Range of graphics effects in console games *spawn

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Cyan, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    After trying the Crysis 2 demo-I wanted to play it in order to know what the fuss is all about.. having heard many times how PC gamers loved the tech- I think this generation of consoles, technically wise, is pretty much done.

    This last years have been...difficult ones for consoles, in many ways, and I'm sorry to say that some of my faith in consoles has been shaken as a result.

    I still love them, because of Kinect and things like WiFi N, and trying to go with the times decently or even being well ahead of its time back in 2005 and 2006, even nowadays using 3D technology and stuff.

    I also want this generation to last 2-3 or 4 more years at least, because of Kinect. But anyways, I don't see another Oblivion, another game surprising me like this one did, making me say "Wow", making me feel speechless.

    In fact, I think graphics are getting worse everyday. Old games had better graphics, in my opinion.

    Games like Perfect Dark Zero and PGR3 had HDR + AA, plus excellent textures. I didn't see -not even in the much-trumpeted PS3 modern exclusives and Gears of War, Halo, etc-, textures as good as the ones of PDZ.

    Oblivion was a true milestone in 2006. After that, there were some surprising effects here and there but the sheer simplicity of those graphics that worked so well is gone.

    Here are some pics and a video of the best textures I've seen this generation.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i392/mixbox3/Screenshots/Untitled134.jpg

    http://i1091.photobucket.com/albums/i392/mixbox3/Screenshots/Untitled133.jpg

    Also take a look at this video, especially after 1:50. The texture of the scientist's suit is just crazy, it's almost perfect.



    Maybe it's just that back then developers thought consoles were so ridiculously powerful that they felt confident enough to add amazing textures to games, not being afraid to try what most developers don't nowadays.

    Crytek tried to add a lot of cool tech to consoles but in the end it doesn't work as it should be. Some things look amazing but those are rare. I just saw popping and a weird blur on weapons.

    Seriously, current developers give actual games a bad name, and I've always hated how they can criticize past graphics techniques saying that they improved this or that so much and yet treat issues like low res textures and popping as if they exist in a vacuum and never, ever hurt games in any way and are therefore above criticism. The whole development community just reeks of hypocrisy--I haven't been listening to them in months and never will again.

    PC gamers are laughing at console gamers right now.
     
    #1 Cyan, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2011
  2. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    Yeah early games had flashier more expensive effects in some cases. Kameo with prallax mapping and lots of grass rendering, Ghost Recon with realtiem reflections in windows and massive cities etc. They had expensive but very pretty effects that are now rare in console games. I think some games back then even sported AF, no?
     
  3. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    Crytek tries to push the consoles to their boundaries and beyond, and it's all fine because sometimes you see those graphics in awe, but it doesn't happen most of the time.

    As far as I know, Oblivion's AF was nothing to write home about and I remember Mintmaster -a fellow forumer here- saying years ago that AF was as unresolved matter for consoles. He knew his stuff.

    Developers back then maybe thought that 512MB was plenty of memory, In 2005-06 I couldn't believe a console would have such amount of RAM -8 times Xbox 1's RAM- when the console with more RAM ever, until then, was the Xbox.

    I think developers treasured and treated RAM memory for what it truly was, unlike nowadays, as it appears they currently can't work with less than 512 MB and they cannot put a value on it.

    I don't know the exact reasons, but developers definitely valued RAM more than they do now. Annoying.
     
  4. 2real4tv

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    You can put super hi-rez textures good lighting but have crappy everything else....it seems it about finding the right balance with these consoles.

    edit: Whats the performance cost for AF?
     
  5. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    You ve got a point but you arent completely right.
    Indeed Kameo and PDZ had Parallax mapping, which is pretty much missing from today's games, but apparently they had lots of room to do it considering that they had less polygons, had a simpler design and fewer advanced effects. Both these games were designed for a generation old console.

    In regards to texture variety and quality they have been surpassed minus the parallax mapping.
     
  6. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    It sure has got a decent amount of good and really good textures but it's tricky to compare TPS games vs FPS game when it comes to textures. Youre pretty much always have camera FOV further from textures in TPS games than FPS games where in FPS games your closer and quality is more exposed. It's like in ME when I was marveling at many surfaces (mostly ground when driving vehicle) at how detailed they looked until I moved camera to FPS view postion. Then they sure looked standard.

