The Old Republic and "Stylized Realism"

Game developers have the capability to make graphics look as close to real-life as ever, but straight realism isn't always the best route to take.

BioWare said in a newly-released trailer for its upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, that the studio won't be shooting for photo-realism in the game's graphics.

"Rather than approach the game, Star Wars: The Old Republic, from a harsh realism perspective, we want to create what we call 'stylized realism,'" explained Greg Zeschuk, co-founder of BioWare.

James Ohlen, studio creative director, added, "We went with stylized realism because we want to have a timeless quality to our art. We wanted to essentially be something that could fit into any era. We also wanted it to be very heroic."

One only has to look at stylized games like World of Warcraft as an example of art direction withstanding the test of time, despite technical leaps made since its introduction.

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