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(Wired)   The best game graphics of the past 20 years. DRM, always-on internet connection, slide-show not included   (wired.com) divider line 115
    More: Cool, DRM, video games, Super Mario World, Myst, Shadow of the Colossus, Donkey Kong, color palette, id Software  
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7177 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 May 2013 at 8:41 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-06 08:25:33 AM  
L.A. Noire instead of Skyrim? Total fail.  The sunsets and sky of Skyrim can be breathtaking.
 
2013-05-06 08:26:05 AM  
World of Warcraft? Although I've enjoyed this particular RTS and MMO franchise, their graphics have always been overly stylized for my tastes. WoW has always been cartoonish looking. And when the MMO was released, in my opinion their graphics were far sub-par compared to other games at the time. But then, this was done deliberately by Blizzard to make sure a large range of computers could run the game.

And a total fail for listing Minecraft as a honorable mention. Minecraft is played mainly for their game play mechanics and not for stellar graphics.
 
2013-05-06 08:50:56 AM  
I just realized Bioshock, Crysis, Mass Effect, and Portal all came out in the same year.  Damn good year for graphics.

/Still have my orange box around here somewhere
 
2013-05-06 08:51:42 AM  

SphericalTime: L.A. Noire instead of Skyrim? Total fail.  The sunsets and sky of Skyrim can be breathtaking.


What about Morrowind? It came out in 2002 and at the time was amazing looking.
 
2013-05-06 08:54:42 AM  
Completely missed Fade to Black/MDK/Morrowind...

List fails for being completely lacking in anything factually relevant whilst being heavily endowed with content from platforms designed from the ground up to be technologically redundant before release... ie, consoles...
 
2013-05-06 08:56:48 AM  

Cythraul: World of Warcraft? Although I've enjoyed this particular RTS and MMO franchise, their graphics have always been overly stylized for my tastes. WoW has always been cartoonish looking. And when the MMO was released, in my opinion their graphics were far sub-par compared to other games at the time. But then, this was done deliberately by Blizzard to make sure a large range of computers could run the game.

And a total fail for listing Minecraft as a honorable mention. Minecraft is played mainly for their game play mechanics and not for stellar graphics.


I have to disagree with you here.  The first time I went to Hillshire, I thought it was the prettiest area I had ever seen in a video game, and there were some very impressive zones visually.
 
2013-05-06 08:58:51 AM  
I see Journey made the list...DAMN I want to play that game, I was almost tempted to buy a PS3 just for that title alone.
 
2013-05-06 09:08:56 AM  

nulluspixiusdemonica: Completely missed Fade to Black/MDK/Morrowind...

List fails for being completely lacking in anything factually relevant whilst being heavily endowed with content from platforms designed from the ground up to be technologically redundant before release... ie, consoles...


When you look at the honorable mentions for 2002, it has games that were released in 2012. Bad editing. I suspect Morrowind would have got an honorable mention for that year.
 
2013-05-06 09:12:12 AM  
Practically growing up in the arcade, it blew my mind when I played Soul Calibur. It was the first time I played a game on a home console that looked better than the arcade version.
 
2013-05-06 09:12:15 AM  

RangerTaylor: The first time I went to Hillshire, I thought it was the prettiest area I had ever seen in a video game, and there were some very impressive zones visually.


Morrowind, released 2 years prior, sported superior visuals.

 Far Cry was released in the same year and still sports infinitely superior visuals...

Oblivion, released half a year later, knocks anything WoW can produce into a cocked hat - still.

WoW was always a cartoonish, low visual quality, gear-grind... hideous to look at but with surprising replay value, (for some).
 
2013-05-06 09:14:31 AM  
But Dig Dug is still the best bar video game, right?
 
2013-05-06 09:15:50 AM  
Anarchy Online still has the best weather effects/engine that I've ever seen.

As far as the article, Limbo is definitely remarkable partly because the graphics help make the game.  They mention SOTN as an honorable mention, but, really, it's one of the last great beautiful 2d side scrollers.
 