    Didn't have any save with car but here is from a save at beginning showing ground texture at TPS distance, medium distance and closeup. You can see how the perception of quality changes the clsoer you get to from TPS to ~FPS.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #7 Neb, Jan 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2011
  7. N_B

    N_B
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    AF isn't that rare these days. No AF like with Crysis and Uncharted is the exception not the norm. See games like Bioshock/2, Killzone, GT5, Assassin's Creed, Fallout 3/Vegas (8x) GOW, Dead Space...all with decent AF. I think devs have seen that it drastically affects the quality of the image and other games like Call of Duty and Halo Reach at least apply a moderate amount.

    You can even see a lot of PC games that don't even have AF options and just have 8x or so right of the bat without any input from you at all, or have set appropriate amounts for different textures.
     
  8. MBDF

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    I've noticed that as well (that older games still impress me more than newer ones). I still think the first Motorstorm looks better than Pacific Rift. It's like instead of taking what was good and working with a previous engine (and really made the game graphically shine) and improving on it they throw out the baby with the bath water and pour precious recourses into new graphical techniques which take away from old ones that worked so well. Some examples would be as above PGR3. What an amazing looking game. There's no excuse for the second one not looking as good; it should look better! With Motorstorm the dust effect was done really well... none of that hideous alpha pixelation as in the second game.

    Uncharted 2 is an exception. Honestly. if they had just focused their efforts on better texture filtering (which that art so deserves) for Uncharted 3 I would be more than happy. Filtering was the one sore point in an otherwise amazing looking game.
     
  9. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    This thread spawned from Unrelease IQ speculation thread. Not sure it warrants a thread if it's just PC gamers pointing out what PCs can do that consoles can't, but I thought I'd give it a chance rather than delete these posts outright.
     
  10. ct03

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    These look heavily sharpened in post. There are white sharpening artifacts all over the place. Or does the game actually look this aliased?

    Edit: I just checked Google, because I was curious. Unfortunately it's very difficult to find actual in-game screenshots. Everything seems to be from cutscenes. Judging by the search results, you wouldn't even know that the game is 3rd person over-the-shoulder. However, I found a few in-game screenshots, and they are in line with how I assumed the game to look.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #11 ct03, Jan 27, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2011
  11. nightshade

    nightshade Wookies love cookies!
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    There's barely any aliasing visible in those shots. Beside this isn't the IQ thread.
     
  12. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    They do look sharpened and it seems to vary depeding on screenshot. It looks like minmal/none to subtle to extensive sharpening with artifacts within mapping and edges. AFAIK generally borderline over sharpening produces mapping 'artifacts' alike negative texture lod bias but with whitish sillhouettes.

    It can also be by the games engine by slider in photomode when taking shots or just set by devs.

    Edit: Maybe it's just engine or how they handle mipmaps. Same location below.

    http://strony.aster.pl/kakarotto/u2kz/textures/U2_img002.jpg

    http://i36.tinypic.com/m8ckgo.jpg

    I'll take that texture detail also changes for MP vs SP.

    http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/2786/20100401135108.jpg
    http://img338.imageshack.us/img338/8319/20100401135205.jpg
    http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/4823/20100401135736.jpg
    http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/7349/20100401135658.jpg
    http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/9449/20110112145953.jpg
    http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/6486/20110112143917.jpg
    http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/4908/20110112144658.jpg

    Anyway it still show nice texturing detail but it varies greatly depeding on location ,indoor/outdoor. Like other games even with streaming your limited by RAM/VRAM.
     
    #13 Neb, Jan 27, 2011
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  13. ct03

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  14. Toaddio

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  15. MJP

    MJP
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    I think their claims of improvement are totally warranted, considering that most people think that any recent game looks leagues better than Perfect Dark 0. Probably because they don't spend the whole game with their nose pressed against a brick wall staring at some cheesy parallax mapping effect.
     
  16. L. Scofield

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    Launch 360 games were particularly bashed because of Sony's overhyping PS3 graphics. Back then people still believed the E3 2005 KZ/Motorstorm/etc... videos were actual games. I remember that when GeoW launched, everyone thought and said "finally we have next gen graphics", but really it doesn't look any better than Kameo/PDZ.

    PDZ, while its art is really, really awful, has very good tech. Good HDR, high res textures with normal and parallax maps, dynamic lens flares, high quality object based motion blur...
     
  17. assen

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    Ummm no.

