How important are graphics? It’s a questions that every gamer will answer differently. For some, graphics are extremely important. For others, as long as the core gameplay is entertaining, it’s not a big concern. There are plenty of good games with bad graphics that are worth playing.
Dragon Age Origins
The game has been praised for just about everything, except for graphics. For a game of this magnitude, the graphics are a bit lackluster. The backgrounds look good when viewed from a distant, but up close they lose their smoothness. On the Xbox 360 and PS3, the textures and colors suffer. The frame rate is also a minor problem, especially on the 360. The graphics remind me of Knights of the Old Republic for the original Xbox. Both games were made by Bioware, who are known for their great RPGs. While the game isn’t as visually stunning as others, it does have solid gameplay and plenty of variety.
While Prototype was never a contender for Game of the Year, it’s still a fun experience. Being a superhuman with a variety of crazy powers like a whiplash arm and gliding through the air has its perks. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t look good. The buildings are generic at best and the game has a very monotone color scheme that gets boring quick. If you turn around too fast, the background seems to have to play catch up with the camera as things like trees pop into existence before your eyes. For an all powerful being that’s able to slash tanks in half, it’s hard to understand why you can’t destroy all of the buildings in the same way. Even if the missions weren’t the best, Prototype’s bad graphics hamper what could have been a great “free for all” experience.
Saints Row 2
Saints Row 2 is a good game filled with plenty of side missions, Easter eggs, and unlockables. The only thing that is lacking is the graphics. They look sort of from the PS2 era in a game that was released in 2008. The characters and backgrounds don’t have as much detail as they should. Buildings and cars often look a little rough around the edges. Worse the the sub par graphics is the glitches. Everything from people getting stuck in the side of a car to the screen tearing makes for a slightly jarring experience. But Saints Row 2 is still a great game, even with the bad graphics.
Crackdown 2 is another good game with bad graphics. While’s fun to run around, collect orbs, and cause mayhem in multiplayer, the problems with the graphics from the first game haven’t changed. In fact, the city is exactly the same with just a few tweaks. The original Crackdown might even look a bit better. The graphics are fuzzy at best and a haze seems to be everywhere. The mix of the colors are harsh and not easy on the eyes. The character models are dull and boring. The frame rate often can’t keep up either making for a frustrating experience.
Looking out on the Wasteland the first time you leave the Vault is impressive. But, that doesn’t make up for some of the bad graphics in Fallout 3. The movement in the game isn’t very smooth and it’s most noticeable when using the third person view. While running around, you character doesn’t feel like they’re actually running in that field or on that street. For all the beautiful scenery in the game, the movement could have been better. Another graphic problem is the amount of glitches. It’s relatively easy to get yourself stuck in the rubble around D.C. Inanimate objects often twitch and move by themselves. Even with all the bad graphics problems, Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games.
Graphics aren’t everything in a video game, but great graphics certainly heighten the experience. There are good games that suffer from uneven, bad graphics. They are still worth playing, even if they don’t look as pretty as they can be.