Are Graphics Really That Important?

The birth of a new console generation usually comes along with a graphical leap. The comparison between Dead Rising and Dead Rising 3 is pretty big however the new console generation almost always means that innovation is set back a couple of years. The 8th generation of console developers seem so focused on using the increased processing power on making everything prettier. In doing so they ignore some key elements that should be their main target for improvement.

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Insomnia_841703d ago

Yes! It's always been important and it won't be any different now just because the Xbox One is under fire.

ShugaCane1703d ago

To you, maybe. As for me, I never considered graphics to be "that" important. What matters the most in my opinion is the art direction. If you take games like Bioshock, or Shadow of the Colossus, they are graphically flawed but OMG do they look good. I'd rather play a game that has a real visual identity (Bastion, Killer 7, Journey), than a 60fps overly detailed soulless game.

snipab8t1703d ago

Agreed. Borderlands 2 and Dishonored are some of the best looking games out there, both have mediocre graphics with great art direction.

ChickeyCantor1703d ago

"they are graphically flawed but OMG do they look good. "

You're talking about ARTSTYLE.

Of course you could justify any visuals by claiming the artstyle is great. But keep in mind that more processing power means an artstyle COULD be better realised.

ShugaCane1703d ago


"You're talking about ARTSTYLE."

Well, I said : "What matters the most in my opinion is the art direction". So yes, that's what I was talking about, indeed...

My point is that graphics do matter of course, because without graphics we wouldn't have games. But that's not the most important. You can have 1844848454 pixels and a super frame rate in a game, if the design and the art are poor, then it's useless. That's what I meant.

Example : Deadly Premonition. Poor graphics, stellar atmosphere. And in that particular case, the fact that the game doesn't look good technically, contributes to its being so special.

BitbyDeath1703d ago

Graphics is art style, and yes it is important.
Hence why games like Pixel Junk Monsters or Journey can look better than a lot of crap the Unreal Engine was producing last gen.

ChickeyCantor1703d ago

"if the design and the art are poor, then it's useless. That's what I meant. "

And design and art can be enhanced by more graphical horsepower. Having a great artstyle IS good. But not being to realise it to it's full extend isn't. While it still might be good looking it leaves a lot to be desired for any artist working on the game ( of course if the budget allows it ).

" the fact that the game doesn't look good technically, contributes to its being so special."

No, it just means there simply wasn't a bigger budget. I hardly doubt they sat around the drawing table and said "Ok guys we have all this processing power, let's make it look like it was designed for the dreamcast "

Why o why1703d ago

For many the games I wanna play, yes. Why bother upgrade if graphics isnt one of the most important factors. Stick with the 360 abd ps3 then.

NeoTribe1703d ago

Graphics are important. Thus the reason we buy new hardware. If graphics and power were not important we would still be using nintendos. Good gameplay is something games are suppost to have by default. Anyone saying different is in denial.

Eonjay1703d ago

It called Video Games. The visual aspect is half of the entire thing. Gameplay is the other half. You can have both. And since most games will be avalible on both platforms, gameplay will be about the same. Therefore the one with the better video wins.

JodyCones1703d ago

You're choosing old games though. Shadow of collosses HD is better than the original version. I always hear graphics before gameplay argument. While any gamer will agree with this, every gamer at the same time does not wish their 1080p game was a 720p game. Graphics are only a benefit and does not make the gameplay worse. So yes even with the art style for example in Ni No Kuni- if it was bumped up to 1080p on PS4 for a remake, it would only make the experience better. Graphics do matter if we want the game industry to evolve- no matter what art direction is taken. It can always look better, being a benefit to our experience, moving forward.

nix1703d ago

i think it totally depends on the art style. there are some amazing games that will still interest you even though it may not have the biggest and baddest graphic explosions.

Limbo, Guacalemelee, flowers, Okami, Borderlands, Journey, SotC, Ico etc...

they're all great games despite them not being graphically amazing.

johndoe112111703d ago

Can you define for me the terms "graphics" and "art design" and what is the difference between them? Actual definitions would be appreciated not opinion.

Bathyj1703d ago (Edited 1703d ago )

Not disagreeing with your point, but SotC, Ico and Okami were all pretty amazing graphically when they released.

So were flower and journey for that matter, but more on the artistic side than the technical.

indyman77771702d ago

I have never seen a generation get excited by a machine that does not have improved graphics. WiiU has way better graphics than Wii.

TEll me with a straight face you would upgrade to a machine that did not have a big graphical upgrade. And I would point to the SAME people saying Wiiu is not true next gen.

Lets stop beating around the bush. Because people know that PS4 has better graphics, they NOW want to play down graphics! PLAN AND SIMPLE!

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mrpsychoticstalker1703d ago

Just ask the creators of Minecraft dude.

johndoe112111703d ago

How enjoyable do you think TLOU would have been if it had minecraft graphics? Graphics are extremely important depending on the game type, genre and story.

Graphics were extremely important when the xbox 360 had it better, now that the xbone is struggling it doesn't seem to matter. Interesting.....

Sayai jin1703d ago

@johndoe, I would have enjoyed TLOU the same if the graphics weren't long as the game play was the same. Bad comparison.

johndoe112111703d ago (Edited 1703d ago )

@Sayai jin

You did not answer the question I asked. Please read my post again. I asked how enjoyable the game would be if it had MINECRAFT graphics. If your answer to that question is "just as much" then you could probably look at a career in politics or become a lawyer.