2013-05-06 09:16:31 AM  

nulluspixiusdemonica: Completely missed Fade to Black/MDK/Morrowind...

List fails for being completely lacking in anything factually relevant whilst being heavily endowed with content from platforms designed from the ground up to be technologically redundant before release... ie, consoles...


www.hollywoodreporter.com
The Master Race is full of whiny, entitled biatches.
 
2013-05-06 09:17:35 AM  
Ultima Underworld (1992) and Magic Carpet (1994) frown on the lack of their inclusion in the development of 3D worlds.
 
2013-05-06 09:18:03 AM  

SphericalTime: L.A. Noire instead of Skyrim? Total fail.  The sunsets and sky of Skyrim can be breathtaking.


This.

One of my most memorable visual experiences in gaming was seeing Whiterun for the first time after coming through the woods from Riverwood. I had cut off the road(where the wolf is at) and was a little nervous since it was a new experience. I didn't have a clue where I was going, or what to expect, and when Whiterun came into focus it was stunning. Little did I know that that was just the start of things to come in that game. In my opinion it's one of the top 3 greatest games I've ever played and far and away the best visual. I've played many games(including L.A. Noire) but few compare to Skyrim and after a dozen playthroughs it's as great as it was the first time I played it. I still don't think I've seen everything it has to offer and I can't wait for the sequel(if there's going to be one).
 
2013-05-06 09:19:01 AM  

mikieb: I suspect Morrowind would have got an honorable mention for that year.


An honourable mention for what was ground-breaking?

2002 also saw the release of NOLF2 and Neverwinter Nights...  :/...
 
2013-05-06 09:21:23 AM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: But Dig Dug is still the best bar video game, right?


Ohhh no.  That would be Tapper.  Thanks for playing, though.
 
2013-05-06 09:26:28 AM  

draa: SphericalTime: L.A. Noire instead of Skyrim? Total fail.  The sunsets and sky of Skyrim can be breathtaking.

This.

One of my most memorable visual experiences in gaming was seeing Whiterun for the first time after coming through the woods from Riverwood. I had cut off the road(where the wolf is at) and was a little nervous since it was a new experience. I didn't have a clue where I was going, or what to expect, and when Whiterun came into focus it was stunning. Little did I know that that was just the start of things to come in that game. In my opinion it's one of the top 3 greatest games I've ever played and far and away the best visual. I've played many games(including L.A. Noire) but few compare to Skyrim and after a dozen playthroughs it's as great as it was the first time I played it. I still don't think I've seen everything it has to offer and  I can't wait for the sequel(if there's going to be one).


With the stacks of cash they have made? You bet your sweetroll there will be a sequel.

Vash's Apprentice: nulluspixiusdemonica: Completely missed Fade to Black/MDK/Morrowind...

List fails for being completely lacking in anything factually relevant whilst being heavily endowed with content from platforms designed from the ground up to be technologically redundant before release... ie, consoles...

[www.hollywoodreporter.com image 565x318]
The Master Race is full of whiny, entitled biatches.


Stop eating up dev time on your corn chip boxes. If it doesn't max out my card on medium setting, it isn't done! Don't make my $2000 box beg to be filled with pixels, make her fans spin up!IAMREADYFOR4000KVIDEOANDWANTITNOWSOTHATICANSEEEVERYJIGGLEOFTHEFAKEB OOBIESASISITINTHEDARKSTARINGINTOTHERENDEREDFACEOFGODITISFULLOFSMAAANDT ESSELATION!111111111111111111111!
 
2013-05-06 09:26:28 AM  
Pikmin shouldn't have been 2001. Max Payne should've been 2001.

www.maximumpc.com
If nothing else but for the constipation-faced Max.
 
2013-05-06 09:26:53 AM  

nulluspixiusdemonica: Morrowind, released 2 years prior, sported superior visuals.


Incorrect.  Woefully incorrect, in fact.  As someone who has the game on my PC right now, I can attest that you're looking at Morrowind's ground-breaking graphics through rose-tinted glasses.
 
