Video games don't look realistic to me anymore

Started by Legend, Dec 06, 2019, 09:22 PM

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Legend

I think it's a combination of working as a game dev and the current generation growing old, but games all of a sudden are starting to feel "last gen" to me. They look aesthetically great and are technically impressive but the deficiencies stick out like sore thumbs.



Take this Death Stranding screenshot. There aren't any obviously repeating textures and there is a fair amount of geometry on screen but it still looks fairly unrealistic. Terrain in the background is obviously lacking in details compared to the forgrand, the river just looks pasted on the land with poor lighting within the water, and there is a general "blurriness" to things even through the image is very crisp.


Death Stranding is potentially the best looking game out there right now and I was extremely impressed with it but this stuff is still noticeable. In other games it is far far worse.

Anyone else feel this way? I imagine a lot of people do since next gen is so close but at the same time I might just be a weirdo analysing graphics too much.

Xevross

Anyone else feel this way?
No.
Quote
I imagine a lot of people do since next gen is so close but at the same time I might just be a weirdo analysing graphics too much.
Yes probably

darkknightkryta

*looks small thumbnail*
Looks real to me.

the-pi-guy

They never did look realistic.   ???

As for looking 'last gen', I think that really requires a framework where you know something that looks better.  

Which there might be a few games on PC that fit that.  Well maybe they don't look better, but they look more consistent.  

Legend

They never did look realistic.   ???

As for looking 'last gen', I think that really requires a framework where you know something that looks better.  

Which there might be a few games on PC that fit that.  Well maybe they don't look better, but they look more consistent.  
I'd certainly argue that they often looked realistic.

Do you not remember seeing Halo 3 and thinking "wow I can't imagine games looking better?"




What about Uncharted 3?





I think we're both in full agreement though, just using different words. These games never offered pixel perfect recreations of the world but at the time they felt like accurate video game interpretations of the world. Only as newer video games redefine the rules of interpretation do older games look dated. It's the framework concept that you mentioned.

But judging by the reactions to this thread the rest of you haven't experienced that framework for this gen yet  :P

the-pi-guy

Well maybe.  

I also feel like I've had kind of the opposite reaction.  

Starting with Uncharted 2, I've felt like games don't really need to get better than that.  Still feel that way after playing it a few weeks ago.  Felt like my personal tipping point.  Not that I couldn't imagine better graphics, just that I wasn't going to care as much about improvements.  



Legend

Well maybe.  

I also feel like I've had kind of the opposite reaction.  

Starting with Uncharted 2, I've felt like games don't really need to get better than that.  Still feel that way after playing it a few weeks ago.  Felt like my personal tipping point.  Not that I couldn't imagine better graphics, just that I wasn't going to care as much about improvements.  



Graphics in screenshots are definitely experiencing diminishing returns. I still think there is a lot of meaningful improvements to be made but it could be a slow road ahead of us. To a lesser extent I think the same thing applies to cutscenes. Death Stranding has some incredible looking faces at times and with mocap there is already an "objective source" to drive the scenes.

Dynamic gameplay related elements have the most room for perspective shifting improvements imo. Examples include vegetation reacting physically to movement instead of faking it, high res fluid simulations for water interacting with the player and land, better AI, procedural audio, destructive/reactive worlds, npc variation, improved dialogue driven animations, etc.

Xevross

I haven't been blown away by graphics much in the last few years but plenty of games still look good to me. I can play some games where I think it does look outdated but some of the latest games still look amazing to me. Devil May Cry 5 is probably the most impressive game I've played this year, the people in that game do look amazing and quite realistic. Red Dead Redemption 2, Horizon ZD and GOW still stand out for looking incredible.

Graphics in screenshots are definitely experiencing diminishing returns. I still think there is a lot of meaningful improvements to be made but it could be a slow road ahead of us. To a lesser extent I think the same thing applies to cutscenes. Death Stranding has some incredible looking faces at times and with mocap there is already an "objective source" to drive the scenes.

