If You Think Good Graphics Make Characters Worth Caring About, You’re Probably Insane

Kotaku - Last week, when the folks behind Killzone went on Jimmy Fallon's late night show to talk PS4, they said something that stuck with me.

In response to Fallon's question about what the PS4's impressive memory could do for developers, Guerilla Games boss Herman Hulst answered with a great deal of enthusiasm. He said it allows them to create big, vibrant worlds. And...

"At the same time," he said, "it gives us space to develop these characters that you truly care about."

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NewMonday1962d ago

then call me insane because a face with enough detail can project emotion

Good_Guy_Jamal1962d ago

You're insane. I cared about Limbo kid and I couldn't even see his face. I didn't give a rat's foot about Jason from Heavy Rain.
Just look at Kratos in GoW 3, detailed to the high heavens but I didn't care about him one sink?e bit. John Marsten on the other hand got me all choked up!
Cole or any of the characters from LA NOIR were all so life-like, but I didn't invest as much emotion in them as I did for the cast of Mass Effect.
I cared more about my Fable 2 dog then whether or not Ellena would succumb to her injuries at the end of Uncharted 2.
Graphics may help in conveying emotion, but immersion is key to getting me to care about a game character.

NewMonday1962d ago

Actually I agree with you, but the key word is "improve", ME characters were deeply written but the look and animation gave me a creepy Thunderbirds vibe.

better graphics are a tool, but they don't work alone

DoomeDx1962d ago (Edited 1962d ago )

I agree about Jason. hated that kid.
But come on..How could you NOT care about Ethan Mars?

Definatly one of my favorite games of all time. Just the emotion alone grabbed me.

On topic:
Just read the article. This is a typical Kotaku article

"In response to Fallon's question about what the PS4's impressive memory could do for developers, Guerilla Games boss Herman Hulst answered with a great deal of enthusiasm. He said it allows them to create big, vibrant worlds. And...

"At the same time," he said, "it gives us space to develop these characters that you truly care about." Where do you see him mention something about Graphics kotaku? Nowhere right? Because he ISNT talking about graphics here. So you are insane. not the people who think good graphics make characters worth caring about.

I wish people would stop being so stupid, and actually know what RAM does.

People seem to think of it like its a CPU. Improving graphics, calculation speeds, shaders etc. While its not. Well, atleast not as much as people think.

With 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, I actually expect them to add more gameplay in the game. Which is even better then graphics. I remember some games where developers were limited with gameplay due to the RAM. Weapon Attachments in Killzone werent possible because of that. Also adding more guns in the game wouldnt work because the RAM would be overloaded. So saying that RAM increases graphics is just stupid. Its mainly Gameplay. and thats the most important thing about a game to be. Herman even said that "You can climb now. Which wasnt possible in Killzone 3."

About the characters ''coming to life'', Maybe Herman Hulst meant something like ''Hey with the new ram, we can do so much stuff at once! Meaning that characters will come more to life! So you care more about them.''

See? That has NOTHING to do with graphics kotaku!

I hate kotaku more and more.

HarryMasonHerpderp1962d ago (Edited 1962d ago )


I like how you compared multipats to PS3 exclusives for you're examples.
nice stealth trolling.
Anyway everyone knows graphics aren't everything and I'm not sure who said otherwise? As for Killzone I think we need some likable heroes this time because the ISA are douche bags lol

Baka-akaB1962d ago

Except none of the characters you didnt care about had a particular flaw when it came to conveying emotions and feeling ... you just didnt care about them .

And one case of limbo wont make every likewise designed game any good at such task either .

There is no denying that graphics are a potent tool to visual display raw emotions , even less so by just dropping the name of a few exceptions . The rest is up to artistic vision

ChronoJoe1962d ago

I think it's a different type of story telling when you're projecting your own emotions for the scenario onto the character, because you cannot see their face.

Similarly link in legend of Zelda doesn't really give much indication of any emotion yet you feel it throughout the Zelda games. Even in the top down ones.

However this is a different kind of emotion, it's because you're the character you don't need to see their face. It is however difficult to express emotion from a secondary perspective (sideline character) without compelling facial feature.

With that said you can do absolutely anything with narrative anyway. Books can express as much emotion as any movie because they force you to imagine what the characters would be going through, in response you form your subjective interpretation of the characters facial features.

Video games can of course do this too, however better graphics remove the necessity of user imagination, and give the films creator more creative control of what they want the user to experience / see / feel from their game.

