Last time you were impressed by graphics?

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I was just considering giving my HD capable TV to my mother because I'm happy with my old standard TV to play games, and I realized that graphics have not meant much for me for a while. I wondered if it's just an age thing or that game graphics have just plateaued.

What was the last game where you were genuinely impressed by the graphics? - to the point where they were almost the main reason you enjoyed the game (or reason you started playing in the first place). Or that they made you want to show the game to a friend.

Back in the day I remember being impressed by Rastan Saga, Mortal Kombat II and Killer Instinct. More recently I enjoyed Pikmin, Rogue Leader, Panzer Dragoon Zwei. But the last time I remember actually thinking something was graphically impressive was riding down a hill toward a big city in Assassin's Creed. That was 2007.

It seems these days I'm only impressed by art direction (Rez, Shadow of the Colossus, Halo 2, Parappa the Rapper, Katamari Damacy, Mass Effect 2, Team Fortress 2, Minecraft, Left for Dead 2). But actual graphics... not since 2007.

EDIT (for those that asked) - I do have consoles, almost all of them through the years. I've also done a lot of PC gaming (was impressed by Myst, and Doom II back in the day (not so much Quake or Rise of the Robots)). I worked for a PC company at one point and we had access to top of the line gaming PCs. But I'm starting to think it's an age thing for me. I used to be impressed by nearly every game. I would show them to my friends or just marvel at simple things like moths around a streetlight in the background of a game. These days I'm only concerned by art direction (aesthetics) or gameplay. (It's also an age thing that I don't have as many friends any more).

floppylobster:

What was the last game where you were genuinely impressed by the graphics? - to the point where they were almost the main reason you enjoyed the game (or reason you started playing in the first place). Or that they made you want to show the game to a friend.

This will sound kind of weird and cynical, but...every single time I get new glasses. Seriously.

(All you glasses wearing types out there, I know you know this is true!)

Rage.

I just got Rage a few days ago and it is a very pretty game...also, the physics/animations of people getting shot is pretty freaking sweet.

I didn't buy the game for that reason but it's still ever so sweet looking.

Witcher 2 - stunning looking game.

Skyrim (despite the low rez textures) still looks great when you climb to the top of a mountain and look around view maxed settings.

tippy2k2:
Rage.

I just got Rage a few days ago and it is a very pretty game...also, the physics/animations of people getting shot is pretty freaking sweet.

I didn't buy the game for that reason but it's still ever so sweet looking.

Definitely Rage. The game overall was fairly average but goddamn were those graphics sweet.

In the OP it sounds like you are talking about consoles, then at the end it says "haven't been impressed since 2007...", which is coincidentally near the beginning of this console generation. It kind of makes sense that "graphics have plateaued" if you've been on the same console for 5 years.

Skyrim after I tweaked it a bit. That game can be absolutely stunning.

Uh... Can we please get a definition between graphics and aesthetics down here kthx? I don't get impressed by graphics "Oh shit look at the fucking L33T texture quality on that wall! That shit is hype yo!"

/dick mode

Okami, Persona 4 and Deus Ex: Human Resources are the ones that spring to mind. Okami's awesome watercolours on the PS2 are far more impressive than most of the stuff on current gen console/PCs

Persona 4 is Persona 4, I don't need to gush over it here. Epic Yellow activate

Apologies to anyone who has been blinded by this post

And Deus Ex's gold/black palette is cool but might start to get old for quite a few people. Gold and black are quite odd colours to base an entire game around I think.

Rage is one of the best looking games I've played. Period. It's a combination of artistic design and the raw power of the technology behind it.

Mass Effect 3, jaw-dropping vistas that left me stunned.

Or do you mean purely from a technical standpoint? Crysis 2 then I guess?

Witcher 2, on High setting it looked better than all of my other games.

Skyrim, in terms of sheer scale not much can topple it, if anything

Ocarina of Time 3D...
Just look at the difference.
image
It's gorgeous. And sun rises and sunsets and playing songs are beautiful

IN 3D!

