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Tomb Raider Jay
27-08-06, 13:34
I was just looking at some new shots of Splinter Cell: Double Agent for Xbox 360 and thinking 'those graphics look extremely REALISTIC!!!!' :)

With the 360 already up and running delivering stunning HD graphics and the approching powerhouse of visual graphics that is said to be the PS3, does anyone think that graphics can ever be too realistic? :confused:

When the 360 first came out I was playing Kameo Elements of Power thinking 'WOW this could be a pixar movie!' and the style of graphics, where everything is all bump-mapped and shiny looks really great but looking at Splinter Cell I was like 'My GOD these visuals are SO REALISTC!!!!!'
The goverment building looks REAL, Sam Fisher LOOKS REAL, even the floor tiles are freakin' STUNNING!! :yik: :yik: :yik:
But after looking at the graphics again I was kinda like 'mmm.... well maybe there a bit too realistic?' :(
And sure it looks nice but with so much realism I think it could easily be seen as ugly :(

I'll admit after seeing Splinter Cell I didn't think other games would compare but another game I am looking to buy is Alan Wake and the graphics in that game are beautiful and yet you can still tell that it's a game ;)

I think this is the style that I like best, where your sitting infront of a visual masterpiece but can still tell it's just a video game :) - rather than being overly realistic and ugly

I have seen screens of Gears Of War and that game just looks OUT OF THIS WORLD but what kind of impact will those heaving visuals have on the gameplay?
Enchanted Arms looks great too, kinda like the first next-gen Final Fantasy I think and again it's a game with the 'shiny and bump mapped' look to it rather than the overly realistic approch to visuals.

But I think I'd draw a line at Perfect Dark Zero, the graphics are stunning granted but the uber shine is over EVERYTHING!! - you can't ever find a dark corner in this game because it's so shiny everywhere.
I think thats a bit too unrealistic with the visuals, there should be a certain amount of shine on metal and stuff yeah but surely not on stone work!!
At some points this game is almost uglier than some PS2 and Xbox games :(

With all the graphical capabilities available now games will look better and better, but I think the overly realistic approch could make games look very ugly rather than beautiful in the future

Anyway, my point - do you guys think graphics can ever be too realistic?

VonCroy360
27-08-06, 13:37
Some people think of a video game as something like real life but in a game-form, something like the sims (the not-too-realistic graphics gives them the charm); some think (including myself) games are supposed to let you do all the things you ca't do in the real world; that's why the graphics should be very realistic, to make you feel you're doing it in the real world...
:)

Rivendell
27-08-06, 13:50
Well, let me put it this way- I look forward to the day when I can roam about in a V-R headset believing I'm actually in Middle Earth, raising my hand and watching a blazing ball of fire fly out on a perfectly real advancing orc :cool:

BtoFu
27-08-06, 13:58
Next gen come current software (I say this because all but the 360 are still working out the kinks) is still in the toddler phase, so I think it's safe to say that it's going to take at least another 3/4 years before developers can truly harness the power of new technology. And in that time they'll be developing even more stepper uppers for next generation.

I always find the idea of improved visuals to be a real sticking point between gamers. On the one hand there's an obvious want for better and better aesthetics, but on the other hand people want to maintain the level of escapism when they play. It's quite contradictory in my opinion..you want realism and to court an air of believeability, but you also want to be reminded that this is an interactive exeprience and 'realism' can be something of a hinderance when you're talking about keeping that fourth wall up.

I suppose the point is that whenever something new and improved comes along, and then in leaps and bounds, you continue to be impressed by it and continue to buy into it..so generally speaking I think most people are always looking for improvement and in this case better graphics.

Tombreaper
27-08-06, 17:53
According to the 'Uncanny Valley Theory', we are going to dislike the ultra realistic graphics, which will arrive in the near future.

Cochrane
27-08-06, 18:11
There is the theory of the Uncanny Valley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley), which directly relates to the problem whether something can be too realistic.

According to this (unproven) theory, virtual graphics or robots that try to emulate humans do not get more sympathy the more human-like they are. Instead, as technology progresses, they first get more sympathy, but then, shortly before they are fully human-like, fall into the so-called "uncanny valley", where humans tend to dislike them.

The idea behind this is that for renderings that are clearly non-human, but have human aspects, humans tend to judge them by their human aspects. A perfect example for this is "Luxo Jr.", Pixar's first short film. It involves two lamps hopping around. The lamps later got adapted to form the Pixar logo, which I think everyone knows. What makes this movie so spectacular is that while the protagonists are simple lamps, they still appear as if they are alive, and they can convey emotion on a basic level.

According to the uncanny valley theory, the more life-like something (like those lamps) gets, the more people will like it - until a certain point is hit from where humans start to judge it by what makes it not human instead of what makes it human. In the previous example, as long as you have lamps appearing to be human, it's nice, but if you have the idea that you are watching humans behaving like they are lamps, you tend to dislike this.