Dynamic gameplay related elements have the most room for perspective shifting improvements imo. Examples include vegetation reacting physically to movement instead of faking it, high res fluid simulations for water interacting with the player and land, better AI, procedural audio, destructive/reactive worlds, npc variation, improved dialogue driven animations, etc.
I do agree with that, set pieces and dynamic environments are definitely the most impressive technology to behold in games, and they produce the biggest wow-factor. The physics in BOTW for instance constantly blow me away with all the random shame you can do in that game.

the-pi-guy


Legend


the-pi-guy

Game devs.  

::)

kitler53

i mean, if the game is attempting to recreate real-life in real-time than yeah,.. games fall massively short.   i don't think it is so much that games look less realistic so much as more games are pretending to be realistic.  more games used to go for the "rachet and clank" kind of style where it was more of a cartoon than reality. 

realistic themed games fall very short of reality.  which is all the more disappointing that more don't do more of a cartoon look because hardware is powerful enough now to pull off that look without feeling like something is missing.
       

Legend

i mean, if the game is attempting to recreate real-life in real-time than yeah,.. games fall massively short.   i don't think it is so much that games look less realistic so much as more games are pretending to be realistic.  more games used to go for the "rachet and clank" kind of style where it was more of a cartoon than reality.

realistic themed games fall very short of reality.  which is all the more disappointing that more don't do more of a cartoon look because hardware is powerful enough now to pull off that look without feeling like something is missing.
You said this not too long ago:

i watched the everwild trailer.  the art direction is nice but for a game that must be launching on the next xbox it also looks really cheap.  such blocky geomerty is fine for an indie developer but for a AAA first party it is lazy.
Studios would love to make more stylized games since they can be a lot cheaper but it's a hard balance. Not everyone has the same threshold as you but in general increasing stylization decreases perceived effort. A 5 hour game with GOW graphics just innately feels more expensive than a 10 hour game with Concrete Genie graphics for most people.


Also in a weird sense, realism can actually be cheaper at times. Everyone is working on it so everyone can share the same solutions and workflows. Open up Unreal Engine and you can have a "AAA quality" scene in a matter of minutes. A large game needs lots of custom scenes so the price adds up but smaller ones can more or less slap things together and call it a day.

kitler53

Dec 10, 2019, 08:06 PM Last Edit: Dec 10, 2019, 08:12 PM by kitler53
You said this not too long ago:


Studios would love to make more stylized games since they can be a lot cheaper but it's a hard balance. Not everyone has the same threshold as you but in general increasing stylization decreases perceived effort. A 5 hour game with GOW graphics just innately feels more expensive than a 10 hour game with Concrete Genie graphics for most people.


Also in a weird sense, realism can actually be cheaper at times. Everyone is working on it so everyone can share the same solutions and workflows. Open up Unreal Engine and you can have a "AAA quality" scene in a matter of minutes. A large game needs lots of custom scenes so the price adds up but smaller ones can more or less slap things together and call it a day.
yes, i said i liked the art directly but that the geometry looked blocky.   i don't think it looks cheap because the art style is not realistic,.. i think it looks cheap because they used about half as many polygons as they should have.

What i am saying is more like,.. nintendo fans used to argue that mario didn't need high resolution and that this was perfectly fine graphics:


...because HD mario would look like this:


which is fudgy stupid because mario in HD really looks more like this:



it's not the art style that changes with HD it is the crispness and details.   yes it takes more time but the presentation is much, much better for it and you can tell at even the most casual of glances how much better it looks.

i really like everwild's art direction.  and for a indie company it would be understandable.  all i'm saying is everwild,.. which is a first party game launching on next gen hardware should be a showcase piece of what next gen is capable of and thus looks miles better than a early indie ps4 game at a glance.  it does not:








       

Legend

Bumping this thread to complain about fog/draw distance.



Silent Hill 2 is the go to example of fog being used to hide draw distance issues but it is still super common today. Many modern games without fog look super different and just like SH2, they over do it.






Atmospheric perspective is a very real phenomenon but games go crazy with it. Here is Denver and the mountains in a photo.


In real life the mountains are often clearer and the closest hills in the picture are ~25 miles beyond Denver.

Games are really really tiny and have micro worlds but it's so over the top.