The new generation of consoles with the PS4, Xbox One and Wii U (with of course the infamous PC too) allows most of our upcoming modern games to look visually spectacular due to the consoles raw power. Even the Wii U, (which has been criticised for being too similar to the previous generation) has managed to portray its games in an amazing design by pushing the console to its limits; which is why E3 (whether or not the quality of gameplay was good) was able to present beautifully built games which looked amazing to watch.
The two honourable mentions in terms of how amazing the games looked are the two games in the header image (The Legend of Zelda and Uncharted). Both of which look beautiful in their own qualities, yet it baffles me how even now people are criticising both the two highlighted games and how they looked. The argument for Zelda is that it’s too kid-like and not life like enough. It contrasts the Wii U tech demo which featured a Twilight Princess styled design – which perhaps would’ve been adored more by the mainstream audience. Some people claim that the new art style looks amazing, yet others say it’s not that impressive due to it just consisting of visual tricks such as the rendering of the grass up close compared to the grass in the distance allowing the illusion of the vast open world, yet in reality our overall gameplay might not fulfil the same experience.
Then there’s the critics of Uncharted. Of course some love the near photo realistic style in the trailer, however there’s others who are using the same argument as the Zelda trailer in which visual tricks are used to Nathan Drakes character model and such to provide an illusion of photorealism, but in reality the surroundings and actual gameplay won’t offer as much detail as the trailer only because no other PS4 game has proven the consoles capability of producing a game looking as such.
But the question is does it really matter? Many people are still sore over Ubisoft and how the original gameplay demos presented a much more beautiful environment compared to the release version (yet the original renders can be recovered in the PC version), and due to that people are worried that Nintendo or Naughty Dog could be providing the same “bull-shots” and the release games won’t particularly match the reveal trailers style. Yet surely if the gameplay is spectacular enough, does it really matter if the graphical experience doesn’t fully match the original trailers?
Perhaps after reading this article you should think, would your thoughts of overall satisfaction the most beautiful looking games you’ve played be any different had the graphics been poorer and the game relied primarily on gameplay? Of course there are some games which I’ve played that have poor gameplay but terrific graphics, but if I were to imagine something such as WindWaker but less visually appealing, I wouldn’t imagine my thoughts on the game would’ve worsened due to the game being engaging, proving my theory that graphics don’t really matter!