Has BF3 changed the perception that gameplay trumps graphics?

Krenum

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Gameplay > Graphics

Anyone who says otherwise either

A. hasn't been gaming for long

or B. Isn't a gamer at all.
 

limitedaccess

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For the vast majority of people a large enough gap in graphics, well technology in general, will trump game design at some point. Like most things that appeal to emotional response, nothing is absolute. This doesn't mean that graphics is greater than game play, but that placing one category as absolutely more important will not hold true.

Also like mentioned previously, another thing to consider is that game play is much more subjective than graphics, or even the broader category of visuals. This makes it extremely difficult to draw any sort of consensus on whether a game is has enough of a game play advantage to off set differences in graphics technology.

There are other aspects of gaming, such as sound which seem to be under appreciated and neglected. :p
 

Tudz

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There are other aspects of gaming, such as sound which seem to be under appreciated and neglected. :p

People need to put aside their shitty headsets, cheap-overblown-bass speakers and gimmicky "5.1" headphones. Sound in games became so much more important when I started using HD650s for gaming. I was playing at a friend's house and was wondering why the same games felt like they had less impact and less punch, then I got back home and put on my HD650s and realised I was spoilt by the power and clarity of the headphones, which add massively to immersion.
 

WorldExclusive

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BF3 single player was garbage , some of the worst in recent memory. The MP is the only thing people were actually excited for , graphics do help sell games but to imply that they trump game play is both inaccurate and dismissive.

That's what you got out of that statement?

Did I put one over the other? I sure didn't. Commercials and trailers usually don't feature gameplay, they show how awesome the game looks. Then when the game is released and reviewed by "users", the gameplay will determine if the game is worth buying or keep playing. There a re feature videos the showcases gameplay and a lot can be concluded from that. But people still want to be impressed by what they're seeing, not bored to death with details. There a many people that said BF3 looks great but the gameplay wasn't for them. I still have questions about a few of the decisions DICE made i.e. too many weapon unlocks and close flag placement.

I didn't mention the SP for BF3, but since you did, why? Who plays BF3 for SP? It wasn't a selling point to true BF fans.
I rather the game remain MP only, but the console kiddies needed something to hold their attention.

The staunch graphics over gameplay fans usually play a lot of RPG's, RTS's and MMO's. They criticize FPS games when they come up short on story and feature depth.
 
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kilgore777

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The problem I see is that gameplay is more qualitative than quantitative, whereas graphics can be more quantitative than qualitative.

Sure, art style can make worse technical graphics appear better than higher technical graphics, but there comes a point where technology just trumps it to such a degree that it becomes impossible to deny that Game A looks better than Game B.

Gameplay on the other hand is a personal opinion. You like Half Life, I don't. Neither of us is right. I like the original Super Mario Bros, but can't stand Mario 64 or onward. Significantly different gameplay, but, to get to my point...

To me, graphics always will trump gameplay. This is where it becomes qualitative. Just like gameplay, it's different for each person. People have a limit at what they're willing to accept technologically. Once you pass that limit, gameplay will have a higher importance, but it's about reaching that limit. All things considered, however, graphics are more important.

Wow. I see your point and respect your opinion, but it is exactly the opposite for me. I have played games where I thought the graphics were excellent (e.g. Crysis, Bioshock), but the gameplay sucked so it ruined it for me. I don't even mind cranking settings down for a smoother experience on my aging PC.

However, awful graphics definitely ruin it for me... they have to be passable at least.
 

Nytegard

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Wow. I see your point and respect your opinion, but it is exactly the opposite for me. I have played games where I thought the graphics were excellent (e.g. Crysis, Bioshock), but the gameplay sucked so it ruined it for me. I don't even mind cranking settings down for a smoother experience on my aging PC.

However, awful graphics definitely ruin it for me... they have to be passable at least.

A game itself though is not a series of individuals, rather, it's more like a formula.

