How important is graphics in video games to you?

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How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Gman on Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:37 am

Well, I decided to create this thread in an attempt to create a thoughtfull and troll-free discusion about a rather touchy subject when it comes to reddit/youtube comments - The graphical levels between consoles and PC and the importance of graphics in general in gaming. I decided to do so after watching this sarcastic rant about graphics in video games today (note - the person in the video is performing under a character he created called "francis" - this isn't how this person is in real life, if you watch his other videos you'll see that instantly):




My thoughts about this: If you REALLY care about performance and want THE ABSOLUTE BEST OF THE BEST when it comes to it, then there is no debate that PC is the way to go. But I don't get the hate that a lot of people throw on console gaming. The whole idea behind consoles is convenience - not needing to install drivers, update software, close background software, etc. With consoles you just download/insert disc (maybe also download an update) and BAM - you're in the game, no fuss. Besides, from what I can tell on my X1 - graphics on it are pretty impressive, especially with titles like Forza Horizon 2. I play on a REALLY OLD Sony LCD TV that can only go up to 1080i, so my xbox displays on 720p. I think that that game looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. To compare to this, my PC is kind of average:

Core i7-2600 3.4 Ghz
8GB Ram
AMD Radeon 6770HD 1GB RAM
Monitor: 1600X900 Max resolution


I just got Tomb Raider for it - and while the game does look incredible too, due to the fact that my PC isn't all that powerfull, things like water effects are lost and water in that game looks really bland and uninspired compared to other textures in that game. If I try to max out the settings, then my PC slows down to a crawl, making the game unplayable. So that's why I currently prefer console gaming - while it's not the best of the absolute best, it gives a great gaming experience, mostly hassle free, for a decent price.

Edit: Just realized that Halo:MCC is going to be 1080p and 60FPS when it comes out, so to all those who say that consoles can't do that - well, there you have it right there.
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:20 am

Um. I'm a PC gamer who has friends who play PS4, PC, Xbox, Wii... and I literally have zero fucks to give about who uses what. My only complaint is that there are some cool games that I don't get to play because they're on console. I'm looking at you, Last of Us.

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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by eselle28 on Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:26 pm

To me, the style and the art behind graphics matters a reasonable amount, but that doesn't necessarily mean cutting edge graphic effects. I have both a gaming laptop and an xbox, and I consider graphics a bit when a game is available for both systems, but it's not the first thing I consider. My first decision point is whether the game is associated with a modding community, in which case I'm getting it for PC rather than xbox. If that isn't an issue, then I tend to think about what system I have predecessor games on and whether I'd like to play it in at my desk in my office or sitting on my sofa in my living room. When my PC tends to be a little older, I start shifting some borderline titles to console purchases, more because I don't want to deal with potential performance issues than because of the graphics themselves.
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by UristMcBunny on Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:36 pm

I honestly think the whole PC vs console debate is daft. Different platforms have different advantages and disadvantages, and therefore suit different users. That said, at least based on what I've seen pretty much every time a visit a console-owning friend, the convenience of no-installs no-updates stopped being a normal part of the console experience quite a while ago. Especially with windows live and the other console equivalent online premium shit going on.

Now, I personally prefer PC because it's the right system for me. I build my own PCs, which I find much cheaper than buying a console - while my system won't stay cutting-edge, it takes a long time before hardware becomes completely obsolete, especially as I'm not a AAA gamer, so I only occasionally have to upgrade - and then it's a graphic supply here, a new processor there, couple new ram sticks for pennies, eventually a new power supply after several other upgrades... I like having that control, and knowing I'm getting the highest quality hardware I can for my money.

I also find the price of games preferable. Console games here typically cost £60 new, with PC games costing around £40 new and rapidly dropping in price after that - with steam and humble and GOG I can pick up excellent games in the sales. And that's just the mainstream developer ones - I'm growing increasingly fond of indie games, and not only is the price much lower on them, but the variety and range available to me is staggering.

Finally, I don't ONLY have a PC for gaming. On the same device I play games, I also write fiction, study my course, browse the internet, shop, watch shows and movies, communicate with my family and manage my bills and banking. I don't even own a TV, so getting a console would be a significant investment - I'd need a TV, a TV license, the console, the games, and when a new system comes out my old console and games will become irrelevant - the old games aren't compatible with the new system or visa versa, so if I want to enjoy any of the new things coming out I have to buy a whole new console again. I also find keyboard/mouse a more comfortable interface than controllers.

In all of that, graphics quality is honestly the last thing on my list of priorities.

But that's just me. Not everyone can, or wants, to build their own systems. Not everyone is happy waiting to play new games until they go on sale. A lot of people want to play AAA shooters. A lot of people don't need a computer because they do most of their online stuff on their phones. Different systems make sense for different people. And that's fine by me.

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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by caliseivy on Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:58 pm

UristMcBunny wrote:I don't ONLY have a PC for gaming.  On the same device I play games, I also write fiction, study my course, browse the internet, shop, watch shows and movies, communicate with my family and manage my bills and banking.

