Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Reality VS Fantasy

I am not talking here about being delusional or wishing the real world would be better if some fantastical elements were inserted in it. I am talking about realistic graphics VS artistic representations. games nowadays seems to keen in creating the most realistic, believable world they can, and there is a reason for that. Gamers need to justify their expensive graphics cards.

See, when you try to do life-like images, you do need a lot of power. And that is why you need powerful PC with lots of RAM and fast processors to achieve. And those things are expensive. It is like tuning a car so it can reach 300km/h. But in the case of games, the only way to show off all the power under the hood is with games that shows incredible graphics. And that is why gamers demand more 'realistic' games and put so much attention to the graphics.

Because how I can show my friends my new $1000 GPU if the game looks like a cartoon?
The truth is that graphics sure are important, but is probably one of the least important things in gaming.  Gameplay should be the most important thing and you can have great games who don't look photo-realistic, but then why would you need that expensive card?

Many complain that consoles hold back games because they show their age by not being able to put out graphics closer to high-end PCs. But does it really matter? Does anyone have less fun in a game because instead of being able to see all the pores in a human face they can´t? If the game play exactly the same, why it should be a problem?

Specially when certain games are beautiful even in the consoles.
Unfortunately, this constant need gamers have to justify their expensive hardware (and the need the hardware manufacturers have to sell them), make developers waste too much time trying to make games that  looks like reality and forgetting the important things, like gameplay and story.

Not only that, it kills creativity, it kills the fantasy. You hardly see many games that instead of realism, try to be fantastic and artistic. Games like Alice:Madness Returns or kingdoms of Amalur or even Mario games. Rayman: Origins is one of the prettiest games I have ever saw and it hardly demands you to have a console or PC incredible powerful. Cell shaded games are very rare now.

I don't think games got better or even more immersive as they got close to reality. They don't even get prettier. Impressive, yes, but pretty? I wish more games concentrate in giving us fantastical, beautiful worlds instead. I know it is just personal preference, but it gets tiresome to see all games trying to be gritty realistic.

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