Art style> high-end production values. No?

So, I've had this fumbling through my mind for a while, and wanted to start a discussion with my fellow gamers. Anyone often feel that part of the problem today is the need for games rival Hollywood blockbusters in terms of visuals and production values? Basically, having a unique art style is better than the muddy brown textures and constant need for  realism that plagues many games today.  Isn't one of many  criticisms of current Final Fantasy titles Square's need to make everything like an over the top movie?

     And this isn't an attack on realistic  environments or characters. My issue stems from seeing the Triple A titles like Gears or Call of Duty seen as the prime example of games to look like, whereas games like Bioshock and the Batman: Arkham series clearly use a realistic module accompanied by a unique and detailed art style that sets the tone of games brilliantly.

    And on the other end of the spectrum, games with not high production values, and exaggerated art styles far from realism, such as Catherine or Tales of Vesperia, look perfectly fine, if not, more interesting than say, I don't know, Turok for the gen, Rainbow Six : Vegas, Double Agent etc.  Okami is one of the most beautifully looking games I've played, and that was a last-gen title.

      Even on a extreme, minimalist approach, we got Limbo. The simple sound effects, unique backgrounds, and monochrome style clearly resonated well with gamers and critics a like.

     Overall, while realism has its place, and so too, games with amazing production values( I love Uncharted!),  not every game needs to rival the Triple A' nor do they need to be realistic.

 

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Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 7 Applies to:

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100% agree.

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Games like Rayman Origins, Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts, The Darkness 2, and Ratchet and Clank look so much better than almost any other game out there. The only game I would rate better than them would be the Uncharted series, because not only does it look damn good but it uses a beautiful range of colors which you don't ever see in games going for a realistic look....and the animations add to the graphics as well. *** beautiful.

Doesn't really matter.  Make it look as good as it can if you like, but if it needs to take a graphical hit that's fine as well.   Looking pretty shouldn't be a priority.  Rather play a game like FFVII, VIII or IX that looks bad over something like FFXIII.

As an artist, I agree.

It depends what feel they're going for. If you're going to go for realism, then you better make it look really good.

I love when games have a unique look to them, such as Bioshock.  I can look at a screenshot of an object, or of scenery and know what the game is without having anything give it away, other than its graphics.

Well it does depend on the game for me

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I played the remake of Shadow of the Colossus and I was blown away by the graphics/art style, even though the game originally came out on the PS2.  I'd definitely take those graphics over, say, Call of Duty's.

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That said, I didn't like the cell-shading of Crackdown 2. I'd much rather have realistic graphics in a game like that

I like art as much the next person and a good art style in games is always welcome and realism has its place also, but style over substance is not a good thing in any medium.  And it isnt exactly your point, but some games use a good art design to mask that their game is same as others or even lacking in ideas.  Im going to be in the minority on this (like no one will agree), but i think Bioshock for example was largely more style than substance.  Didnt matter whether you harvested the little sisters or not (except for the ending which was largely meaningless to the game) and once i upgraded certain weapons i just used the same ones on every enemy, searching for audio diaries took me out of the game, etc.  Game looked awesome/atmosphere was great though and i enjoyed it somewhat for that.  For me, I think when art style and gameplay compliment each other is when it really matters most to me.  Your example of Okami (and Okamiden) would be a great example of that.  The look of the game fits so well with what you are doing in it.  Limbo also falls into that category although to a slightly lesser extent for me.  Military shooters using realistic graphics makes sense also.  Ultimately though, I would rather have awesome gameplay with any type of graphics than mediocre gameplay and an awesome art style.

Well, I wasn't never trying to imply that a good art style made a game good. Rather, point out the constant need for production values and realistic graphics. Granted, what makes a good game is several different qualities, but I won't get into that. I enjoyed the Cel-shaded Prince of Persia they and a few years ago. I REALLY liked the story, characters, and art style but the gameplay was really disappointing coming off the Sands of Time Trilogy.

    If anything, I'd rather not see every game uses the Unreal Engine.

I like unique decisions when it comes to stylizing games. For example, I love Dues Ex's color scheme of the Black and Gold. However, I also loved Max Payne 3's cutscene panels.

The game can be a total disappoint, but if the graphics are stupendous, it makes that much of a difference.

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