Game Play / Good Game Value + Grahics / Good Game Value + Other Factors / Good Game Value > 1

Any one of the factors lacking will ruin a game.

I'm trying to look at it more as independent entities, especially considering the question of if gameplay trumps graphics.

It's hard to make all things equal, being that they are two different factors, so I'm looking at it a bit mroe abstractly. You can't put a numerical number on gameplay because what one person considers good game play another person might not. Graphics on the other hand is easier to quantify. And the fact that you can potentially quantify one aspect whereas you can't the other makes it carry more importance imho.
 

obliv

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@ OP

I know what you are saying. The other day i was having a conversation with my cousin regarding Counter Strike GO. Several years ago we were Die hard CS players, Playing from 1.3 to source through many, many seasons of CAL, OGL, TWL ect. I brought up the point that although i plan to purchase CSGO i just cant imagine being able to pull me in like CS 1.3 did back in ..... 2001

BF3 has just brought so much to the table that playing any other modern day FPS just seems pointless.

Destruction / 75 Weapons with 15+ attachments each / Dozens of Vehicles / 13 Maps so far each with 4 or 5 game modes / Beautiful graphics / Animations / Sound. Full Stat Tracking for those that Care / Squads / Ect Ect Ect....

A great example of why other Modern Military shooters don't interest me any more.....
-- My squad full of friends was defending on Karkand and trying to hold the square. We rode the MAV to the top of one of the tallest building near the square. We started getting alot of attention and mortars began falling around the building and eventually caved in the roof we were standing on. We fell through to the next floor. (Which was actually modeled, in a building that without parachuting on top of or riding a MAV you cant get on) After Rockets, tank shells and mortars we fell three floors down and were still fighting.

You just don't get that experience in ANY other game. Thats why for me, looking at CS GO with.... No Iron sights.... Standard Source graphics... Nothing is destructible..... I'm guessing 25 guns (only 5 or 6 will end up being useful) i just cant see it holding my attention like CS had for so many years.

BF3 has made Graphics / The game engine, such a part of gameplay that its kind of hard to separate the two.
 
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Sly

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A great example of why other Modern Military shooters don't interest me any more.....
-- My squad full of friends was defending on Karkand and trying to hold the square. We rode the MAV to the top of one of the tallest building near the square. We started getting alot of attention and mortars began falling around the building and eventually caved in the roof we were standing on. We fell through to the next floor. (Which was actually modeled, in a building that without parachuting on top of or riding a MAV you cant get on) After Rockets, tank shells and mortars we fell three floors down and were still fighting.

That's awesome. I suppose that's a side effect of the 'cut and paste' buildings. The graphics are advanced enough that you no longer have to make models specifically for a level. Just make them as detailed as possible and use them anywhere.
 

rudy

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No to the OP because if you look honestly back at almost every game that set a standard for game play, guess what? Almost all of them were competitive graphically for their time. A game simply could almost never take off to a mass appeal without good graphics. So in reality the entire history of computer gaming points out that graphics are one of if not the most important aspects of game design. Graphics appeal to us as art and also because it helps with immersion just like making up a cheezy plot for a game or a silly short single player is popular, it helps with the immersion no matter how stupid the plot is.

Over at the tribes ascend beta community people keep refering to T2 as the game where gameplay was where it was at and that is where the focus should be. But it seems they keep forgetting to mention T2 was one of the most demanding games of its time. Tribes is basically what BF copied. Large player numbers, large maps, high end graphics.

There is a balance between the best graphics and how many people can actually run your game and that is really the only problem. Striking the right balance it a risky business. But more or less you always need to keep improving graphics.

