all have great graphics, and they're pretty long. I also thought Half Life 2 was a respectable length.

I do think that graphics are focused on too much these days and people are less willing to take risks and make innovative games when they're blowing a 20 million dollar budget on making fancy pixel effects, textures and polymodels. So yeah, I would say that graphics are hurting games, for the most part at least.

But every now and then a game like Oblivion comes along and my hope is restored :)
I agree with everything, except that Quake 4 was long. I finished it in a day, it was very short. :)
 

Naldo

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I dont think the games are any shorter than they used to be. Can I get some examples? I can think of quite a few older games that I flew threw in a day.
 

CodeX

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There needs to be a sometimes option. In HL2 I think the graphics added to the game more than detracted from it. I also thought the length of the game was appropriate, shorter than HL1, but long enough and fun enough so that I felt I got my money's worth. The same is true for Oblivion, Far Cry, FEAR, Quake 4, and probably many others.

There are some games where the graphics seemed to hurt the game more than help, Doom 3 comes to mind, as does Unreal 2...
 

Netrat33

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1st and foremost:

People will always ...always bitch

ANY end of the spectrum. You can NOT please everyone. Awesome game, graphics sucked. Graphics were amazing, game sucked. Graphics and game was SO FUN! But too short not worth it! Graphics and game was fun and long, but it was filled with fluff.

and so on and so on.

Personally I like better price per ratio.
 

TightEyez

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Games are still quite good but I have lost a lot of intrest in games but pc game requirements change very fast.

Im just waiting for revolution for some classic games that will be fun like mario, zelda, etc
 

Wondernerd

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One of the PS3 demos was bragging about how realistic the grass looks in a game. Other things games have bragged about being able to see body hair and sweat.

That tells me they have lost their focus. I don't care if a game is fun or not, what I have really wanted is to see a computer generated character sweat.
 

RancidWAnnaRIot

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since when did the length of a game determine if it's good???

the lenght of a game has nothing to do with how much fun you actually have playing it...

with that said.. i think most games are a good length... in fact.. i'm sure the average game is longer today than it was 10 years ago... there are plently of long games out there if you want long games.. but i dont' know how lenght = gameplay.. that's retared IMO
 

noobman

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It's because the development time is so flippin long... especially around transition periods. The new next-gen engines are just now coming out or are still being developed, and as such it's a little more difficult and time consuming to create graphical content, due to either unpolished dev tools or the fact that developers aren't familiar with them yet.

Things will probably pick up as the engines get a little older.... as far as development goes, the Unreal 3 engine seems to give the best visuals considering the ease of development. Games are still going to be short though... things will pick up, but it won't be like it was before... at least until everything stabilizes again.
 

DoomRulz

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CodeX said:
There needs to be a sometimes option. In HL2 I think the graphics added to the game more than detracted from it. I also thought the length of the game was appropriate, shorter than HL1, but long enough and fun enough so that I felt I got my money's worth. The same is true for Oblivion, Far Cry, FEAR, Quake 4, and probably many others.

There are some games where the graphics seemed to hurt the game more than help, Doom 3 comes to mind, as does Unreal 2...

I disagree with your point on Doom 3...if anything, the graphics ADDED to the experience. That game couldn't have been the same without its graphics.
 

heatsinker

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DoomRulz said:
I disagree with your point on Doom 3...if anything, the graphics ADDED to the experience. That game couldn't have been the same without its graphics.

Agreed. I think Q4 was the one that received little or nothing with the new graphics engine.
 

HighwayAssassins

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heatsinker said:
Agreed. I think Q4 was the one that received little or nothing with the new graphics engine.
I thought Quake 4 was the "good" version of Doom 3 actually...
 

synergyo1

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Really good graphics can hold me at most a day or two. Really good gameplay can hold me for months or a year or even more. So...
 

Psychotext

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I think there are plenty of games that rely on graphics, but that's not to say that a game can't have amazing graphics and be fun too. These things aren't mutually exclusive.
 

jubei

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I don't see what graphics really has to do with the length of the game. Aren't the story and graphic design done by two seperate teams? And levels aren't the toughest part of the game to design. After you have the textures, it's all good to go -- so no, I don't think it hurts anything.

