The Uncanny Valley: Is Photo-Realism a Holy Grail of Video-Games?

Photo-realism is technically marvellous but video games should be proud to be a form of animation. Real life can be drab, video games shouldn't have to be.

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starchild30d ago

I think highly detailed stylized graphics are usually more enjoyable to me than pure photorealism.

Master-Tonberry30d ago

Totally agree, a consistent style and expressive animation is more important than photo realistic detail.

ChristianReggieWait30d ago

Both have their benefits dependant on the style of the game!

LucasRuinedChildhood30d ago

A game can be both photo-realistic and have a great art style, even if it isn't "stylized" like BOTW.

30d ago
Tross29d ago (Edited 29d ago )

True. One thing I always appreciated about the Uncharted games is that even though they were prime examples of graphical fidelity for their time, the devs at Naughty Dog were clearly not afraid to crank up the colours for some environments. Sure, we got unnaturally vibrant blue waters at times, and unnaturally vibrant green leaves, but the Uncharted games have aged much better from an aesthetic standpoint than a lot of other games from their era. That's not the only touch they added to make their games pleasing to look at in addition to being detailed either.

Tross29d ago

I agree. There are plenty of art styles out there. The best attempt at realism that the current technology of a given time period allows is just one such option, and it tends to age worse than the others for a couple reasons. One is that it only looks "beautiful" until another game comes along that looks even closer to the apparent goal of photo realism.

More to the point though, devs who take a stab at photo realism often focus more on the details than other aspects of the game's overall aesthetic, and can easily forget to make it visually appealing as well. At least we have since passed the era where a number of devs had a form of colour blindness that made them unable to see much in the way of colour. At least that's what I'm assuming was the case since real life does have colour, and a great deal of it.

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GreenDragonCVR30d ago

Great and agreeable article thank you

anonymousfan30d ago

I actually bothered reading it after reading your comment and I agree it's a good read with so many interesting points. Reality can indeed be a drab. I would love to see Naughty Dog return to a cartoony style even for just one game.

I find a lot of Nintendo games age really well due to artstyle regardless of weaker hardware.

FreeFallFrenzy30d ago

I'm more excited for Kena than I am Spider-Man. Love the style it gives off. Photo-realism isn't really a necessity if the game is amazing to play!

anonymousfan30d ago

@FreeFallFrenzy totally more excited about Kena too! Besides we need more new IPs

generic-user-name30d ago

If a developer wants to go for realism then that is their choice and I respect it and I'm tired of the snobs looking down their nose at them for that choice. I am always more impressed by ways in which visuals become more 'real' than with something like a BotW where the art style is less detailed so a Nintendo console can run it.

ChristianReggieWait30d ago

I hope that's not the impression you get from the article, assuming you've read it? Both have their good points 😸

generic-user-name29d ago

No no, I know this wasn't the articles point, but it is something I've noticed any time I see criticism of realism in games.

anonymousfan30d ago

I am totally more impressed by realistic graphics too! As far as benchmarks go I feel they really push hardware and technology to its limits. That is really what I expect from a next gen machine too... And a few CGI quality games like say Ratchet and Clank. I think realism is perfect for games that aim at immersion. Cant wait for the next TES game and that is one I hope they go for realistic graphics with facial tracking and animations as well as photogrammetry for the environments.

However I still feel there is a lot of room for fun and colorful Nintendo-style games too. Sometimes I actually think the artstyle helps the gameplay by making things more contrasty at the cost of realism. Like spotting targets in Borderlands vs Battlefield... :) just my 2 cents.

generic-user-name29d ago

I agree there is plenty of room for both, it's just too often I see criticism of a developers choice to go for realism without acknowledging that going for realism pushes the tech to it's limits whereas a nice visual style can be much easier to achieve. I appreciate seeing individual bear hairs or veins under the skin moving realistically, even the horse balls in RDR2 shrinking in cold weather, that stuff is amazing.

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