Oh my god! Those graphics are awesome! Do these words sound familiar to you? Well if you’ve ever engaged in a flame war with a PC gamer, then most likely, as the graphical power of the PC is the main ammunition of a PC fanboy, whilst slating the console market.
The Graphical prowess has become one of the main selling points of both games and hardware but is it really necessary to have the top-spec graphics in a game, if it takes away from the story rather than adds to it? By this, I mean if more people are allotted to make the game look pretty, rather than work on the story-line, does this detrimentally affect the game?
A brilliant example of this would be the game Hydrophobia, which whilst having amazing graphics, especially in the water department, was universally slated for the storyline and was generally just an awful game. Was this because the developers spent more time on the graphics than the story-line and just hoped that the consumer would just look at the game and go “Oh Pretty!” If this is the case, then the game should never have been published, as the utter lack of the story is going to put the consumer off buying it anyway, no matter how good it looks.
Then you have the other side of the scale, the ever-popular Minecraft. A modern game, which has some of the worst graphics, but is enjoyed throughout for being a thoroughly enjoyable and addictive game. The bad graphics are actually part of the games charm. It’s a game which doesn’t focus on the graphics but has actual enjoyable gameplay. The same can be said of the old retro games that people still play, perfect case in point being Final Fantasy 7. Now, I know there are demands for a HD remake but people still play the game on the original PS1 and it’s still one of the best RPG’s around.
Unfortunately with all the HD remakes coming out, such as Metal Gear Solid and the Dragonball one is coming out in the next few weeks, our perception of graphics being the be-all of gameplay is unfortunately becoming very true. Although all these golden titles are great fun to play on a retro system, everyone seems to want to have an updated graphical version of the game.
So, can Graphics break a game? Yes, definitely in today’s society, where all we seem to want to do is look at pretty pictures. It is only the rare game such as Minecraft that whilst it doesn’t look pretty, it can still sell well.
With the next-gen of consoles around the corner, and all the recent discussion on the Wii U’s graphical prowess, more than what the actual system is like, and with all the PC fanboys crying out about how PC’s are the best in this regard, it seems like Graphical power contests are not going to be going away in the near future.