My current view is almost exactly the opposite, I believe like beer or wiskey games mostly have shitty gameplay(taste) but because of some other catch like graphics or playing with lots of people you get an introduction to a game and then it grows on you. You have now aquired a taste for a certain gameplay and when this happens it is almost scary how feverishly some people will defend exploits like strafe jumping as a needed aspect of game play. Then as better games come out that do not care they will whine about how the old games had all the game play and the new ones have all the graphics. But they just really forgot that it was not the game play that hooked them into their 1337 virgin game. They also do not realize a new generation of gamers sees their old game as just shitty looking and silly, so the next generation defines a new game as the standard for gameplay.
 

rudy

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That's awesome. I suppose that's a side effect of the 'cut and paste' buildings. The graphics are advanced enough that you no longer have to make models specifically for a level. Just make them as detailed as possible and use them anywhere.

The way I would prefer to word it is, the graphics are so heavy that you cannot afford to make a model for a single level because it now takes several guys to make a model a single person used to do in half the time. So you must recycle those things.Mapping is also an art, and art of learning how to take and reuse the games assets yet somehow convince the player it is something new and fresh. But recycling models / props is nothing new.
 

Blkout

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I'm a self-admitted graphics whore so while graphics won't completly make a game fantastic for me, I can't get into a game that looks like shit no matter how good the gameplay is. A prime example is World of Warcraft, as popular as that game is, I never could get into the silly graphics. Guild Wars looks 50x better and so I fell in love with Guild Wars.

I do expect a certain (high)level of graphics if I'm going to get interested in a game.
 

Plague_Injected

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I prefer gameplay over graphics, but I do expect graphics to keep improving instead of remaining stagnant.
 

Bumrush

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To be clear, I'm not saying graphics trump gameplay.. What I am saying is that in a game like BF3, the incredible graphics add several notches TO THE GAMEPLAY and elevate this game from standard FPS fare to one of the all time greats..

This is from someone that is a total noob at BF3 - My KD ratio is under 1 and I primarily play team DM.. I'm nowhere near ready to really contribute to a Conquest mode as I am still learning how to play the game and use the weapons properly.
 

obliv

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To be clear, I'm not saying graphics trump gameplay.. What I am saying is that in a game like BF3, the incredible graphics add several notches TO THE GAMEPLAY and elevate this game from standard FPS fare to one of the all time great

I think thats what we are going to see with future titles (Hopefully) Graphics that enhance Game play by genuinely adding to the atmosphere of the game.

The original Far Cry and HL2 began this trend (At least for me) With Physics and visuals that added to the game play.

BF3 has taken it to the farthest extent so far, With the moving tree's and bushes, the sun glare effects, destruction, physics ect.. This all helps to create the atmosphere of war through confusion, destruction, disorientation ect.
 

Spidey329

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The only thing holding BF3 down is Origin. The fact I can't just launch BF3 and enjoy it (like a campaign) pisses me off. I understand battlelog/internet-connection for multiplayer/coop. But why in hell does the single player require it? I keep getting kicked out because of battlelog ... it's f-in singleplayer!
 

BababooeyHTJ

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Hmm perhaps, the single player in HL is better than the SP in Bf3 imo.

No shit, I'll go as far as to say that there still hasn't been an FPS since Half Life with a better single player campaign. You could argue the same with the mp.
 

Dan_D

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The game is good. I even enjoyed the single player game. I'd say this is the best military themed first person shooter since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. That by itself is a major acheivement. As good as it is, I don't know that I'd put it up there with the greatest games of all time.
 

herfalerf

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the graphics in bf3 are great, but not as ground breaking comparatively the way that the source engine was. i still remember seeing the commercial with the close up on g man's face and thinking how incredible it was that the face actually had expressions and didnt just look like it was drawn on. i still think its amazing when i see the bf3 spot and it says "actual game footage" while playing some shit that looks better than other game's cinematics, but i think that the source engine was more important simply because it was the first real indicator of the potential that video game engines could have. it was like the first time we realized that photo realistic gaming would someday be possible.
 

