Sunday, April 14, 2013

Graphics Aren't Important. Deal With It.

Alright, now that I've got your attention with an inflammatory and topical title, let's talk about this.

The Internet is abuzz with graphics right now, since some guy who representing Crysis has said graphics are 60% of a game.  Be careful with that 60%, it just came out of his ass.

Graphics do NOT make up the majority of a video game experience.  Do they make up some of it?  You bet, but to say 60% is ridiculous.  You only have to look at recent gaming discussion to understand how little they tend to matter in the grander scheme.

Aliens Colonial Marines didn't have the best graphics, and sure people complained, but they complained FAR louder about the buggy gameplay and shoddy design.  Which is more important again?  Could the game's graphics have made up for its numerous other flaws?

Graphics are a "pass or fail" kind of thing in game design. Sure, people say they want the best graphics, but when it comes right down to it, you'll find that the acceptable threshold is actually really low.  As long as the game's graphics pass that point, people will buy it.

Where is that point, exactly?  I don't know, but I'm sure marketing departments have thought a lot about it.  Graphics are the easy sell.  They aren't abstract or hidden like game mechanics and design.  You can put out a gameplay video, show off all the flashy graphics, and expect to get some response.

They're shallow.  They're easy.  They speak nothing of substance.

But they sell.

Note: Some exceptions exist.  This involves games that don't base their art style on gritty realism and try to have their own feel and look.


  1. You should've started the post with the phrase:
    "In my opinion", therefore, in my opinion, you're 90% wrong!
    I can think of at least 5 GREAT games that I refused to play because of lack of graphics, I did play(and finished) one of them, but only after a guy built a mod and added better graphics to it : Grand Teft Auto: Vice City, originally, cars were like modeled matchboxes and the buildings were lacking a bit of surface layer, then came KillerKip's mod, awesome car designs and building "skins".

    Need For Speed Carbon, now THAT game had no graphics, well... it did have graphics but... it didn't, if you know what I mean. I refused to play it(played it for about 20 seconds, gameplay)

    Need For Speed Undercover, GREAT graphics but.. at the time I didn't have a good system so I had to run it on low graphic settings and it looked awful, so I refused to play it.

    Mini Ninjas, looked awful on my system the first time I tried it, refused to play it.Finished it after 2 years right after I bought a better system.

    Maestia, although it is a MMORPG, I only played it after I got my new system.. before that.. refused to play it.

    Freedom Fighters, same story.

    Need For Speed Most Wanted,
    Just Cause 2,
    Far Cry,
    Split Second,
    same story, played them only after I had a better system that could run them on high or highest graphic setting.


    Overall, in my opinion, "60%" is kinda a little low when it comes to game graphics.

    Take care & have fun.


    1. Why would you still call those 5 games "great" if graphics are the most important thing?