This is the main reason I use my computer. Actually, in the past two years since I've gone on a writing hiatus (again) I've cut down my use of it to doing classwork at home. I don't care for being on the computer as much as I use to. I have always wanted to get into PC gaming, however, but I started out late in getting my own computer and getting it up to par to play PC games hasn't been at the top of my list.
I've never brought much into the console vs. PC thing. Games are games, and everyone's got their preferences or what's more convenient for them. Honestly, when I go for a game the first thing I'm worried about is story and characters. We could go back to 8 or 16 bit and I probably wouldn't mind, so graphics is a non-issue for me.

I think I've derailed myself. Anyway, maybe I don't play/watch enough PC gameplay, but as of late I don't see a difference between graphics of the newest consoles and graphics capability of PC games.

I've heard steam is a dangerous place for a wallet; I'm afraid to find out.
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Enail on Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:35 pm

Like Eselle, art and style are much more important to me than the technical aspect of graphics - and in fact, I sometimes get frustrated by the focus on graphics performance, b/c it seems like it encourages a more detailed, realistic style that to me feels rather dull and lacking in personality.

I enjoy playing games on both PC and console. My preference is to play more detail-oriented games (things like sims with complex menus or text-heavy games) and casual games on PC, where I've got a keyboard and finer control with a mouse, and where I can just play a quick round of something in the middle of doing something else on my computer instead of turning on a new device, and to play more action-oriented games on console, with a bigger screen, a controller and a couch.  

Of course, I rarely have a state-of-the-art computer OR console, so often the decision-making factor is "what do I own that will play this game?"
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Gman on Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:45 pm

Just wanted to add that style and art also play a major factor for me - I was just trying to demonstrate the ever so silly hardcore nerds who bicker and fight online going all like "PC MASTER RACE YOU CONSL PSNTS WITH YOUR 900p BOW DOWN" like a bunch of baboons. Like I said, it's a matter of prefrence and personally, I couldn't care less about 900p vs. 1080p, as long it's a damn good game.

For Example, I'm now excited about Sunset Overdrive - because it has a gameplay and art style that is different than the competition (and it's an X1 exclusive title, though hopefully it might also see a PC port one day). It feels like it's going to be a Jet Set Radio with guns kind of game and as someone who never play Jet Set Radio on the dreamcast but always wanted too, this feels like a good modern interpretation of that genere (kind of).
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:56 pm

I do favor prettiness in games. But that's not quite the same as graphics.

For instance, I prefer the aesthetic of a typical SNES game over that of a typical N64 game, because I like smoothly-animated 2D sprites better than chunky 3D polygon models.

Once all 3D games reached a certain minimum resolution/complexity, I kind of stopped caring altogether. If it looks at least as nice as Knights of the Old Republic or Jade Empire, it's graphically powerful enough to be potentially Pretty.

Now, I somewhat recently built a ludicrously powerful (compared to what I'm used to and what I usually think of myself as being able to afford, anyway) $1000 gaming PC with an amazing video card. Assassin's Creed IV and Dishonored look amazing and I can appreciate that a bit, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing both on the laptop I had prior to this despite having had to turn shadows and water and particle effects all the way down. The game my new specs have made the most difference in to this day has been Sonic Generations, because the PC port was so poorly-optimized that I had no way to reduce FPS lag other than upgrading my system. Everything else runs exactly as I remember it on a midrange laptop with an integrated graphics card.

I don't do PC gaming for the graphics optimizations and whatnot anyway; I do PC gaming because I have a PC (and will pretty much always have to have at least one because of the kind of work I do), and I like gaming. I also like my Wii U and 3DS. But I can't financially justify owning even more consoles and sometimes kind of feel guilty about what I already have bought.
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by caliseivy on Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:39 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:I also like my Wii U and 3DS. But I can't financially justify owning even more consoles and sometimes kind of feel guilty about what I already have bought.

I'm still trying to justify both of those, and it's been a month since I brought the Wii U. I guess it doesn't get any easier Neutral
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Suika on Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:28 pm

Not very.
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Lemminkainen on Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:26 pm

I prefer PC, mostly because I feel more comfortable playing games in my favorite genres with mouse and keyboard rather than a gamepad.

On the broader issue, I think that I care a lot about games' aesthetics, but much less about the detail of their graphics. I strongly prefer stylized visuals to realistic ones, and I've found that games using that sort of approach have tended to age well. Recently, I played The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker again, and I found it as beautiful as it was on the day it came out. Its look contributed a lot to the sense of wonder it was trying to achieve. Similarly, I find that the Tales games look and feel much better than the Final Fantasy titles from their era, because of the stylization and cel-shading.

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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Jayce on Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:57 am

For me the one thing I like for the most in games is fun. Yeah sure Skyrim has five billion times better graphics than a game like Hearthstone but I prefer to play with other people rather than single player. Sometimes the graphics matter, not because I want graphics to look extremely awesome but because I feel its poorly done or just not as cool as the drawing artwork. Like in Warcraft III the paladins look awesome in drawing but in the game it kind of dosen't. I have heard that some people refuse to play a game if they don't like the graphics but for me it has never happened. But then again I don't play a lot of games and just stick to a few that I like.

