To Hell with Photo-Realism


Look guys I get it. I know why photo-realism would kick ass in video-games, but I’ve lost interest in it. Photo-realism in video-games is pretty much the holy grail of game graphics that the industry has been striving for ages now in which computer graphics would be indistinguishable from reality. I used to dream about putting on a pair of glasses and seeing a computer generated world that looks real. I grew up watching .Hack//sign and playing the games. I’d love nothing more than photo-realism.

But now a days I’ve felt differently on the matter. I am no longer interested in photo-realism. If it happens then cool, but lets be honest people…that will be many years away. Many years of the ‘uncanny valley’ and grey-brown textures. We wont see actual photo-realism in the coming next generation of consoles. Maybe about five or six years after that when the next next generations starts? I doubt even then though.

What I am more interested in now is the current technology to bring about crazy, impossible imagery that no other medium could rival. We can have the twisted, otherworldly forms of Lovecraft’s Old Ones. We can have hyper-stylized cell shading such as the renowned Killer 7, or its quasi-sequel Killer is Dead.


Many of the most entertaining games I have played had crazy styles of artwork that seem incompatible with photo-realism. Odin Sphere, GrimGrimoire, and Muramasa all have very distinct styles and are beautiful to look at, but I strongly doubt that such styles could transfer well to realistic graphics.Image

I’ll admit though that most, if not all stylistic choices in games are connected to hardware limitations, but the effects of those choices are still amazing to watch. Just imagine the crazy things that can be made with the processing power of the PS3 or the upcoming ps4. I want to see things beyond my wildest dreams. They don’t need to look real. Real is boring. Real is mundane. I want to see the newest hardware render worlds like this one, not the grimy alley way behind my house.


About Albedosrighthand

A young writer who treads the line between gamer and literary nutball.
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2 Responses to To Hell with Photo-Realism

  1. catstronaut says:

    Agreed. I think one main problem with photorealism is that it’s seen as the end goal, rather than a style used for artistic purpose. If you’re pursuing photorealism, I want some kind of artistic justification for why it’s the best choice. Otherwise, pursue your own unique style.

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