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Reader Comments (8)

Posted: Mar 21st 2008 10:03AM (Unverified) said

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In my mind it's not just a question of artistic taste, but realistic expectations of what people's PC hardware is. If WoW was a hardcore strain on PC hardware you would have seen people either grin and bear it or upgrade in order to be able to play. Keeping it colorful, but low quality made it appealing but also kept the requirements low.

Age of Conan looks like they are trying to catch the eyes of hardcore gamers with serious rigs who want some oompff in the graphics department. It will be interesting to see if that sirloin taste dissuades prospective MMO subscribers from pulling up a chair and eating.

http://arstechnica.com/journals/thumbs.ars/2008/03/11/age-of-conan-system-requirements-revealed

Posted: Mar 21st 2008 8:24AM Scopique said

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A lot of games benefit from more realistic graphics. I appreciate the realistic style in LotRO, but despise the "Playskool" style of WoW. On the other hand, I prefer the Wind Waker Zelda over other versions. It lends it certain charm which touches on the old school version.

Games which feel the need to portray "realism" should trend towards realistic styles. GoW, CoD series, EVE and so on, are good examples. Games which wish to portray a more detached and unfamiliar setting have more leeway, like Wind Waker and WoW.

Posted: Mar 21st 2008 10:54AM (Unverified) said

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After reading the WoW comic, I would love it if Warcraft was cell shaded. Its semi cartoonish now, in a way thats always bugged me.

Like why for example do all the Horde men (except for Blood Elves) have such bad posture? Why do humans and Night Elves have such big hands in proportion to the rest of their bodies?

Granted a cell shaded WoW would mean the epic gear would probably not look so epic, but I'm sure with the right artists that too can be overcome.

Posted: Mar 21st 2008 11:07AM (Unverified) said

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I think it's totally up to the nature of the game. I think Psychonauts benefitted from the artstyle, as did McGee's Alice.

My problem with WoW graphics aren't that they're cartoony, it's that they're low poly and low fidelity. I wouldn't mind the style if I could crank up the textures a bit so it was smooth and crisp.

On the other hand. If having realistic games like Crysis means we can't play them with any features turned up unless we lag to death, that's a bane, also.

Posted: Mar 21st 2008 11:38AM breezer said

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I don't think it matters as long as a game has some kind of artistic point of view.

Take games like Everquest, and Vanguard. These games have no distinctive style at all whatsoever, and I think they suffer for it. It takes away from immersiveness, and make it feel less fantastic.

I'm not the biggest fan of WoW's goofy/cartoony art style, but at least it has a style. It has a distinct point of view that's uniquely WoW.

Final Fantasy XI is another game with a more subtle style, but a very dedicated and, again, DISTINCT art style that makes the world more believable without being "realistic"

Posted: Mar 21st 2008 3:04PM Ghen said

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realistic please, but not dark and depressing.

Posted: Mar 21st 2008 3:52PM (Unverified) said

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I agree with breezer .. each game should have it's own style. I think it adds something when you can look at a screenshot and identify the game from the style of artwork.

Posted: Mar 21st 2008 5:26PM (Unverified) said

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Good article and worthy of much discussion. Your two Link examples are good, but to have a better discussion on this I would recommend showing a game (it would be innappropriate for me to mention a particular one) which tries very hard to mimic reality. This is where the problem occurs in many games, because if it looks real but is a bit off (detectable possibly only the subconscious level), we often will describe it as "creepy." If, however, the artists purposely put in features which exxagerate reality (such as link's large eyes, long ears, and bright tones), then it becomes not only more acceptable, but more enjoyable. By the way this is called Uncanny Valley - you can google it.

WoW is a great example of a game which uses great texturing and incredible coloring to create a beautiful and desirable effect (well to most of 10 million subscribers at least). Other benefits of course is being able to use well-constructed low-poly models to increase their audience.

Robert
www.boohagstudios.com

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