Dan_D

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the graphics in bf3 are great, but not as ground breaking comparatively the way that the source engine was. i still remember seeing the commercial with the close up on g man's face and thinking how incredible it was that the face actually had expressions and didnt just look like it was drawn on. i still think its amazing when i see the bf3 spot and it says "actual game footage" while playing some shit that looks better than other game's cinematics, but i think that the source engine was more important simply because it was the first real indicator of the potential that video game engines could have. it was like the first time we realized that photo realistic gaming would someday be possible.

I don't even think the source engine was all that ground breaking. The first real revolution in graphics I ever saw was really Quake I and Descent. Full 3D polygonal graphics really were a game changer. 15 years later that's what we are still using.
 

rudy

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It is not always just the technology that is ground breaking alot of times it is the implementation. No matter how many engines id puts out they all have that fake plasticy looking feel to them. Meanwhile valve builds off the id engine and for some reason valve always went with a look that was more convincing. Even though both took place in sci fi settings with unrealistic items.

The total product is an average of all it's values. Different values will have different weight to different people but if you want to nail a mass appeal game then you need to have competitive graphics at the bare minimum. And if you want to lure people in you need to pitch even if you are a liar that your graphics are superior. I will bet there is some totally horrible looking game out there with the best game play anyone has ever seen few of us will ever know about it, and we will never talk about it as a legendary game.

The source engine was well done and valve is a ground breaking company. Yes it may not have been to the level of the first 3d game but it certainly raised the bar for everyone. Facial expressions, bouncing boobs, cubemaps and doing it all with out over doing like quake/unreal was good. And more or less valve did a good job of polling computer specs and getting a game out that was good looking but reasonable to run on alot of systems. BF3 on the other hand I think went to far when it excluded windows XP users and limited their market.

BF3 is another example , honestly I do not even know of any ground breaking technology in BF3, they just sort of increased the detail stepped it up to another level. But I am unaware of any cool tricks they did to make it possible to convince the user of more detail at a low cost to the computer. But the whole implementation is pretty good and reasonably convincing. BF3 also strikes at realism, which is one of the factors in gaming that is often dissed but is oh so very important to the mass population. But most of their realism came at a severe cost to game player. I have never been more fustrated trying to move from point A to B than in a game like BF3 where maps look nice but are terrible in polish you get stuck on stuff all the time. Stuff that adds nothing to game play and only detracts from it.
 

MadOblivion

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I have noticed when you try to land the jet out of boundary the terran even though it appears smooth your jet can literaly be stuck on it, i guess that is why the maps are not bigger, because of the inability to create a surface that acts like it looks.
 

MadOblivion

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I have noticed when you try to land the jet out of boundary the terran even though it appears smooth your jet can literaly be stuck on it, i guess that is why the maps are not bigger, because of the inability to create a surface that acts like it looks.

but then again landing a jet on any surface other then a run way in R/L would result in the same effect lol.
 

Sly

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It is not always just the technology that is ground breaking alot of times it is the implementation. No matter how many engines id puts out they all have that fake plasticy looking feel to them. Meanwhile valve builds off the id engine and for some reason valve always went with a look that was more convincing. Even though both took place in sci fi settings with unrealistic items.

The total product is an average of all it's values. Different values will have different weight to different people but if you want to nail a mass appeal game then you need to have competitive graphics at the bare minimum. And if you want to lure people in you need to pitch even if you are a liar that your graphics are superior. I will bet there is some totally horrible looking game out there with the best game play anyone has ever seen few of us will ever know about it, and we will never talk about it as a legendary game.

The source engine was well done and valve is a ground breaking company. Yes it may not have been to the level of the first 3d game but it certainly raised the bar for everyone. Facial expressions, bouncing boobs, cubemaps and doing it all with out over doing like quake/unreal was good. And more or less valve did a good job of polling computer specs and getting a game out that was good looking but reasonable to run on alot of systems. BF3 on the other hand I think went to far when it excluded windows XP users and limited their market.