In terms of visuasl that impressed me, I'd say the following games in rough reverse-order:

Resident Evil: Revelations
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Super Street Fight IV 3D
Crysis 2

The problem people have today is that they expect to be blown away by "good graphics" to the same degree that Metal Gear Solid, Super Mario 64 or Resident Evil blew them away. It's impossible.
The last time I was utterly left speechless by visuals was Doom 3 when it was first shown off. That those kinds of shadows and effects were possible left me breathless; bump mapping, realtime lighting, blur effects - Doom 3 did things I thought we'd never see.

Now, I know we'll get to photorealistic levels eventually. It's just a matter of time. While graphics might be "good", they'll be "Doom 3 good" to me again. It's a once in a life time moment - and after it, you can be impressed, but never blown away.

I'm not so much impressed by graphics as I am by interesting art styles. Oh sure, I recognise that a photo-realistic game is an amazing technical achievement, but I'm much more drawn to things like Wind Waker, de Blob, 3D Dot Game Heroes... Things that look unique.

If it is pure graphical horsepower you're after though, the last game to make me gasp on graphics alone was Little Big Planet 2. The textures in that game are beautifully done.

With actual graphical fidelity... that would be Crysis 1, the rest was a yawn fest but those graphics were jawbusting, everyone that came after just made a decent attempt to reach their crown.

But overall aesthetics the last would be Journey, so clear, so fluid, so beautiful.
They just really went all out to make every moment look like a canvas painting.

Half-life 2 is one of the few games that I can think of where my immediate reaction was less "it looks good, but not as good as people seem to be making it out" and more "wow, that actually is pretty good."

I'll go with the Rage card as well. Short and repetative game, but fuck me was it great looking.

Battlefield 3? Anyone? Anyone at all? No?

The last two games I played that blew me away in terms of visuals were both sequels, go figure, and they were:

Trine 2 and The Witcher 2

Absolutely gorgeous, both of them. Trine 2 left me stunned pretty much the entire time I was playing it with my friends, and Witcher 2 was amazing enough that even on the medium settings I was playing on I was constantly stopping just to stare in awe at the games environments and character models.

GimpyGimli:
Battlefield 3? Anyone? Anyone at all? No?

I was amazingly unimpressed by the beta, so haven't actually got the full game yet. It didn't look anywhere near as pretty as I expected.

Am not sure if that changed dramatically in the full game.

Btw, another vote for DXHR art style wise. Really great aesthetically.

The graphics? ... Crysis and Far Cry 2. Oh and Resistance 3!

Just Cause 2 as well, but only for the view of the island when you're freefalling from 5 kilometer altitude.

Graphics never impressed me. All about the art style and aesthetics, brother. In that sense, Journey is a very beautiful game, and I WAS in fact blown away by the first trailer.

Mr.K.:
With actual graphical fidelity... that would be Crysis 1, the rest was a yawn fest but those graphics were jawbusting, everyone that came after just made a decent attempt to reach their crown.

But overall aesthetics the last would be Journey, so clear, so fluid, so beautiful.
They just really went all out to make every moment look like a canvas painting.

Same here and before that i think it was UT 2004. Recently Skyrim (modded), witcher 2 and BF 3 on ultra settings look very nice (BF 3 on ultra is quite amazing); but I get more impressed by games like Rayman, Guild Wars 2 and DotA 2 attention to the detail and aestetic identity.

Zeh Don:
In terms of visuasl that impressed me, I'd say the following games in rough reverse-order:

Resident Evil: Revelations
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Super Street Fight IV 3D
Crysis 2

The problem people have today is that they expect to be blown away by "good graphics" to the same degree that Metal Gear Solid, Super Mario 64 or Resident Evil blew them away. It's impossible.
The last time I was utterly left speechless by visuals was Doom 3 when it was first shown off. That those kinds of shadows and effects were possible left me breathless; bump mapping, realtime lighting, blur effects - Doom 3 did things I thought we'd never see.