With that said, it's up to interpretation whether that is good or bad, and it still remains the developers choice as to whether they want to go into extra detail on attributes like facial animation, or leave that up to the players imagination.

Personally some of my best story-orintated experiences were from games like Golden sun, it might have a relatively two dimensional world, full of seemingly two dimensional personalities, but you fill in the gaps with your imagination to craft a much deeper, and richer experience than is directly presented to you.

XxDarkGamerxX1962d ago

Kudos to doomed for clearing that up

Good_Guy_Jamal1961d ago

@HarryMason: A. LA NOIRE is not exclusive to PS3 and B. You should take it as a compliment that I mentioned alot of PS3 games in an article about great graphics. Why's everyone so defensive over playstation? Dear goodness I've owned all 3 main consoles and I couldn't give a hoot about them.

theBAWSE1961d ago

I'm surprised more people are not voting kotaku down they still have 3 stars

Captain Tuttle1961d ago

Great post. I can especially relate to my Fable 2 dog, was just thinking about that the other day.

SAE1961d ago (Edited 1961d ago )

I'm completely the other way around . I only agree with you on limbo..

Emotion moment isn't just about graphics but graphics shows it better. It's like reading about someone getting torture. But when you see it your self you will have a different feelings because you are looking at it and experiencing it. Same about this subject. It's hard to believe you did't care about the characters you mentioned. But let's stick with the taste matter.

Emzx991961d ago

Sad part is that you only got disagrees due to you mentioning PS3 exclusives in a less the favorable way. He didn't say those games were bad people, take your butt hurt elsewhere. He's entirely right, immersion is the key. Yes graphics help, a lot. But if all you got is so slapped on high res sad faces, and no real development of a character it's pointless. It's a fact that Skyrim looks better than Halo 3, but Halo 3 portrayed emotion a lot more, especially toward the end, and you can't even see John's face. A lot of things factor into character depth, but graphics is dead last. If you need graphics to get your point across, A. your story sucks, B. your gameplay sucks, C. your setting sucks, and D. characterization sucks. I still remember tears coming to my eyes when Damos died in Jak 3. Crysis 3 is probably one of the best looking games out now, and it's story, characterization, and setting, were garbage. Graphics mean nothing, they should improve over time, they should never be a focus, and when they are the game tends to blow. Graphics need every other aspect I mentioned, otherwise they're useless.

knowyourstuff1961d ago

No one is saying that graphics alone are what make people care about a character. Can people stop being idiots, taking things completely out of context, changing someone's words and attacking an argument that was never even made?

Obviously it takes storytelling to create emotional investments with characters, however with the more powerful hardware, that is what Hulst was referring to as the tool that allowed the team to better develop the characters in the story - that being, develop them physically, creating more emotion in character's faces, sometimes facial expressions tell more than words. Actors and directors understand this better than anyone, it's why you'll never see a faceless movie character as the main character.

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Kran1961d ago

Master Chief had no face. Lot of emotion there... :l

Insomnia_841961d ago

Only two games have made me care DEEPLY about characters and those are Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X.

palaeomerus1961d ago (Edited 1961d ago )

Here is how much graphical power you need to convey emotion...


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Bumpmapping1962d ago

This site is still around?

Simon_Brezhnev1962d ago

If it was HHG it would had been banned. LOL

younglj011961d ago

Wow can't believe HHG got banned he was the first site too mention Kratos in some-type of fighting game(MK9), most of his guesses came true this-gen...

Reverent1961d ago

People, PLEASE downvote the hell out of Kotaku. That site is literally one of the most useless, redundant things to "grace" the internet.

Baka-akaB1962d ago (Edited 1962d ago )

The puzzling (well not really , as the system and its results are conveniently hidden by N4G) part is how the site never loses a star despite being downvoted so often at every turn . While it's very unlikely its supporters even usually bother + voting it

Simon_Brezhnev1961d ago

I know right i always downvote that troll site.

Reverent1961d ago (Edited 1961d ago )

Same here, and I know plenty of other users who do so also. I'm starting to think that there is some sort of... conspiracy... <_<

ThatXboxGuy1960d ago

No surprise there.Idiots do tend to believe in conspiracy theories.

Gimmemorebubblez1962d ago

Like a rash on the industries backside, Kraptaku has flared up again.

InTheZoneAC1962d ago (Edited 1962d ago )

without looking at the picture, I thought this article was going to mention crysis....

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