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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Do Graphics Matter?

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117 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/03/09
Posts: 3

11/21/12 3:54:01 AM#81
Graphics are important to me, but not the whole enchilata. The graphics need to be good to get me interested in taking a look, to get me to TRY the game. But FANTASTIC graphics won't keep me playing unless both gameplay and story are also good. Eye candy makes it nice to look at, but the other two give me a reason to play the game for more than one or two sessions.

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 1294

11/21/12 4:15:23 AM#82

I think many feel the same way I do.  Darkfall's graphics were dated and became a negative point for the game.  I'm surprised how good they made it look in screenshots, but I suppose even a monkey throwing a bucket of paint at wall passes for art these days.  I am interested to see if they actually improve it with their expansion, but not interested enough to pay for it.  World of Warcraft has become a middle-ground for graphics.  Polygon counts are low enough that most low-end computers can run it, yet WoW has "fluff" graphics options that can be turned way up to make the game look sharper than it was originally designed to be.  Games that push the graphics limits of computers don't impress me if I can't run the thing.  Guild Wars 2 did a good job of catering to mid-powered machines while having a beautiful world for high-end machines.


The main thing to realize is that graphics alone don't make a game good.  Without good graphics, your game won't sell as well.  Without a unique art style, your game may as well be called a WoW clone or clone of some other game.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/17/09
Posts: 189

11/21/12 5:43:20 AM#83

Graphics - NO

Artstyle - YES


Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/08
Posts: 4889

11/21/12 6:01:07 AM#84

Well this is something you have to look at logically. The better graphics became the more gamers expected. They wanted bigger and better with each new game. When game play began taking a hit in leu of graphics the shift began. We have seen some pretty stunning visuals from games as of late, but the new complaint is gameplay has taken to huge of a hit. Aside from that the bigger and better as far as graphics go has slowed to a crawl. 

As with all things the preference shifts. Gamers want bigger and better depending on whats lacking at the moment. Back in the days of the old metal gear games the game play was good but the graphics were lacking, so people clamored for better graphics. In the more recent releases of Metal Gear the graphics have been superb but the gameplay was a bit lacking so gamers clamored for better game play. 


People will always want bigger and better, what that is depends entirely on whats lacking at the time. Gameplay and graphics will forever go back in forth in whats more important depending on whats available. High end graphics but low in game play, gamers will demand better graphics. Game play happens to be whats lacking currently which is why gameplay has taken priority for most gamers at this point in time. 

  User Deleted
11/21/12 9:08:52 AM#85
Yes and no. Some say WoW is to dated for them graphically but can you find a better experience ? On the flip side when I'm playing Skyrim, the graphics matter greatly. I guess if its immersion your after graphics matter the most, but if its gameplay then not so much because there are other qualities a game must have before " modern " graphics come in to play --- see World of Warcraft, League of Legends.
Wouldn't both be nice ? Yes but gameplay comes first and no one is getting it right at the moment. See GW2

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/03/09
Posts: 430

If DaoC was so fun why don't you just play it?

11/21/12 9:17:26 AM#86
What can I say, look matters but a great peronality conquers all.

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/21/12 9:23:41 AM#87
Originally posted by orbitxo

for me-yes-iam a graphic designer!-details details details!!

for some friends -no.-they are coders.

-go figure. apple dosent fall too far from the tree.


It's amazing how many gamers are so intimately familiar the architecture and capability of various GPUs...

I speak a different language.  "Will my machine play this game? Yes? Ok then."

Now art styles--everyone with working eyes is qualified to be an amateur art critic.  (omg I get paid to do this stuff, you will respekt my authoritye!)  But don't try to sell your street cred on teh internetz, particularly not with so many eager to offer up free opinions.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/13/11
Posts: 165

11/21/12 9:51:08 AM#88
Gameplay matters more but nice visuals are like those crunchy rainbow colored sprinkle thingies on the top of ice cream cake...yum!

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/07
Posts: 1467

Celebrated pariah of

11/21/12 12:37:54 PM#89

An illustration of:

Poor graphics for today's standards but stellar gameplay even for today's standards.

