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The most realistic things in gaming

To accurately simulate real sand, you'd need millions of individual physics objects. Obviously, that's not likely on even the most powerful supercomputers right now. But even last-gen Xbox was creating sand effects that worked brilliantly. For some reason, these were left out of the Xbox 360 sequel, which featured sand non-dynamic sand. You may argue that you're not supposed to be looking at the sand effects when you play DOAX but, clearly, it's your loss if you don't.

Above: Phwoar! Look at that sand.It's almost... sensual

A field

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa has got this nailed. The grass here looks more like grass than real grass. Its non-repeating textures look amazing from afar, and there are 3D blades of grass when you get up close. The human appendix may be surplus to requirements now we don't digest grass, but we reckon it's about to get a work out. This stuff isplainly good enough to eat.

Above: Up the Cherries!

Shiny things

Games have been full of shiny ever since Gran Turismo pretended to reflect stuff back on PSone. Suddenly every game had to have shiny bits in it otherwise people would scoff and throw stones. But what's the pinnacle of shiny things? We're going to go with the reflective flooor boards in the NBA 2K series. Not only are the reflections accurate, but they're subtly distorted by ridges in the wood.

Anyone can do a reflective floor (see 'water' above), but to do it properly and so spectacularly takes real programming prowess:

Above: Shiny floors make our hearts sing just as much as slam dunks

Still, as if to illustrate the point about skin, not even the shiny floor can convince us that that's a real person. There's still a looong way to go there...

What's the most realistic thing you've ever seen in a game? Let us know in the comments.

01 Jun, 2010

Justin worked on the GamesRadar+ staff for 10 whole years. Imagine that. Now he is a contributor, specialising in racing games, retro, and Sanic.