    "Hadn't any better tech" I might give you, this is harder to argue; but Gears was in a whole new visual league by itself; they practically invented the gray-and-gritty-and-detailed artistic look; they were one of the first games to really make normal maps count; they had some fantastic texture unwrapping work allowing them to fit much more detail on the screen than anyone else. The tech that the Gears _artist_ had at their disposal at that time was miles ahead of any other art toolchain, and this showed.
     
  18. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    I'm not into FPSs lately, I must admit but I will try Crysis 2 just to know what the fuss is all about. That being said, I think Crytek are too ambitious.

    I can't say if they have been surpassed or not, but those old games look better for whatever reason. Developers seemed to focus on textures, HDR, some AA, and parallax mapping, and it worked fine.

    I like the CryEngine 3 and it would be interesting to see what they achieve with exclusive titles like Kingdoms, but if using those effects means having to tone down many other features, then the game would not look balanced.

    In PC they don't have to choose, just throw everything at those powerful machines, they could handle it no matter how well or bad optimized it is. Consoles have a lot of less ROPs and graphics techniques available because of lack of power.

    I can imagine developers having a conversation looking for an A or B option...... "In console it should go like that. I would go with A"

    "I say B, the high rest texture. Getting the middle resolution ones would look unbalanced. But, if you get the half res texture done and downgraded without almost any difference, you could go back later and get A done as well and it would look great, I think!"

    "Ok, go with A + B and make it look great".

    But in the end of course not everything is going to look distinguished because either A or B were the correct options, not a mixture of both.

    I think that, among many others, one of the reasons here is that studios lack money nowadays, because there's a global crisis, they have to go with cheap assets.

    You're right, PGR3 looks slightly blurry to me as of currently -I still have it, I don't usually sell my games-, but in the past it was mind-boggling!!!!

    I wholeheartedly agree on the new Motorstorm, judging by the videos I watched, most objects of the scenery look like a pile of squared, very sharp and angular boxes destroying all the time. It feels like it's a generation behind compared to the first game of the series.

    I still remember people bragging about the original Motorstorm -post trailer, ingame graphics-, how great it looked and how it showed PS3's capabilities.

    This Motorstorm 1 pic is pretty self explanatory. The mud texture is simply amazing.

    [​IMG]

    Holy crap, that's awful. You must be kidding. You can't label a graphic effect such as parallax mapping as cheesy.

    It actually enhances graphics and it's listed on Crysis 2 config files. They disabled it on consoles, though.

    r_UsePOM = 0 Consoles version won't feature Parallax Occlusion Mapping

    [​IMG]

    Labels are just words that people use to describe some things. If you don't like the effect, then don't label it. However, it's unfair to tell people who find those effects stunning that they shouldn't be used simply because you personally think such things are cheesy and unnecessary.

    It's obvious the game looks better with Parallax Mapping.
    Well, I lived that to some extent. Although in my case the game that amazed me the most was Oblivion. Gears of War was nice, though, especially some of the levels. It's still my favourite GeoW game.

    It wasn't only the art, the game was awful at times to be honest, but it was impeccable in regards to some of the technology.

    Crytek wanted to add many features to Crysis 2, but consoles can't run them all, or the quality of those effects is probably downgraded in comparison to PCs.

    r_PostProcessEffects="1" This one works on consoles, which gives a more natural touch to the overall image, and it's also activated along with colourgrading.

    [​IMG]

    r_UseEdgeAA = 1 Sorta AA

    r_SunShafts = 2 The game will feature some kind of GodRays on the PS3 and 360.

    r_Glow = 1 It will be cool along with HDR

    [​IMG]

    e_GI = 1 This is the best, most interesting effect, Global Illumination is certainly great, but not very suited for consoles, it seems, without having to tone down other effects. The game also features Full Dynamic Lighting along with it, really nice.

    Full Dynamic Lighting + Global Illumination OFF

    [​IMG]

    Full Dynamic Lighting + Global Illumination ON

    [​IMG]

    Regarding those KZ and Motorstorm trailers you mentioned knowing the reality helped some people to stop bragging about how "incredibly real" and "artistic" they supposedly were.

    Besides, I'm not saying developers lie, exactly, but I'm tired of the way we rush to treat every semi-coherent thing that comes out of their mouth as a profound statement that needs to be trust and analyzed from every conceivable angle in case it holds the meaning of everything or something.

    I mean... developers are limited because of NDA and thus they aren't going to share all the information we'd like to know.
     
  19. _phil_

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    Hell yes! i second that .
    POM on perfect dark and kameo is cheesy (saying it nicely ,as this isn't really the term i'd use personnaly :)... )
     
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