2013-05-06 09:28:24 AM  

Counter_Intelligent: nulluspixiusdemonica: Morrowind, released 2 years prior, sported superior visuals.

Incorrect.  Woefully incorrect, in fact.  As someone who has the game on my PC right now, I can attest that you're looking at Morrowind's ground-breaking graphics through rose-tinted glasses.


Or though the lens of a thousand beautification mods.
 
2013-05-06 09:28:59 AM  

nulluspixiusdemonica: mikieb: I suspect Morrowind would have got an honorable mention for that year.

An honourable mention for what was ground-breaking?

2002 also saw the release of NOLF2 and Neverwinter Nights...  :/...


NWN fails for not working on 75% of computers until the second expansion came out. And then it had other bugs. What really made that game was the fan made dungeons that were better balanced than the storyline stuff.
 
2013-05-06 09:34:29 AM  

draa: I still don't think I've seen everything it has to offer and I can't wait for the sequel(if there's going to be one).


There's so many areas left in Tamriel that they haven't focused games around, it wouldn't be surprising.  I just wouldn't expect it any time soon.  Personally I'm looking forward to Elder Scrolls Online.  I didn't have much hope for it at first, but after reading up on it for a bit...yeah, I'm sold.
 
2013-05-06 09:35:27 AM  
The only takeaway from that list: holy shiat, Wind Waker was 10 years ago!?
 
2013-05-06 09:36:34 AM  

Counter_Intelligent: Incorrect. Woefully incorrect, in fact. As someone who has the game on my PC right now, I can attest that you're looking at Morrowind's ground-breaking graphics through rose-tinted glasses.


Morrowind will forever stick in my mind as the game where the people textures are so creepy looking, I could not continue the game:

storeimages.impulsedriven.com
 
rpm
2013-05-06 09:40:26 AM  

Kryllith: Ultima Underworld (1992) and Magic Carpet (1994) frown on the lack of their inclusion in the development of 3D worlds.


FTFA: The Most Jaw-Dropping Game Graphics of the Last 20 Years

Underworld can drink.

/It's installed on my computer
//So's Magic Carpet
///Neither are the oldest installed game
 
2013-05-06 09:41:04 AM  
As the Weeners points out, that's more a list of best design than best graphics.
 
2013-05-06 09:43:28 AM  

Scruffinator: draa: I still don't think I've seen everything it has to offer and I can't wait for the sequel(if there's going to be one).

There's so many areas left in Tamriel that they haven't focused games around, it wouldn't be surprising.  I just wouldn't expect it any time soon.  Personally I'm looking forward to Elder Scrolls Online.  I didn't have much hope for it at first, but after reading up on it for a bit...yeah, I'm sold.



Ok explain this, because to me it looks like a boring cookie cutter mmo that destroys the lore by having Nords ally with Dark Elves, among other things.
 
2013-05-06 09:51:46 AM  

croesius: I see Journey made the list...DAMN I want to play that game, I was almost tempted to buy a PS3 just for that title alone.


It sucks that it's a PS3 exclusive, it's a really cool game. And watching a playthrough of it doesn't give the same emotional impact of actually playing it.
 
2013-05-06 09:56:03 AM  

Antimatter: Counter_Intelligent: nulluspixiusdemonica: Morrowind, released 2 years prior, sported superior visuals.

Incorrect.  Woefully incorrect, in fact.  As someone who has the game on my PC right now, I can attest that you're looking at Morrowind's ground-breaking graphics through rose-tinted glasses.

Or though the lens of a thousand beautification mods.


Hi, my name's WoW, (http://i.imgur.com/dxsE7n6.jpg), released 2 years after that identical quality picture above and in the same year as this, (http://i.imgur.com/odAxLKK.jpg), and yet I rate more of a mention for "Jaw-Dropping Visuals".

Let's not talk about how MDK got taken to the cleaners by FF VII....
 