Now, I know we'll get to photorealistic levels eventually. It's just a matter of time. While graphics might be "good", they'll be "Doom 3 good" to me again. It's a once in a life time moment - and after it, you can be impressed, but never blown away.

i was utterly speachless at mdoern warfare 2's graphics, then infamous's graphics, then Skyrims... i was unimpressed even as a child by the graphics of those other games.. but i must be a rare exception to that....also that counts for me saying when i was last impressed by graphics..that would be skyrim.

Journey

Its bewtoofull...

Good aesthetic design > graphical horsepower, any day of the week.

Graphics wise? I dunno, crysis?

Aesthetics? Anything that looks painted/cel-shaded. LoL, Borderlands, Bastion, Journey, all look freaking fantastic to me.

Vegosiux:
This will sound kind of weird and cynical, but...every single time I get new glasses. Seriously.

(All you glasses wearing types out there, I know you know this is true!)

Sort of, but it only works that way for me in real life (holy crap, I can make out the individual leaves on that tree!), it doesn't make as much of a difference for me when I play games, partly because I'm mostly a PC gamer and at that proximity everything's fairly clear.

And last time I was complete wowed by the graphics would be Journey I guess? Haven't played it myself but man, those trailers are amazing. Before that would be the first Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm because I was honestly hard pressed to tell whether or not screenshots were real or just 2D drawings.

I'm not one to be overly concerned with graphics but there have been times when a game's graphics have taken my breath away.

Last time would of been Uncharted 2. I'd just bought my PS3 and was recommended Uncharted 2 by a friend of mine who is very much into the graphical presentation of games. And I was really was taken back by how good the graphics were, before this I'd been gaming on my laptop which is low spec and not really suited for games, so the ps3 was a step up for me.

Now I've most likely played better looking games since then, but Uncharted 2 was the last time a game graphics really wowed me as such.

Crysis in 2007 (I built a new PC for this, spent about 550€ on a graphics card or thereabouts)
Witcher 2 and Battlefield 3 in 2011 (upgraded a few components, also got a new graphics card especially for BF3)

I'm still waiting for a game or some games that'll make me spend money on a completely new PC, you hear that NVIDIA/Intel? image

Oh yeah btw., a Zelda game as played on the Wii with only SD output and played on a PC in glorious HD (Dolphin Emu):

image

Sandjube:
Graphics wise? I dunno, crysis?

Aesthetics? Anything that looks painted/cel-shaded. LoL, Borderlands, Bastion, Journey, all look freaking fantastic to me.

Another one for Bastion here. I played that toward the end of last year, and along with everything else about it being completely awesome, I really liked the visual style of it. I started playing DE:HR more recently, and even though I can max it out on my PC I'm not really all that thrilled by it in comparison, unlike several other people in this thread. Bastion was the most recent standout before that, I guess.

Just in terms of graphics and "ooh, shiny!" factor instead of aesthetics and art style though, pretty much everything since I got a new video card a couple months ago and can run almost every game I own with every setting turned all the way up, with only a couple exceptions. I spent several days forcing SSAA on games for the hell of it just because I could. Heh.

Zhukov:
Journey

Quite...<.<

OT:

- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call Of Pripyat (2012 Complete Mod...)

Absolutely beautiful... really sells the illusion of a living breathing radiation covered world...

- Metro 2033...

truly great art design and atmosphere building... truly visually griping...

Battlefield 3 Beta on PC. The leaves. *sniffle* They were so amazing.

Just Cause 2.

I don't even have that good of a laptop (alienware mx15), and most games I run on medium/low for optimal performance....

BUT HOLY CRAP DOES THE GAME LOOK INCREDIBLE

Vegosiux:

This will sound kind of weird and cynical, but...every single time I get new glasses. Seriously.

(All you glasses wearing types out there, I know you know this is true!)

Oh yeah, putting on my glasses really improves everything.
As for the last game that did that to me, BF3 Max settings PC. The lighting engine in that... I love it.

Crysis, that's about it.
Sure there are many really really good out there, Witcher 2, Crysis 2, Metro 2033, Battlefield 3, Trine 2 (for what it is) but they didn't make me go woooooooow like Crysis did.

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