For something like the past 10 years on these occasions, I always end up thinking something like “Hmm, the graphics have somewhat improved, but still look pretty video-gamy.”
What’s the deal? Is it just me?
There are certainly more polygons, greater resolution, better physics… But while quantitatively better, qualitatively it still seems to be producing the same effect of “yup, I’m looking at a polished game engine” I had with Quake or Unreal Tournament when Y2K was still a thing. As a kid, I thought that we would be seeing something video-realistic in the year 2016. And I don’t even think it can be properly blamed on the uncanny valley - multiple aspects of the representation still seem to be way too far off for my visual cortex to be willing to swallow it.
Hmmm. I think they could’ve launched it on 6/6/2016
Hopefully the franchise will hold up better than Duke Nukem did.
I think the videogame feel to something can be good or bad depending on context and what the developer is trying to do, and also how it’s meant to be enjoyed by the player. It can be rewarding and gratifying playing something that feels very much like game, as redundant as that sounds.
I’ve also played some titles that were more open ended, minimalist, or abstract, or something in the design that lent itself to feeling like a fresh and different experience. Shadow of the Colossus at times felt like a quiet, but living breathing world… versus Bioshock Infinite where everything i did just reinforced how gamey and awkward it felt in contrast with the ideas the plot was trying to immerse you in.
I’m happy with video games remaining a little cartoonish, I like to think the investment in time and energy that goes missing from photorealism goes to making the game more fun.
I think the worst thing about Duke Nukem Forever was that it showcased just how immature and unfunny the sexist antics of the mid-90s were in retrospect. Gamers (as a group) have matured since “blowing up strippers” was considered edgy and funny, but the game didn’t.
Hopefully they’ve figured out how to attach a flashlight to a gun and gotten rid of monster closets this time around.
I don’t necessarily mind that either. E.g. the Darkest Dungeon goes full-cartoon in the visual department and it works great; But this installment of Doom is clearly aiming to look… let’s say immersive and sort of fails at it. I don’t mind that photo realism isn’t the norm, I’m just surprised it still doesn’t actually seem to be practically achievable in video games.
DN was always supposed to be this ridiculous cartoon of a game, and when you’re a teenage boy in the nineties, it lines up with all the 90s action flicks and the various 90s things that make a game like DN 3D interesting- like an Internet connection that would take you ten years to download pictures of boobs. DN 3D had a twelve year gap before DN Forever, where in the meantime we grew up and the culture around us changed. Now we expect our action movies to feature dubstep noises and lens flare rather than gasoline explosions and wisecracking assholes who always manage to get a girl in the end- for some fucking reason, even if there’s no woman in the movie for a hundred miles of film. All of that makes DN seem kind of dated. The thing is, I’m nostalgic for games I played when I was younger, and nostalgic for things being simpler when I was a child, but I’m not nostalgic for being a child mentally. DN Forever didn’t hit that balance right. It might have been more interesting to have him come back to a world where things were very different and people no longer know how to handle him as this retrocultural dinosaur.
It’s because people expect that after $60, the game will last at least six hours and have at minimum at least semi-seamless construction. You can have Skyrim, or you can have a loading screen every thirty seconds. No AAA studio is going to spend that much energy in a rendering engine that makes a game so pretty that it sort of ceases to function as a game. Also, I don’t run a supercomputer. Whatever hardware XBox runs is going to be the hardware games are built for. LCD.
The cartoony/comic book look of the Borderlands games is big part of what drew me into trying and then buying it. It does not have to look ‘realistic’ to be a good game. Heck I think the graphics of the original Starcraft hold up quite well.
Cartoony can be fine (movies like Sin City were almost pen and ink style renderings or the aforementioned Borderlands series is cartoony in a different way). Part of the reason why the gameplay looks weird is we have very little real world experience with demons and head crabs and the like. Plus all that glossy just looks like plastic, like everything is covered in corn syrup, yuk.
Now a game that still holds up eons later is the Myth and Myth II games from ye olde Bungie. The graphics were awful 2.5 D spites, but the game play was phenomenal, unsurpassed for RTS fantasy really. WoW RTS were fun, but not quite that bare knuckle, no mining, no farming, no bullsh!t. Also, a decent story line. Wish someone would reboot that franchise! Shut up and take my money already! DLC? Sure!
I think photorealism in realtime is still pretty far away from where Moore’s Law has gotten us, CG in movies still requires a huge amount of computing power and hours per frame (it says here that for the Pixar movie Cars 2, they needed 12,500 CPU cores and 11.5 hours per frame). But I think video games on PCs have gotten kind of promisingly close to photorealism for background objects, look at this Grand Theft Auto mod for example (ignore the box telling you to check out a different newer video, this video shows off more ordinary backgrounds as opposed to fancy aerial views):
I’m not sure the beasts of hell would care much for 2016 in particular but they did do that strategic release date with the Omen in 2006, it looked good on posters.
Hank: If you want to win, you’re gonna have to do better than your best.
Bobby: How do I do that?
Hank: You gotta give 110 percent. That’s what’ll give you that winning edge.
Bobby: But what if the Wildcats give 110 percent, too?
Hank: Well, then you gotta try even harder.
Peggy: How about if Bobby gave 112 percent?
Hank: Sure that’d work.
Bobby: Or maybe 113.
Hank: Yeah, yeah, that’s even better.
Peggy: No I don’t know. 13 is a very unlucky number.
Hank: Look we’re not talking about 13. We’re talking
about 113. And even… Okay, give 112, what’s the difference? Look,
Bobby, just do your best, okay?
Of all announced games that are coming out I am only excited about Doom and Cuphead. Oh ya, and We Happy Few. This iteration of Doom appeals to me in a big way, I tried to like Doom 3, Quake 4 and Rage but just couldn’t get into them. I don’t know what it is about the trailer footage that’s been shown so far but I really want to have a big fight with those skeletons that have turret harnesses. It looks like it’s taken a page out of the most recent Wolfenstein’s book and has the potential to be beautiful/brutal (brutiful) like Wolf certainly is. I know there’s been a level creating/modding community since the dawn of Doom but the build-a-level function included in this game promises to be accessible to dumbasses like me, I wanna see how quickly someone submits a Doomy version of Goldeneye’s Facility level. The personalised takedown animations look disgusting and fun like in Gears, yup I can’t wait. Stop getting me excited about it.
hears monster sounds but can’t see any
picks up conspicuous health orb in middle of room
walls retract revealing hiding-in-the-cupboard monsters
The 2016 is a bit awkward but i think it still works thematically better than 13. As far as i know 13 is just an unlucky number vs 666 being the number of the beast. Plus you could release it at 6pm if you really wanted to hit the 666 trifecta.