2013-05-06 09:57:08 AM  

Cythraul: World of Warcraft? Although I've enjoyed this particular RTS and MMO franchise, their graphics have always been overly stylized for my tastes. WoW has always been cartoonish looking. And when the MMO was released, in my opinion their graphics were far sub-par compared to other games at the time. But then, this was done deliberately by Blizzard to make sure a large range of computers could run the game.


This. Why would they include deliberately low quality graphics on a list of most jaw-dropping graphics?
 
2013-05-06 09:59:59 AM  

draa: SphericalTime: L.A. Noire instead of Skyrim? Total fail.  The sunsets and sky of Skyrim can be breathtaking.

This.

One of my most memorable visual experiences in gaming was seeing Whiterun for the first time after coming through the woods from Riverwood. I had cut off the road(where the wolf is at) and was a little nervous since it was a new experience. I didn't have a clue where I was going, or what to expect, and when Whiterun came into focus it was stunning. Little did I know that that was just the start of things to come in that game. In my opinion it's one of the top 3 greatest games I've ever played and far and away the best visual. I've played many games(including L.A. Noire) but few compare to Skyrim and after a dozen playthroughs it's as great as it was the first time I played it. I still don't think I've seen everything it has to offer and I can't wait for the sequel(if there's going to be one).


If you want to relive that initial experience, download the Tropical Skyrim mod.  It transforms the game from snow fields, ice, and sparse forests to lush jungles, deserts and overgrown temples.  It's like playing an entirely new game and I honestly have no desire to ever play the game in its vanilla version again.
 
2013-05-06 10:03:31 AM  

AntonChigger: Ok explain this, because to me it looks like a boring cookie cutter mmo that destroys the lore by having Nords ally with Dark Elves, among other things.


Lore issues aside(they're half-assing the reasons for the factions), they're fixing a lot of the issues I've had with WoW over the last several years.  Off the top of my head:

Server imbalances:  They're using a "megaserver" instead of multiple servers.  Everybody plays on the same realm.  Similar to phasing in WoW, it's set up so you'll normally be around the same number of people all the time.  Pulling numbers out of my ass, say they expect 50 people to be in an area, and there's 200 people on, they'll have 4 "instances" of that area with 50 people each.
Crowd Control(pvp):  Instead of a 2 minute trinket, you'll be able to break CC and become immune for a short period using Stamina.  It's built in(I think they said basically clicking both mouse buttons at the same time) for everybody.  IIRC it breaks all CC and grants 7 sec immunity.  I don't know how *much* Stamina it's going to use, though.
Wall of text:  Fully voice acted
Max level questing:  I haven't read anything that indicated whether or not there will be daily quests, but once you hit level 50(the cap) you can do a max level(more difficult) questline in another factions territory(phased out so you don't run into other factions except in Cyrodil), and once you finish that there's an even harder set for the other enemy factions territory.  From what I've heard it sounds like the last one might need a group.

Just a few things off the top of my head.  There still isn't a whole lot of info out there on it, at least I haven't found all *that* much, but the beta invites have started and they'll be needing to do stress tests before launch, so at the very least you might be able to get a try-before-you-buy type deal out of it.
 
2013-05-06 10:03:41 AM  

Whistling Kitty Chaser: This. Why would they include deliberately low quality graphics on a list of most jaw-dropping graphics?


I'm not really sure what their standards were for creating this list. But it isn't the only questionable choice on there, in my opinion.

StrangeQ: If you want to relive that initial experience, download the Tropical Skyrim mod. It transforms the game from snow fields, ice, and sparse forests to lush jungles, deserts and overgrown temples. It's like playing an entirely new game and I honestly have no desire to ever play the game in its vanilla version again.


I have yet to try that mod, but it sounds like it would be fun. Only bad thing about that is walking around hearing NPCs talk about how cold it is in this new tropical Skyrim.

"You should at least cover your delicates. Gonna get cold tonight."
 
2013-05-06 10:05:21 AM  

Scruffinator: AntonChigger: Ok explain this, because to me it looks like a boring cookie cutter mmo that destroys the lore by having Nords ally with Dark Elves, among other things.

