#1776546, By style The Three Pillars of HD Era Gaming...

  • style 4 Nov 2006 13:51:56 416 posts
    Registered 12 years ago
    After my experience with the Xbox 360 version of Fifa 07, I felt compelled to fire a shot across the bows of those who feel that all the 'HD Era' consoles have to offer is tarted up graphics. From where I'm standing, there are three main pillars upon which they stand:

    Look governs the visual fidelity of the game, and the immersiveness of its world. It is not solely confined to realistic visuals either. In the last generation, cel shading was made possible. Who knows what graphical and stylistic techniques will be powered in this. And despite what the naysayers would have you believe, graphics are a very important part of how enjoyable a game is. Maybe not a defining factor by itself, as the Grand Theft Auto III games proved, but it is very important.

    Feel governs physics, interaction and movement. How a game is played, basically. Gaming is an interactive medium, so the way in which you connect with the game world is of utmost importance. The recent Gran Turismo games are a pertinent example of this mantra, as their ability to improve upon the momentum and load distribution of the cars led to a more tactile and involving game than was had in the PSone games.

    Play is a pretty vague tenet, that covers the experience one has with the game. This comes down to multiple criteria. Level design, story. Even graphics and physics. More specifically, I'm referring to AI. Most games see you face off against some form of sentient opponent, so how they react and respond to you will play a significant part in how you react and respond to them, and thus enjoy the game. This is an area where Halo excelled back in the day, being one of the first console shooters to offer up a truly dynamic and involving opponent.

    To tie all this into a specific point of relevance, my experience with Fifa showed me one thing. With regards the second pillar, Feel, it is light years ahead of any football game ever made.

    Now, it is important to note that I still believe Pro Evolution Soccer 6, a last gen game, to be better. Have a look in the thread entitled "Fifa 07", around page 23/24, to see all my thoughts on the two games. Powerful consoles do not automatically lead to better games. A PlayStation 2 and an Xbox 360 are just computers. Nothing more. It still takes a human to take advantage of each platforms strengths, meaning that one will not neccessarily supercede the other by default. That said, the point behind this thread is simple. You throw Fifa 07's physics engine into Pro Evolution Soccer 6, and you instantly have a game that just couldn't be made on the Xbox or PlayStation 2.

    And that's what this thread, ultimately, is all about. I learnt last night pretty definitively that HD Era gaming is not just about "pritty grafix". There are physics and AI possibilities that have yet to be exploited in a lot of games, because it's easier, cheaper and quicker to make good graphics than it is to revamp whole engines. However, as costs eventually come down, we should start to see these machine begin to justify themselves, as in the long run, they certainly have a lot more to offer than just better graphics.
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