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Faces of gaming: Real vs Virtual

Nov 2, 2007

Photorealistic visuals have been a goal for developers since the beginning of time. Or thereabouts. So with so mucheffort beingput towardsreplicating realism, you'd have thought that the new crop of super-powered hi-def consoles would finally make it possible for us to enjoy a blurring of the line between reality and virtuality. But are we?

In a bid to find out, we've gathered together some of the most famous faces to ever cross the digital divide. Then we've made lovely little images comparing their real world mug with the in-game counterpart. And, just in case you struggle to tell the difference, we've even labelled them up. Click through our comparisons and decide for yourself if gaming has finally reached the graphical Holy Grail.

Above: Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp in both versions of Pirates of the Caribbean

We can't see the whole of Orlando Bloom's fizzog in the game shot, but there's more than enough on show here to illustrate how successfully the characters mirror the real actors. Look, they've even got Bloom's idiot beard right. And Depp's dangly bits are perfect.

Put this one down to the PES effect. That's our theory that stylised, almost cartoonish or slightly cel-shaded visuals are far more effective (at the moment, anyway) at creating good likenesses than those that aim to directly reproduce photographic images as 3D models. Which is a boring way of saying that these two might look good, but it's not the sort of space-age photorealism we're talking about.