Sayai jin1703d ago

@johndoe- theres no reason for childish comments or putdowns. You are asking a question about two games that were already released. We all know how good the graphics are in's the same if I were to ask anyone what if Metal Gear Solid, halo ,etc had graphics like MineCraft. Those games along with TLOU are synonymous with their art style, game play, and graphics. Or, what if I were to ask the people that love MineCraft would they want the game to have graphics on the game like TLOU. BTW, I am on my second established career, no need for me to look anywhere.

johndoe112111703d ago

@Sayai jin

My comment was neither childish nor a put down. My simple point was if someone says that they would have enjoyed TLOU just as much if it had minecraft graphics they would be lying through their teeth.

So far you have not said anything to disprove my points, all you've done is continuously answered questions I have not asked and maneuvered around my question without actually disputing it.

Sayai jin1703d ago

@JohnDoe- When did I say that I would enjoy TLOU the same if it had MineCraft graphics? I'll wait. Heed your own advice and read my comment again. I said...I would still had enjoyed TLOU even if it did not have stellar graphics.

johndoe112111702d ago


Are you serious??? I asked that question dude and you answered a question I did not ask. Seriously???????

Sayai jin1702d ago

@johndoe - All I can say is, wow. You can lead a horse to water, but you can not make it drink.

Back on topic, every element of a game is important; albeit plot, graphics, voice acting, game play, etc and in not particular order.

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Sayai jin1703d ago

Whether or not they are, it's quite childish to see people are over it. Depends on who you ask. Go back a few generations and this trend continues. The same goes for how important sales are and which console multi-plats look better on.

Just enjoy gaming.

Chris5581703d ago

I think gameplay should be top priority but graphics are aswell important

Magicite1703d ago

I agree that graphics ARE important, yet I look back at PSOne and PS2 greatest hits and see how they are head and shoulders above many current hits in terms of gameplay, plot and even soundtracks.

webeblazing1703d ago

like its always important until pc gamers enter the conversation? people should at least try to be consistent on this site.

graphics are important to a certain extent i think it comes down to the type of game it is. i played a lot of games that wasnt really graphical the only ones that i even cared to want better gfx was the one that would become more immersive because of the graphical improvement.

most people tout gfx because fanboy war bs, and would really care if it was multiplat or technically run the same with the great gfx. its all a contest to one up each other.

3-4-51703d ago

Graphics matter, but they are like 4th or 5th down on the list.

I've recently been playing a lot of older games that are MUCH more fun than 80% of what I've played over the past 4 years.

Around 2007-2008 games started becoming really souless and empty and just "checklisty"....

How the game plays and if it's fun and addicting matter much more than graphics.

Amount of content and art style + music matters more than graphics.

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DigitalRaptor1703d ago (Edited 1703d ago )

Anyone who says no, has an agenda.

If graphics didn't matter, there wouldn't be need for new consoles. If graphics didn't matter, PC gaming wouldn't be as big as it is. If graphics didn't matter, Microsoft wouldn't be desperately attempting to bring their console up to the PS4's level with their "driver updates" to try and compete. If graphics didn't matter, you wouldn't have need for them and therefore you wouldn't be able to see the game you're playing.

When we see a game for the first time, how it looks is the very, very first impression that is made. Graphics aren't the be-all or end-all, but if they weren't important, every game that came out would be 8-bit.

Graphics + gameplay + art style + fun factor, are not mutually exclusive. Our industry is growing and improvements across the board are ALWAYS important. Curiosity and talent in this industry will always propel graphical potential forward.

miyamoto1703d ago (Edited 1703d ago )

Its 2014 and people still ask this dumb question!

Without graphics how would you show a video game in the first place?
Without graphics how would you show how a video game is played?
Without graphics how would video games progress and improve as a medium of art, entertainment and storytelling?

Imagine movies and television stuck back in black and white, or The Lord of the Rings still stuck with hand drawn animation?

You can't undermine the importance of video game graphics just to justify or damage control a certain company's shortcomings.

A video game is like an airplane with a pair wings in order to function and fly. That is why its called "video' 'game'. Video and gameplay are equally essential and important.

Video graphics and gameplay ever improving together is a sign of a healthy, vibrant, progressing video game industry.

Just look at mobile gaming sector of iOS & Android they have no time to ask this dumb question because it needs to make progress at a very fast rate to compete with console and pc gaming; no politics from apologists. just trying to progress as quick as possible.

When mobile gaming catches up with consoles and pc in terms of graphics then you'll learn that graphics and gameplay are both important.

ChickeyCantor1703d ago

Mate, those are some really dumb questions. You kinda missed the context here.

With that said, coming back to this debate of 2006, it's getting tiresome.

Fizzgig1703d ago

The original Clash of the Titans movie is far better than the CGI'd up remake and its sequel. Some of the greatest movies ever put to film are black & white so I fail to see your point. Graphics do not make a great game. There are far more important aspects that go into a game, such as story and characters etc. Graphics just make it shiny.

irepbtown1703d ago

I partly agree with your answer, however the CGI makes it look more realistic (sometimes). Are the two new Clash of the Titan films better than the old? No, however the old one looks really bad visually. I like the film never the less.

Look at a film like Gravity, it is one hell of a film. CGI can do wonders, however sometimes they can ruin a film.

MasterCornholio1703d ago (Edited 1703d ago )

Depends on who you are. But in my opinion I believe that gameplay is more important than graphics however I also believe that you can have both in a game. The myth that good games have terrible graphics is completely false and has been proven wrong many times in the past before.

Spore_7771703d ago

Ikr! I get that a lot!

Me: brilliant gameplay, great story

Brodude: shit graphics?

Are_The_MaDNess1703d ago

nope, not to me. still playing FTL, Dota 2, Heartstone, Prison Architect and Skyrim :D