Do Graphics Really Matter?

Its an age old question. Do graphics in games really matter? With each new AAA title released, I see various websites doing comparison videos between consoles and or PC versions of games. These videos always end up getting a lot of attention, and stir up many heated discussions about which looks better. But we don’t care that much do we? Its about the having tight game play mechanics, a great story, and brilliant level design. Well that’s what I always hear people saying. But if that were the case, why do we keep seeing these graphic comparison videos? Why are there such heated debates about X game looking better on X machine?

Given some of the recent reviews of games like Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4, it comes across, to me, that graphics are a lot more important than some may let on. (Obviously this is a PS4 exclusive so there are no comparison videos.)

There is no doubt Killzone: Shadow Fall looks great.

There is no doubt Killzone: Shadow Fall looks great.

Killzone has been on the receiving end of some mixed reviews. Some good, some not so good. But you only have to read the snippets of reviews on metacritic to see that a lot of them are talking about the graphics. Should the way the game looks really alter the score? IGN gave it an 8.0/10, and the first bullet point for the summary of the review was that it had “stunning graphics” and obviously it does. But if it didn’t look so good would it have still got an 8? I guess it depends on what the score is actually being based on. I don’t actually know if these scores are added up with the graphics in mind. But surely everyone can make up there own mind about whether a game looks good, and whether that will affect their decision to play it. What people want to know is, is the game any good? If the scoring does include the graphics are we being ‘conned’ into thinking a game is better than it is?

A lot of people may skip over reading the review and only read the score and say “Hey it got an 8, that’s pretty impressive, I shall get it!” But is it possible it only got that 8 because the graphics bumped the score up by 1 or 2 points, and what they are really getting is a 6 or 7?
Killzone isn’t the only example its just a relevant one for the timing of this piece, and kind of what prompted me to write it.

We have also seen a lot of hoo-ha over COD: Ghosts on Xbox One not being true 1080p. If graphics, and the way the games look were truly not as important as people may say, then why would the internet be so up in arms about a few extra pixels? Why would I keep seeing comments like “Not 1080p, I’m getting a PS4.” “That’s it I’m switching.” “PC > Console.” etc etc….

Maybe these people are just saying it for effect, or maybe they’re actually going to switch based on some extra pixels. Isn’t that a bit shallow? Won’t it still be the same game play experience?

You can see from the above video that the PS4 version of COD: Ghosts does look a little bit better, but that doesn’t mean the Xbox One version looks crap in comparison, and it doesn’t mean that the game will play differently. The PC is pretty much always going to be the superior machine as it is constantly upgrade-able. That doesn’t mean I’m going to want to play all my games on it, just because they will look better. For me my decisions come down to things like, what will my friend be playing it on, and what controller would I prefer to use.

What do you think? Do you care about the graphics of a game? Will the fact that it may look a bit better on another system make you want to get it for that system?

– Will


One thought on “Do Graphics Really Matter?

  1. I don’t think graphics matter at all but companies like IGN think they do a lot. I think if Killzone had Dragon Age’s graphics then the score would have been considerably lower. I would rather play a game with not so good graphics but has kickass story, and gameplay over a graphical superior game with neither of them.

Leave a Reply