BF3 is another example , honestly I do not even know of any ground breaking technology in BF3, they just sort of increased the detail stepped it up to another level. But I am unaware of any cool tricks they did to make it possible to convince the user of more detail at a low cost to the computer. But the whole implementation is pretty good and reasonably convincing. BF3 also strikes at realism, which is one of the factors in gaming that is often dissed but is oh so very important to the mass population. But most of their realism came at a severe cost to game player. I have never been more fustrated trying to move from point A to B than in a game like BF3 where maps look nice but are terrible in polish you get stuck on stuff all the time. Stuff that adds nothing to game play and only detracts from it.

If your definition of 'groundbreaking' is higher texture packs???

That's the opposite of what groundbreaking is. Implementation has little to do with it. The DOOM3 engine brings a lot more to the tablet than the source engine had. The source engine was basically an upgrade of the HL1 engine with high texture resolution and minor upgrades. You develop an engine and it's up to the developers to determine how to use it. The 'plastiky' texture is done by the developers overdoing some of the effects. The HL2 engine had to have everything baked in to their textures.
 

Laffles

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^ total bullshit lol

you're forgetting the real world physics, lighting, materials, awesome sound design etc.

the source engine/HL2 was definitely groundbreaking. Doom 3 looked pretty but it was a samey corridor shooter, just like Doom was 10 years before it...it was nothing new.
 

Sly

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The debates a few years ago (even here in [H]) regarding the two engines say otherwise. Age clouded your memory much? They even ported a HL2 level into Tech4 and it was actually an improvement.
 
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rudy

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If your definition of 'groundbreaking' is higher texture packs???

That's the opposite of what groundbreaking is. Implementation has little to do with it. The DOOM3 engine brings a lot more to the tablet than the source engine had. The source engine was basically an upgrade of the HL1 engine with high texture resolution and minor upgrades. You develop an engine and it's up to the developers to determine how to use it. The 'plastiky' texture is done by the developers overdoing some of the effects. The HL2 engine had to have everything baked in to their textures.

All engines are basically just upgrades of old engines. When we notice a significantly different feel or look yes it is ground breaking. After that games may never be the same again. And yes a different style of art can be ground breaking. But As others have said in no way was source simply a graphical update of the hl1 engine. As a mapper I know there were alot of major changes. Displacement maps, cube maps, the heavy inclusion of models as static elements, physics. A couple higher resolution textures do not bring you that. And to me as a mapper what was so great about it was the fact that valve figured out alot of ways to convince people of better graphics at a lower cost to processing power which meant their game could run well on a wider range of systems.

But here is the thing you still need implementation for anyone to care. Like you said id has always been advanced in engine design but in reality their games have been flat out boring and made very poor use of what they can do. HL2 was all about physics and physics puzzles so much that HL2DM was a complete multiplayer based on the grav gun that had some amazing gameplay. It was ground breaking, Everyone here remembers HL2 as the game that brought physics to FPS games. The fact is though id had a working physics gun demo before valve from what I can remember but what did they do with it? A small part of a single player game? Not much no one remembers them for it. id is a company that has a bunch of engineers and talent working out the finest details of engine design and sticking to a rigid view of the perfect balance of a game as defined by q3a so much so they are paralyzed, their games are not fun, they never feel new and it shows. And I won't even get into the fact that many engine demos had physics like guns or devices in them for many years probably before id. Physics was not ground breaking the total package and implememntation was.
 

syncore

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BF3 has amazing graphics, but the gameplay is average at best. I still prefer something that challenges me -- even 12+ years later -- so I still play Quake Live with r_picmip 16. For me, a shooter that isn't all about achievements and sitting in the same spot for 10 minutes at a time will always take priority over even the most visually stunning FPS like BF3.
 

wonderfield

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BF3 is another example , honestly I do not even know of any ground breaking technology in BF3, they just sort of increased the detail stepped it up to another level.
Real-time global illumination and particle lighting are pretty big wins. If you have both, the limits to what you can achieve with respect to rendering sufficiently realistic scenes are (largely) practical limits. Not everyone is rocking three GTX 580s, so conservatism has to be employed, and that diminishes how convincing you can make a scene given those basic resource constraints.