Decent graphics for today's standards but awful gameplay.

Some developers have even tried to re-imagine an old series with updated graphics and have failed.. If the gameplay is not good, the graphics wouldn't matter anyway..

This is what happens when an age old formula of good gameplay meets traditional but updated graphics. (done right imo)


Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

11/21/12 12:46:43 PM#90

Dealing with zero sum game. Yes it does matter.   

STILL graphics should not make gameplay worse or limit it too much. 

Graphics in mmorpg's years ago were average at best, because putting top graphics would hamper gameplay and game design.   That's one of reasons we see so much instancing and zoning nowadays.   I dont want to play mmorpg to experience bleeding edge graphics, cinematics and experience 'zone copying' or too much instancing.


So yeah graphics DO matter, but they are not on first place in importance in mmorpg and they should not try to rival best graphical single player games like they sometimes do now.


Elite Member

Joined: 10/15/11
Posts: 804

11/21/12 1:17:40 PM#91

Of course graphics matter, I wouldn't be playing wow if not for the great graphics........which tends to show that they don't matter that much, go figure.

To me, they would only be the deciding factor if there where two equal games, and I had to pick one.

Look at one of the stand out games in terms of graphics (and environment) - Tera. No amount of visual fluff is going to make up for other dificiencies in a game. All it means is that it will look prettier when it bombs.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/28/10
Posts: 48

11/21/12 3:12:42 PM#92
Graphics matter if gameplay is mediocre at best.. Recent example: Diablo 3. Dated graphics for 2012 coupled with poor gameplay = failure.. D3 would have been more successful despite all its shortcomings if it had high quality graphics.

Me personally I'll take amazing gameplay any day.. Fallout 1 and 2 and Baldur's Gate 2 can run circles around nearly any rpg made in the last 10 years in terms of gameplay. These days games tend to rely heavily on graphics and gameplay is an afterthought.

Novice Member

Joined: 3/27/09
Posts: 35

11/21/12 7:28:30 PM#93

Yes it matters. I spend all this money on video cards and you think i'm going to spend my time on game that didn't even take the time to update its graphics engine.. lol hell no..

Let me yell you something I have tried to play other games besides wow that were made when wow was made. Runescape, Everquest 1 and 2 and a few others. I just can't get inter them at all. I spend 5 mins in game then i exit out. It looks like crap. The game can have best game play but if it does not look good i will not play it.. The first thing that we gamers see is the graphics and the UI. Its the first thing.

When you guys were lil kids do you remember when your mother or grandmother told you to always make sure the area near the front door needs to be clean at all times. The kitchen needs to look nice at all times.. Thats usually the first thing that a visitors see's...If it looks like crap they won't come in. There have been times when i got to people homes and it look like crap in teh front. Do you think i go any where near that home? Hell no.. I keep walking away..

The thing that bothers me the most is that the games that we made in Wow time would be one of the best games to day if they kept there game up to date. If they did a graphics and UI over hual it would revive the game. That is all they have to do. Why do game complanies think there game is dead after 4 to 5yrs? A game should always be updated. Every 2yrs the graphics needs to touched up. It needs to stay freshed if you want to stay competivie. Look at WoW.. OMG how times has it updated its graphics? Added things to its UI. They really don't need to do anything with th UI because the whole thing can be modded by the community. best feature ever..When I play wow I use LUI UI mod and it changes the ui alot. It doesn't even look like Wow anymore. Everything is transparent and it looks good.

These are little things that can be done to old games to bring them back.. If you have to rebuild the game zone by zone.  

i want to play Everquest and a few other gamesso bad. i have heard so much good things about them. But they need to do something about there game.. When players stop playing your game there is a reason why... If you as a dev do not play your own game there is a reason why.....


Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/09
Posts: 1327

Not Safe For Woona (NSFW)

11/21/12 9:37:20 PM#94
For me, graphics arent everything, but they are a big part. I absolutely hate the old pixalated junk, especially if they gameplay is anything less than superb.

Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/12
Posts: 78

11/22/12 1:21:10 AM#95

For me gameplay is the most important aspect of a game. The visuals and presentation can cover up flaws in the game design and mechanics to a certain extend and still make it worthwile to play, but if the gameplay is exceptional well envisioned and implemented, graphics are secondary.

