Games are an art, they are a canvas for a developer to let their wildest dreams come true, to create something special and unique that other people will enjoy, a lot like a movie. As with any technology, as time goes on, technology becomes more advanced, it becomes better, faster, harder, stronger, and this is reflected in games, most obviously and close to surface, in graphics.
Year after year, the newest titles in gaming shock me with how damn pretty they are. I can still remember playing Battlefield 3 and thinking “Well there’s no way games can look much better than this”.Well six years down the track, I can safely say I was wrong. Very wrong. Many stunning titles have come it in the last year, reminding me that there are always ways to create more beautiful worlds.
But keeping in line with the title of this post, do graphics in games matter?
For me, while I can certainly appreciate games becoming more pretty, it’s not such a big deal. I mainly focus on the gameplay, as in, when I am playing the game, is it fun and I’m having a good time, or not. Graphics don’t really play much of a part in that decision for me, they don’t normally affect how I feel about the game that I am playing. At the same time, while some games focus on looking hyper-realistic, other games tend to go with alternative art styles. Whether it be pixel art, cel shading, cartoony , I love all of them in games, and I believe that when it is done well, I prefer it to games that go for a more realistic look.
One of the great things about graphics is the impression they can leave on you, and power that they can have in games when done well. Take Skyrim for example, it was released 5 years ago and still some of the views are just breathtaking when you are wandering the vast world it has to offer. As for a game that has less realistic graphics, the graphics in Terraria always inspired and made me fall in love with pixel art.
What matters to me when it comes to graphics, is the execution.
I want to be able to play the game that I’m playing, without the graphics intrinsically getting in the way of the fun. But that’s too vague, what specifically gets on my nerves is when there are glitches ,when I have to strain to see things, or when the graphics are just confusing. A recent example of glitches getting in the way might be Assassin’s Creed Unity, upon release it was filled with graphical issues and bugs that lead to people with no faces, one of many graphical slip ups I’ve heard from that game. In my opinion, if a developer goes for a particular art style, and doesn’t at least do a decent job or if it just doesn’t synergise with the game that it actually ends up hindering the gameplay, that’s when graphics start to be a problem for me.
Otherwise, the graphics aren’t so much of a factor. If I am planning to buy a game, I will rarely consider graphics in my decision, for me I mainly want to know how it plays, and how fun it is, because if isn’t my kind of game and I’m not going to enjoy it, whats the point. However, in games where the atmosphere plays a big role, such as more narrative or explorative games where graphics may be a key part to enjoying the game, then it will be something that I consider, but even then not much.
The good news is that there are a lot of great games out there, whether it be Crash Bandicoot 2 released some 20 years ago, or the newest Battlefield game, I think they are both pretty. Certainly, graphics in games are only going to improve and move in interesting directions, and I am excited to see what weird and wonderful art styles we will see come to life in the future.
But these are just my thoughts, and I’m just one person, I would love to know, do graphics in games matter to you? Are there any games that stand out to you as having memorable graphics? Let me know in the comments below, and if you enjoyed reading this, be sure to give it a like. Until the next post, stay beautiful 🙂