There'll be always more that you can do technologically, and techniques you can employ to increase the precision of the processes, but the basic approach to rendering in Frostbite 2 is basically capable of producing scenes that are as visually convincing as they need to be, practically speaking.
 

Sly

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All engines are basically just upgrades of old engines. When we notice a significantly different feel or look yes it is ground breaking. After that games may never be the same again. And yes a different style of art can be ground breaking. But As others have said in no way was source simply a graphical update of the hl1 engine. As a mapper I know there were alot of major changes. Displacement maps, cube maps, the heavy inclusion of models as static elements, physics. A couple higher resolution textures do not bring you that. And to me as a mapper what was so great about it was the fact that valve figured out alot of ways to convince people of better graphics at a lower cost to processing power which meant their game could run well on a wider range of systems.

But here is the thing you still need implementation for anyone to care. Like you said id has always been advanced in engine design but in reality their games have been flat out boring and made very poor use of what they can do. HL2 was all about physics and physics puzzles so much that HL2DM was a complete multiplayer based on the grav gun that had some amazing gameplay. It was ground breaking, Everyone here remembers HL2 as the game that brought physics to FPS games. The fact is though id had a working physics gun demo before valve from what I can remember but what did they do with it? A small part of a single player game? Not much no one remembers them for it. id is a company that has a bunch of engineers and talent working out the finest details of engine design and sticking to a rigid view of the perfect balance of a game as defined by q3a so much so they are paralyzed, their games are not fun, they never feel new and it shows. And I won't even get into the fact that many engine demos had physics like guns or devices in them for many years probably before id. Physics was not ground breaking the total package and implememntation was.


You're confusing the game engine for game designer. Imagine what you could do if you had the game designer for something like halflife work on Tech4. Which btw, someone did prove by importing a level into Tech4. The truth is you can do more with Tech 4, than you could with Source.

As you've pointed out, upgrade applies more to source engine than it is to Tech 4. Source add anything new to your developers repertoir and all you got were the same features in an upgraded engine.

Ground breaking? They did have a better game designer, but there was nothing in source that you couldn't do in Tech4. The same doesn't apply the other way around.
 

Gorankar

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The art direction in HL2 was exceptional. It did hide a great number of the engines deficiencies.
 

stop!theradio

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I like BF3 and am constantly impressed with how great the game looks, but it really feels like just another shooter to me. I mean it's very fun and beats the hell out of MW3, but it's just nothing special in my opinion. It just doesn't compare to Half Life 2. Not at all. My recent play-through of HL2 reminded me of just how stagnant shooters have become. Even BF3 seems to be just lacking something in a big way compared to HL2. I had a shitload more fun with HL2 during my recent playthrough than I've had with any "modern" shooter. Like I said - no comparison, IMO.
 

rudy

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I am not confusing the engine with design I am saying ground breaking is the combination of every thing. If you start trying to get all anal about your definition of ground breaking then not even id is ground breaking in engine design alone if you look far enough. Not like id came up with alot of their ideas they were probably tried by others, or defined in computer science papers first.
 

Daggah

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The 80+ hours I've put into Terraria is enough to tell me that I value gameplay over graphics. But then again, it's different for 2D games...in a 2D game, the art direction can easily trump the technological aspect of the graphics. In a 3D game, blocky low-poly models and low-resolution textures are often a lot harder to overcome with good artwork.
 

qtqc

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i have owned every bf game released. For me, bf3 was just awful. i wasnt sure if i was playing bf or modern warfare. bugs like crazy. people just camping and killing from across the map, repeat. Uninstalled thankfully.
 

Litfod

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I think it's easy to forget how jaw-dropping the classic Source demo was when it appeared prior to the release of HL2. We're all so familiar with it now, and there have been relatively few major advances since, and no it wasn't as profound as the introduction of polygonal graphics, but it was huge at the time.
 
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