As technology improves further, a point will be hit where what appears on screen looks and behaves like a human, but we are sadly nowhere near this point yet.

Fear of falling in this uncanny valley is also the reason why Pixar usually tries to avoid human characters or displays them in simplistic, comic style.

Computer games are currently close to falling in that valley. Some already have, some might in the next sequel, others will do everything they can to avoid it.

So my opinion: Yes, a computer game can be too realistic.

Edit: Seems like I was too slow posting this.

StarCroft:AOD
27-08-06, 18:14
I still need to get out of the 2D games creation anyways.:D:o

Spitfire
27-08-06, 18:56
I feel when things start to look too realistic they end up looking completely fake. Take Final Fantasy Spirits within, it looked almost too real and ended up looking very fake in my opinion. I mean it was pretty to look at but there was this annoying feeling that kept saying fake as i watched it.

Tombreaper
27-08-06, 19:01
Uncanny Valley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley) Edit: Seems like I was too slow posting this.

Well, at least you gave the other forum members the link, I forgot.

Blackmoor
27-08-06, 20:31
In general I'm a huge supporter of the more realistic the graphics the better.

But...

I wonder how I'll respond to extra realistic killings. I looked over a trailer for Assassin's Creed and was wowed at the loveliness of everything and that level of detail and realism it has... and then the character used some horrid hand blade to stab someone... :eek:

Obviously there are just some types of games I'll steer clear of anyway, but most games involve killing something. I do wonder whether it'll ever get too realistic for me.


The "uncanny valley" theory is very intriguing. But if I'm reading it right it seems to apply on to "renderings that are clearly non-human, but have human aspects..."

What about renderings that are trying to be fully human-like? Or animals trying to be animal-like for that matter?

I can see why when mixing a lamp with human attributes there comes a point where instead of a lamp being human-like, it moves to being a human with lamp-like attributes, which is irritating.

But it doesn't seem the same to me as making realistic humans, animals, dinosaurs, mythical creatures and monsters. All of which you would think would benefit from extra realism full-stop.

Not to mention scenery of course.

Lost_Raider
29-08-06, 04:54
I got another link for this subject...it's for computer science class anyway.

http://www.gamespot.com/features/6153667/index.html?q=Uncanny%20Valley

It summed up a lot of things for me.

I believe this is also the reason why I believe TRL and Call of Duty 2 in Next-Gen graphic is uncomfortable for me...

Melonie Tomb Raider
29-08-06, 04:58
In some cases, the more realistic the better.

By the way, SCDA looks awesome! :jmp:

Lost_Raider
29-08-06, 05:04
Do you guys remember the android developed in South Korea? That was a case of too real for comfort...

I remember when I saw that thing in the news when it was revealed to be "the first robort that act like a human being"...the apperance was like a corpse right out the morgue...

Samsdad
29-08-06, 14:00
In generalI wonder how I'll respond to extra realistic killings. I looked over a trailer for Assassin's Creed and was wowed at the loveliness of everything and that level of detail and realism it has... and then the character used some horrid hand blade to stab someone... :eek:

Obviously there are just some types of games I'll steer clear of anyway, but most games involve killing something. I do wonder whether it'll ever get too realistic for me.


The "uncanny valley" theory is very intriguing. But if I'm reading it right it seems to apply on to "renderings that are clearly non-human, but have human aspects..."

I can see why when mixing a lamp with human attributes there comes a point where instead of a lamp being human-like, it moves to being a human with lamp-like attributes, which is irritating.

But it doesn't seem the same to me as making realistic humans, animals, dinosaurs, mythical creatures and monsters. All of which you would think would benefit from extra realism full-stop.


I think Blackmore makes an excellent point and raises some very crucial issues.

In any game that incorporates action elements (i.e. combat/fighting) when does it become too realistic. Compare the old war movies (Sands of Iwo Jima) to the more recent ones (Saving Private Ryan) and the visceral impact is totally different. I am not sure that I want my gaming experience to be of the same intensity that some recent movie experiences have been. From what I have seen of some of the upcoming war based games (The new MOH or Band of Brothers games), the graphic detail is near realistic.

ace_85
29-08-06, 14:06
Of course, there's always the censorship issue to think about when considering photorealistic graphics. Games like Manhunt just about sneaked past the censors with an '18' rating in this country, because it was highly violent, but the violence also had a distinctly cartoonish edge. Add accurate physics and anatomy to that equation (which the increased power of next-gen consoles promise) and I don't personally see it being allowed. As games move more towards the realism of movies, I believe we're going to find ourselves having the same issues over what's legally allowed to be represented :(

scion05
29-08-06, 14:18
Yeah, the better the graphics, the more boring the game,
as in tomb raider, the first three rocked, but the more they progressed
they looked less apealing :(