I think a lot of it is perceptual, honestly. Games seem shorter because we don't have games where you have to jump at the exact time anymore w/o checkpoints. Like ninja gaiden where if you didn't jump at the point where his first foot was off the platform, you wouldn't make it. And if you didn't make it, you got sent to the beginning of the level -- and you only had so many continues. That's what made older games longer. Technically speaking, there is much much more content and story nowdays than there was back then -- it's just less annoying and frustrating to beat a game these days.
 

Source

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I think people focus too much on the length of a game.

Sometimes a game can be too long for its own good - Oblivion probably being a perfect example. To be fair, I used to play games alot but these days barely get time to play games at all. I have played through Oblivion for about 20 hours and the game is that large, if you want to do everything which I am the kind of person that likes to do everything in a game to feel I have completed it, that I will never be able to realistically finish it which guts me. I figure that I would have to spend 200hrs+ from what people have said, to cover everything in the game. I'm not complaining, I'm enjoying the game, it's just that I realise I will never have the time to finish it :(

The way I would view how long a game should last me is by setting a price per hour to what I feel is acceptable for what I paid for the game. I personally view that if I pay £2.00 for an hours enjoyment, then that is a fair price (afterall, if I was down the pub then that figure would probably be quadroupled atleast). So if a game costs me £20.00, I would view 10 hours worth of gameplay to be acceptable (assuming ofcourse that I enjoy the game). Anything above this I would view as a bonus.

Also, I believe the advancement of graphics is a good thing as it helps you become more immersed in the world you are playing in, especially true for first person shooters IMO.
 

bigwilliestyle711

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Wondernerd said:
One of the PS3 demos was bragging about how realistic the grass looks in a game. Other things games have bragged about being able to see body hair and sweat.

That tells me they have lost their focus. I don't care if a game is fun or not, what I have really wanted is to see a computer generated character sweat.


in that sense, then there is no point for next generation consoles/ video cards. Just keep video games at their current state and make them more focused on gameplay...

is that what you are trying to say
 

johnnq

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maybe game developers feel that gameplay is at it's maximum or isn't important so they go make ads about graphics. i agree that today's games SUCK. and i mean SUCK. nothing is as addicting as the good old n64 games or even the pre windows 2000 games.

i think a big factor that every company seems to miss is music. a good game with good gameplay can be a great game if the music is good.
 

Banko

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itsmikey said:
LucasArts needs to start developing adventure games again.
The only thing that is hurting LucasArts is that they are too interested in money now, which was why KOTOR II was unfinished and so much was cut.
 

peacetilence

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Actually you nailed it. I've pretty much stopped buying new games.

The last games I've purchased have been oblivion (can't play it because A) I was an impatient idiot and bought it from direct2drive B) oblivion was rushed and HDR doesn't work on nvidia cards the further you progress without the game freezing C) I cant use the beta patch to increase SLI performance because I bought the horrible direct2drive version... sorry for the long rant)

So I've given up buying new games and enjoy older games like IL-2 much more these days. I'm actually enjoying IL-2 much more than Oblivion and the game is 3 years old and cost me $19... I could care less about graphics anymore when gameplay is so horrible in modern games.
 

nigerian_businessman

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The games I play most are BF1942 and CS:Source, if that answers your question.

Most new games coming out these days aren't groundbreaking enough to capture my interest in the same way these two did. BF2 = Desert Combat with a few minor improvements, a lot higher system requirements and a whole shitload of new bugs and gameplay issues. I bought BF2 and I regret it. That happens a lot when I buy games these days, so I've pretty much stopped. Except for my DS, I'm enjoying the hell out of it right now.
 

spugnor

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Game play and innovation have taken a back seat to visuals, IMHO. And i think this is a bad thing. Heck, i built a DOS machine, simply to play some of the old "classics" again, simply because they were so much fun to play. Graphics may have sucked but they had story/gameplay that made up for it.

Master of Orion (the first one) had absymal graphics by todays standard, but i still play that game to this day. Someone mentioned the old lucas arts games, classics!