Bioshock is an example for the first scneario, the world, story, characters and design was spectacular, as was the engine, but at the bottom of it the actual shooter mechanics were medicore and the difficulty curve throughout the game was declining. In the end it was still a good game, the presentation saved what otherwise would have been an standard FPS. Dishonored and Anmesia (or the similar Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth) are examples of so-so (outdated) visuals but eceptional flawless gameplay. Sometimes the presentation is not enough to cover up a flawed gameplay, like in Final Fantasy XIII, the production value is top, but the gameplay way to limited and simplistic to be engaging, result is a medicore game.

Only in rare cases both gameplay and visuals are reaching the same hights and deliver an unforgetable experience, like in the God of War series, or Crysis 1 and 2 for the Shooter side of things.

For MMO's the same rules apply...


Novice Member

Joined: 5/03/12
Posts: 294

This is like trying to drive straight through Schroedinger's minefield!

11/22/12 1:54:32 AM#96

To me, good graphics along with good gameplay mechanics alone don't make a game worthwhile. If the style and concept of design however are well thought out and have kept true to an inherent artistic vision... then I'm able to overlook technical shortcomings or shortcomings to what's considered "modern" in games nowadays.

My best example of this would be GW2, where - though technically the graphics are considered a bit old~ish - the art style and evident creativity in design make me stop and stare on a regular basis. (Dierdre's Steps f.e.)


Novice Member

Joined: 11/21/12
Posts: 198

11/22/12 4:00:42 AM#97
The content has to be right for years i played EQ2 and WOW but lost interest in WOW when they nerfed the game (all my gear was useless in less than an hour when wrath of lich king came out) there has to be enough to do when you reach max lvl for me this is where EQ2 excells you can build up your guild or improve your house as well as raids etc etc ,but onto the graphic side of things have been playing gw2 and this mmo is all about exploration eg find waypoints vistas etc if the graphics werent so good the game would be average at best tho they are adding content all the time so expect this game to improve .I totally agree with an earlier post that said that games are to easy but what bothers me most are games being nerfed (lets make the game pretty and the gameplay easier)  anyway im rambling now one final point tho if Avatar hadnt looked so awesome and lets be honest nothing original about the storyline would it have been the highest grossing film of all time NO
  User Deleted
11/22/12 4:29:21 AM#98
I would still be playing SWTOR if it looked as good as GW2.

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/30/04
Posts: 1268

11/22/12 9:46:11 AM#99

Graphic matters.

If my Eyes burn me out of my  skull from bad Graphic/Art i simply can not play the best game.

Graphics must be good!

But good does not mean State of the Art of Technology.

It must simply be good enough to keep my immersion alive and give me moments of visual wonder.

I can totally play Minecraft, enjoy it and feel in world bcs the Art/Graphic fits the game and is good enough.

ISO-Graphic ages much less bad that 3D-Graphic but any game with at least the quality of a 2004 game like VTMB is good enough to play.

WOW in the other case has as well bad Graphic as bad Art too and cant be fixed for me - MMOs like DDO, Lotro, Daoc, Perfect World have a much much better look with almost the same or even more years than WOW.

Which in the end makes proof that taste is...not to define...and bad Art/Graphic in the end is not that game breaking.

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/22/05
Posts: 358

11/22/12 4:40:00 PM#100

I think graphics matter to some extent - but very few games fall below my personal minimum requirements these days.

Graphics should look halfway realistic and come with decent resolutions, so you can recognize things in the game world at some distance. IMHO that quality level was reached around 2000, with games like Half-Life 1 and Deus Ex. Anything better is a bonus but I think it gets into diminishing returns fast.

In recent years, even titles from minor studios and indie developers usually reach or exceed Half-Life 1 graphics quality. Many obscure asian MMO grinders actually look better than HL1 (but they suck in other ways ). Minecraft could use a modest graphics enhancement, but otherwise I can't think of a 3D game that really sucks in terms of graphics. Usually the deficiencies in game play are much worse than those in graphics.

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