• ironrafael - August 2, 2012 10:08 p.m.

    There are some actual books that can make you cry and they don't even have graphics - at ALL. So it's not about the game looking real or not: it's about how well you tell the story.
  • angelusdlion - August 3, 2012 9:33 a.m. Thank you.
  • ObliqueZombie - August 3, 2012 12:56 a.m.

    Good counterpoints, Mr. Houghton. As always, well-said. And personally, I think the most unique and emotionally affecting quirk games have is the immersion of DOING something. Not in a crap, "look, my movements are somewhat reflected in-game" Kinect way, but in a simple, "Oh my God, am I really going to press this button to swing a golf club at Andrew Ryan's head?" way. Yes, the dialogue (good voice acting goes a long, long way), motion and facial capture, and set pieces--or lack there of--bring the story along in a powerful way, but the simple act of putting us, almost literally, in our protagonist's shoes is what makes games so goddamn amazing. And I, too, love 2K a little too much for my own good, but this statement was both ignorant and embarrassing.
  • bedelicious - August 3, 2012 2:25 a.m.

    Great article, I fully agree with it. Christoph Hartman's statement suggests either inability or lack of desire to create something other than shooters. Not to mention it's insulting to the artists. I'm tired of people like him making excuses and holding the industry back. There are plenty of games, recent and old, to exemplify that games are more than capable of recreating a top notch emotional experience, regardless of graphics. In my opinion they often do it even better than movies, because of their interactivity. And just to name a few - Fallout, Planescape: Torment, Final Fantasy - those games not only didn't need photo realistic graphics - they didn't even need good graphics to create some of the most memorable, complex and emotional experiences in any media.
  • OohWiiUILookJustLikeBuddyHolly - August 3, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    If you are going to have some kind of strong love story with realistic looking humans you don't want them to look like wax puppets. Photorealism isn't needed, but I reckon top quality animation is. Take Deus Ex HR for example. Game was wonderful but when you started talking to people.. It looked like they had rusted facial augmentations or something. It kind of took you out of the world.
  • Gamer_Geek - August 4, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    I agree with the point, most of the people are saying, games emotional connection to the gamer are based upon the creativity of the writers and their ability to write and direct a strong story. Were all humans just emotionless robots before any visual effect was created?
  • Technodude - August 4, 2012 12:02 p.m.

    I agree with what you're saying, Dave, but I don't quite know whether this argument is actually based on the real definition of photorealism. Allow me to clarify: Photorealism (noun) A style of art characterised by high amounts of detail, giving the impression that the subject matter is photographic. What this doesn't mean is that shapes have to be realistic (take the two characters' facial features, for example), or that the setting looks like something you would see in modern day life - it means that textures look like what they should do - skin looks like skin (with the detail to show pores), and light is dispersed and reflected off materials in such a manner that they look real. The materials in Journey look photorealistic, for sure. You can see the light reflecting off individual grains of sand, you can see the individual seams of string in the robes. The light shining through the mountain is realistic. The cloth looks like cloth. The leaves in the background of the UP shot look real, reflecting the light. It seems, Dave, to me, that you've used the wrong evidence for the right argument. I don't intend to sound arrogant with this definition, that it's the be all and end all of it, but the article just seems a little confused to me. I do agree that you don't need amazing graphics to produce powerful emotions, though. Anybody who's played Pokémon Mystery Dungeon will know for sure - Christ, I was crying for days after that (and do still feel a little sad, when I think about it). But it's when games try to look real but don't, games like Deus Ex, where the facial animations are all screwed up, which really distracts the player from the experience. The difference here is that facial animations don't have anything to do with photorealism because they don't depict the detail - the light does. It's a very technical argument, this...
  • montage - August 5, 2012 4:44 a.m.

    I think, as good as a piece as that was, your journalistic skills missed the point of Misuer Cristoph Hartmann's statement....the guy is clearly in a lonely place right now and in desperate need of a hug.
  • gilgamesh310 - August 5, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    That was utter nonsense. I don't see how Hartman could be so ignorant. I don't think Arkham City has a good story though, nor Red Dead Redemption, Portal 2 or Half Life 2.
  • Bloodstorm - August 5, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    I'll give you Portal 2, and Arkham City to an extent (it was not better than Arkham Asylum).
  • gilgamesh310 - August 6, 2012 4:18 a.m.

    I thought Arakham Asylum was better than City. The story was definitely better. It was much tighter and more tense. Portal 2 has good writing but good writing does not equate a good story. Most people don't seem to realise this.
  • nikeiden - August 5, 2012 9:38 p.m.

  • AuthorityFigure - August 6, 2012 1:03 a.m.

    The purely text-adventure games (Zork etc.) of yesteryear show that there is no correlation between narrative and visuals.
  • Thedigitalg - August 6, 2012 4:05 a.m.

    Limbo = trial and error, which makes for a poor game. I don't understand the love for it, there is no story beyond 'man looks for sister'. It doesn't even look good, it's just black and fucking white! Limbo is the Nirvana of the gaming world, and the sooner it puts a shotgun in its overrated mouth the better.
  • Shinard - August 8, 2012 12:59 p.m.

    Trolling? Anyway, it is not trial and error, or at least not the way you think of it. Instead, you have to figure out whats going on and actually think to find a solution. It requires intelligence, not just the ability to try something over and over again. And trial and error makes a poor game? Have you played Super Meat Boy? Black and white was a stylistic choice, similar to Schindler's List, emphasizing the depression and utter decay of Limbo. I know I come across as an arty prick right now, but its a good game, fun to play and emotional. (Also, are you saying its a good thing Kurt Cobain committed suicide?)

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