In fact, in the last 2 years, the only games i have looked forward to playing have been "beyond good and evil" (console port), "Psychonaughts" (console port), and "World of Warcraft). None of which have fancy graphics
 

MYSTic Jedi

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i've pretty much stoped buying new games too, some of them are really really fun and have online play now too, but the system requirements are WAY too high for most people (thus making less people buy the game, and when someone does, and is soooo pretty, but they dont have ANY fun with it, and last time i checked, the purpose of games was to have fun) and the price of games nowdays is just ridiculous! i mean $50-$60 for one game! Thats a lot for the average person, and only occasionally will that game everyones raving about be as good as you've heard. And i LOVED the Myst games (1, 2, and 3 at least, working on the 4th), such an inovative and puzzling game, but any other puzzle adventure game ive tryed has sucked horribly, and somehow it seems they always put in some good visuals too (but more CPU intensive that GPU). so yeah, thats my rant...........
 

Aeauvian12

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I think for the most part they don't, but then you get to the point like in Oblivion that the graphics are so advanced that on the average consumer PC it 1) wouldnt run at all or 2) would have to have all the settings near nothing. I don't enjoy spending 1500 on a new pc to have a game out two months later that pwns it and i get 5 fps.
 
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The focus on graphics has hurt the industry, and we the consumer have to take some sort of responsibilty not only in blame but in action to turn that around before it's too late.
 

MYSTic Jedi

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and you know what, me with my crappy little machine, almost ant older game i play, UT, Rune, Jedi Knight II, Warcraft III, Call of Duty, Half-Life, etc, all look a LOT better (as in cleaner) than any newer games, cause the hardwear i have was like top notch or maybe middle class stuff, but now, with my aging 9200SE (stupid compaq ripped out the AGP slot, so i have PCI) any newer game i play i have to run in 640x480 with most things on low and still only get 20-30 FPS, whitch really sucks, but with some older games, i can have it on 1280x960 with everything on high, and add some AF too! and really, that looks a LOT better IMHO. (plus i like where games are starting to head with PPUs coming out, i would really like to see more more emphisis on physics and interaction rather than focusing more on more graphics)
 

banned_user

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I think graphics are hurting games mostly the huge teams needed to put these graphics in games are making the average price of games creep up to the 60$ mark. Its not helping that MS and Sony put some wacky processors in thier systems that require huge amounts time to tweak code for either. I the industry is going to be corrected by the customers during this generation.
We don't need bleeding edge multiple processors and 1080p support to allow developers to make better games. Make a system that dosen't require an army of programers to code for and make middleware available to ease the strain that increased visual standards are imposing.
Gameply and fun factor are getting lost in the mix as well, as companies are being forced to spend so much time with the technical aspects of game design.
 

Dark Prodigy

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There are a few things happening here. Most of us that have these powerful computers that play the games that require such power are typically 'older' gamers (25+). And at this age we have jobs and careers that let us afford high end systems. With that being said, we are the ones that remember much older games because most of us that are gamers now were gamers back then. In this instance we tend to somewhat romanticize (sp?) the games we grew up with..from Atari 2600 pitfall & space invaders to the original Super Mario bros when Nintendo was king of the gaming world... to the first true 3D game (Quake 2) which gave rise to graphics cards, violence and profanity (which adds to immersion, gameplay and realism) in games.

Almost like your first girlfriend or the first real crush. Or when old timers say we have it 'easy' nowadays because they had to walk 5 miles to school. Nothing is going to replace those nostalgic feelings, even though in essence things and games presently just might be even better. This is not true in EVERY case but its guaranteed to have much to do in this situation.

True... I miss some of the older games (Super Metroid, techmo bowl, Bards Tale III come to mind) but games like God of War (best game ever btw), Quake 4 and others are damn good too. Imagine if those games were out in 1990...

Some people say the original Doom was better and 'scarier' than Doom 3...that's bunk simply because the original Doom was our first experience with contained horror in the gaming scene and that will always hold value, and with sooooo many clones that came after, by the time Doom 3 came out we were already desensitized, even with stellar graphics.

Graphics aren't necessarily hurting games, our expectations are. True, gameplay should be parallel with graphics in a perfect world, and some developers think eye candy can 'make up' for the lack of an immersive story which we now know doesn't hold water but we shouldn't let the graphical proliferation overshadow the game itself.
 

bob

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Thief III video (5.6MB, ~400Kbps).

Anyone remember this game? Based on the Unreal engine, it had some massive eye candy for its day. Bugger than windows millenium, and the AI is as dumb as a box of rocks. A dissapointment from the original series in many ways, yet still damn long and had great gameplay and a good plot/storyline that kept me till 1:00am every other night playing it. After beating the game, I felt like it was money well spend and I wanted more.