I don't play on consoles because of the cost it takes to just buy a console and also the cost it takes to buy different individual games and also most games on console are single player catered. Also my first and all my gaming experiences were on PC (ahh those were the days when I played Age of Empires I as a six year old! No wonder why sometimes I have a fascination with medieval stuff) so playing on consoles seem unusual to me.

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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by PKB on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:27 pm

It may be worthwhile to look back at what games have aged gracefully.  Quite a few titles that were cutting edge at the time look rough today, while others take advantage of the limitations of the time.

Actually, games that have a fundamentally realistic style seem to suffer the most over time, since they are relying on the cutting edge the most.  Look at something like the original Rainbow Six today and see what I mean.

System Shock 2 is a (counter) example of a game with a relatively realistic style that managed to age well in my opinion.  Then again, my nostalgia goggles may be thick, and I play it with a bunch of hi-res packs loaded these days.  However, it had a very clean, almost vector-based sci-fi aesthetic (look at the lighting on objects, which was mostly large solid-color blocks) let it survive alright.  However, the character models are noticeably rough these days.

And look at something like Homeworld.  Yeah, the ships look a bit blocky these days, but the overall design is so solid that is still looks legitimately beautiful.  It helps that there really isn't a real world analogue for anything in the game except for the starfield backgrounds (which are really based on false-color images anyway) so it's hard to say that it looks wrong.
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by The Wisp on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:39 pm

I can appreciate cutting-edge graphics, but the novelty of them wears off pretty quickly. I prefer graphics that are stylized and seem deliberately designed. I really liked Thomas Was Alone, for instance, and that's just a bunch of rectangles!
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by eselle28 on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:41 pm

I'm on the same page about graphics aging gracefully, PKB. Stylized game art tends to age a lot more gracefully than realistic art. 2D game art, in particular, seems to hold up fairly well over time.

Baldur's Gate 2 (a game that's old enough to be attending high school) has had graphics upgrades, but the pre-upgrade graphics looked pretty good for a pretty long time. Knights of the Old Republic, on the other hand, is three years newer but kind of shows its age when I look at it these days.
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Lemminkainen on Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:12 pm

eselle28 wrote:I'm on the same page about graphics aging gracefully, PKB. Stylized game art tends to age a lot more gracefully than realistic art. 2D game art, in particular, seems to hold up fairly well over time.

Baldur's Gate 2 (a game that's old enough to be attending high school) has had graphics upgrades, but the pre-upgrade graphics looked pretty good for a pretty long time. Knights of the Old Republic, on the other hand, is three years newer but kind of shows its age when I look at it these days.

Yes! I think that the isometric RPGs have aged well in general-- Icewind Dale II looks much better than its 3D contemporary Neverwinter Nights, for example.

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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by Conreezy on Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:14 pm

And look at something like Homeworld. Yeah, the ships look a bit blocky these days, but the overall design is so solid that is still looks legitimately beautiful.

I would say the same of Freespace 2. It's nebula levels look great still.

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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by bomaye on Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:11 am

Graphics aren't important to me at all, for the most part. I get used to the graphics with 20 minutes. It's more about art-design and spectacle to me. Some of the most beautiful visual moments I've experienced in gaming last-gen were on the underpowered Wii with Xenoblade Chronicles.
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Re: How important is graphics in video games to you?

Post by trooper6 on Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:26 am

Like others graphics matter to me somewhat...but when I say graphics I really mean art design. There are games that are 2D and use hand drawn art that are gorgeous. Any they aren't 60FPS, a billion polygons. You have all the polygons in the world but no interesting art design? I'm not interested.

Also, the graphics don't have to be cutting edge, they just have to work. I remember when KotOR came out and Halo people were knocking KotOR saying it didn't have graphics as good as Halo. The graphics were fine. Then KotOR 2 came out and the graphics were the same and people complained that there wasn't some huge upgrade in graphics. The graphics were fine!

Because I will say this. If have to choose between a couple of factors...often graphics loses...even though I do care about them. Let me explain:

a) Bad graphics & great writing vs. b) Great Graphics & Bad Writing.
I go with a)
a) Bad graphics & Great gameplay vs b) Great Graphics & Bad Gameplay.
I go with a)

Great graphics are awesome...but I can't really see a situation where I would buy a bad game just because it has a lot of polygons. And for me, I consider great games made by writing and gameplay. Yeah, I love pretty graphics, but...it is like set dressing or costuming. Great set dressing and costuming is awesome and elevates the play...but it won't save bad acting and bad writing. That show I won't go see...but I would see a black box theatre production where tremendous actors doing work by a tremendous writer backed by a tremendous director work on a bare stage wearing only black turtlenecks and jeans.

Oh, and console vs. PC is just not a debate I'm at all interested in.

I play on PC when I have to, but I have historically preferred console (I like to sit on my couch and play games on my TV--and I like there to be a separation between my play space [i.e. living room/TV ]and my work space [i.e office/computer]). But I'll still play games on my computer...and I also do not care at all what other people do. You like consoles? Good for you. You like PCs? Good for you.

You do you.

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