Lore issues aside(they're half-assing the reasons for the factions), they're fixing a lot of the issues I've had with WoW over the last several years.  Off the top of my head:

Server imbalances:  They're using a "megaserver" instead of multiple servers.  Everybody plays on the same realm.  Similar to phasing in WoW, it's set up so you'll normally be around the same number of people all the time.  Pulling numbers out of my ass, say they expect 50 people to be in an area, and there's 200 people on, they'll have 4 "instances" of that area with 50 people each.
Crowd Control(pvp):  Instead of a 2 minute trinket, you'll be able to break CC and become immune for a short period using Stamina.  It's built in(I think they said basically clicking both mouse buttons at the same time) for everybody.  IIRC it breaks all CC and grants 7 sec immunity.  I don't know how *much* Stamina it's going to use, though.
Wall of text:  Fully voice acted
Max level questing:  I haven't read anything that indicated whether or not there will be daily quests, but once you hit level 50(the cap) you can do a max level(more difficult) questline in another factions territory(phased out so you don't run into other factions except in Cyrodil), and once you finish that there's an even harder set for the other enemy factions territory.  From what I've heard it sounds like the last one might need a group.

Just a few things off the top of my head.  There still isn't a whole lot of info out there on it, at least I haven't found all *that* much, but the beta invites have started and they'll be needing to do stress tests before launch, so at the very least you might be able to get a try-before-you-buy type deal out of it.


I might try this game when it comes out, and this is despite the fact that I am completely burned out on MMOs. I just hope they don't mangle the lore too much with this game, or use it as an excuse to never release any more single player Elder Scrolls games.
 
2013-05-06 10:08:30 AM  

Cythraul: I have yet to try that mod, but it sounds like it would be fun. Only bad thing about that is walking around hearing NPCs talk about how cold it is in this new tropical Skyrim.

"You should at least cover your delicates. Gonna get cold tonight."


There's a nip in the air...
 
2013-05-06 10:12:06 AM  
lol; minecraft for graphics.
 
2013-05-06 10:12:08 AM  

Cythraul: or use it as an excuse to never release any more single player Elder Scrolls games.


That's my biggest fear too.  I really don't think it will happen, since ESO takes place 1,000 years before skyrim, the next single player version could easily pan out a couple hundred years after Skyrim or somewhere along those lines.
 
2013-05-06 10:12:45 AM  

Cythraul: StrangeQ: If you want to relive that initial experience, download the Tropical Skyrim mod. It transforms the game from snow fields, ice, and sparse forests to lush jungles, deserts and overgrown temples. It's like playing an entirely new game and I honestly have no desire to ever play the game in its vanilla version again.

I have yet to try that mod, but it sounds like it would be fun. Only bad thing about that is walking around hearing NPCs talk about how cold it is in this new tropical Skyrim.

"You should at least cover your delicates. Gonna get cold tonight."


No gonna lie, there are a few quirks to it, but honestly after about 5 minutes you don't even notice them anymore because of how beautiful the game has become.  The only real drawback I found was that I had finally found something that will bring my computer to its knees when I walked out of Whiterun into the middle of a sandstorm.
 
2013-05-06 10:14:22 AM  

Scruffinator: Cythraul: or use it as an excuse to never release any more single player Elder Scrolls games.

That's my biggest fear too.  I really don't think it will happen, since ESO takes place 1,000 years before skyrim, the next single player version could easily pan out a couple hundred years after Skyrim or somewhere along those lines.


Do you guys even remember how much $$$$$ Skyrim made?  I'm pretty sure they are going to keep making single player Elder Scrolls games.
 
2013-05-06 10:23:03 AM  
List fails without Eve Online...
 
2013-05-06 10:23:59 AM  
Did anybody else notice not one of those games had graphics worth looking at?
 
2013-05-06 10:26:14 AM  

Stone Meadow: Did anybody else notice not one of those games had graphics worth looking at?