FEAR kicked ass, excellent AI, but seemed rather short. I just have a feeling that if games stay at 40-50 dollars, some kind of sacrifice will have to be made to allow for the PPU's, dual core, etc. Games have come a long way in 10 years, heck 10 years ago you couldnt get a decent gaming rig for $700.00 new.
 

Techx

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it's all about the fine balance between gfx and gameplay, they both have to be strong for games to be enjoyable.. and yes many publishers put pressure on their devs to push out graphically strong games to sell titles.. nothing you can do about it, so might as well enjoy the eye candy :p
 

tacosareveryyummy

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I dont mind games that have uber graphics. Heck someday when I have a real job and can afford a 2k rig I will sure as heck do it. But I have to admit that I really miss games like Baldur's Gate and ect. Those games were hella long. I would give up all the fancy smanchy graphics in the world if it was for a game like Baldurs gate.
 

CodeX

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peacetilence said:
oblivion was rushed and HDR doesn't work on nvidia cards the further you progress without the game freezing

Thats not true, I have a 6800 ultra and have played with HDR for hours on end, probably 7 or 8 hours at the longest. Your computer is probably just unstable, maybe a PSU upgrade would help, or lower your overclock
 
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bob said:
Thief III video (5.6MB, ~400Kbps).

Anyone remember this game? Based on the Unreal engine, it had some massive eye candy for its day. Bugger than windows millenium, and the AI is as dumb as a box of rocks. A dissapointment from the original series in many ways, yet still damn long and had great gameplay and a good plot/storyline that kept me till 1:00am every other night playing it. After beating the game, I felt like it was money well spend and I wanted more.

FEAR kicked ass, excellent AI, but seemed rather short. I just have a feeling that if games stay at 40-50 dollars, some kind of sacrifice will have to be made to allow for the PPU's, dual core, etc. Games have come a long way in 10 years, heck 10 years ago you couldnt get a decent gaming rig for $700.00 new.

What makes you think thief3's AI was dumb? Thief 3 actually had a rather complex ai system from what one can gather with developer interviews etc. A complex ai, however, doesnt always translate into a smarter one much in the same way that people can falsely believe some ai is doing incredible crafty things when in reality it's not. Your impression can also really depend on how you play the game. In thief if you are running through the levels and then exploiting the ai's inablity to climb objects / ladders and then killing them with arrows vs trying to sneak around and blackjack unaware opponents + going for 100% loot on difficult, you are going to have a different experience.

An AI's actions are our only window into their intelligence. Is fear's AI better than doom3's AI? How can you tell? Well, in doom3 the monsters want to kill you and since they lack projectile weapons they run straight at you. In fear, the enemies goal is to of course kill you, but they shoot from covered positions in intervals, do flips through windows to get to those positions instead of going around, and sometimes carry out a scripted event like knocking over a cabinet before going to their cover positions. But what more can you expect from a zombie or imp?
 

bob

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Lord of Shadows said:
What makes you think thief3's AI was dumb? Thief 3 actually had a rather complex ai system from what one can gather with developer interviews etc.
Did you even watch the video?


Lord of Shadows said:
A complex ai, however, doesnt always translate into a smarter one much in the same way that people can falsely believe some ai is doing incredible crafty things when in reality it's not. Your impression can also really depend on how you play the game. In thief if you are running through the levels and then exploiting the ai's inablity to climb objects / ladders and then killing them with arrows vs trying to sneak around and blackjack unaware opponents + going for 100% loot on difficult, you are going to have a different experience.

I would expect that the AI would be as 'smart' as The previous theif games. In that I couldnt stand face to face with a gaurd out on a street, and have him say "whered he go". My favorite is "Hum, must've been the wind".
 
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If you take notice of his lightgem he is in complete/near complete darkness, (Compression on that vid is pretty bad) once the guards do find him he runs around a corner and hides in darkness again where the guards again enter search mode. (Not to mention this all takes place in the city, which doesnt have a difficulty setting and defaults ai awareness to normal. Which is even more pathetic in thief3 to make it easier for xbox players) You can evade alert guards by breaking their line of sight and hiding in darkness in other rooms in both the previous thief games so I dont see your point.
 
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