No.  You's trollin'
 
2013-05-06 10:28:58 AM  
I'm surprised EverQuest or EverQuest 2 didn't make the list anywhere. EQ2 was released at the same time as WoW and was generally regarded to have the better graphics. It was far more lifelike. I remember walking through the slums of Freeport in EQ2 and feeling like I was really walking through slums. WoW just felt like a cartoon.
 
2013-05-06 10:31:34 AM  

Kryllith: Ultima Underworld (1992) and Magic Carpet (1994) frown on the lack of their inclusion in the development of 3D worlds.


THIS.  I remember playing Magic Carpet in- get this: Magic Eye mode.  Remember those things you see in the mall where you're supposed to step back, de-focus your eyes, and suddenly a couple of ships float out of the scene?  Well imagine that in a video game (with more complex scenes, obviously).  Sure, it was a little rudimentary but the ability to do that in 1990's era PC graphics was pretty amazing.

Also, list fails without Everquest 2.  Not only are the graphics STILL amazing, but they got the field-of-view, proportions, and motion capture right.  WoW got all three wrong plus decided to go with that weird cartoonish character sets.  In Eq2, most of the humanoid characters looks as if they could be biologically viable if they were in the real world.  The same goes for most of the animal-based mobs as well.  Other fantasy RPG (MMO and otherwise) have more detail, but few have that feeling of a world you could actually be in.

And they did it in such a way that zones were fairly small while appearing quite large in terms of gameplay.  When they added flying mounts a few years back, I was amazed to see just how tiny some of the zones actually are.  With clever arrangement, folding hills and valleys between each other, and other behind-the-scenes visual cues, zones that double and tripled in "travel-time" size what they measured in actual dimensions.  That allowed a player to spend weeks, months even, in something that in real life would have equated to roughly the area of Roosevelt Island in NYC.
 
2013-05-06 10:32:07 AM  

Jormungandr: List fails without Eve Online...


Quoted for truth.  There were a couple times I jumped into a full-on 50 v 50 null sec battle complete with Caps, missile spam, etc that my jaw just dropped (as I spammed ECM on my Blackbird).

/Down goes BoB
//Podded The Mittani.
///Now I'm so bad I lost my Ishtar in a mission.
 
2013-05-06 10:32:53 AM  

Counter_Intelligent: Stone Meadow: Did anybody else notice not one of those games had graphics worth looking at?

No.  You's trollin'


Since I've never played any of them, and the screen grabs all look like shiat...no.
 
2013-05-06 10:41:36 AM  
super mario 64was made in 1996.

That game single handedly turned the entire video game industry on its ear.
 
2013-05-06 10:46:03 AM  

Stone Meadow: Counter_Intelligent: Stone Meadow: Did anybody else notice not one of those games had graphics worth looking at?

No.  You's trollin'

Since I've never played any of them, and the screen grabs all look like shiat...no.


Then why are you even here, aside from your obvious threadshiatting?
 
2013-05-06 10:56:36 AM  

Scruffinator: draa: I still don't think I've seen everything it has to offer and I can't wait for the sequel(if there's going to be one).

There's so many areas left in Tamriel that they haven't focused games around, it wouldn't be surprising.  I just wouldn't expect it any time soon.  Personally I'm looking forward to Elder Scrolls Online.  I didn't have much hope for it at first, but after reading up on it for a bit...yeah, I'm sold.



I was gong to sign up for the beta for that but I didn't figure I'd have a chance in hell of getting selected. Looking at what they're offering though makes me interested enough I may check it out once it's released. That said, I hate games that require online crowds to make it interesting. I played WoW for a time and hated being part of large raids and all the assholes running around everywhere. I'm a loner, and I like playing my games alone without being required to actively get involved with a bunch of people like that. Still not sure how ESO will be in that regard but from what I've seen fighting other clans and interacting with people will be a big part of that game. Hopefully they'll cover both sides of that problem and allow people to go it alone if they want. I guess we'll see.
 
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