A major sticking point for video game criticism these days concerns graphical, high definition resolution. Will a game make it to 1080p? Does it run at a frame rate of 60fps? Is the game a fake 1080p? It seems the issue has become big enough to cause class action lawsuits against Sony Computer Entertainment America, for apparently using false advertising about 1080p graphics for Killzone: Shadow Fall, and “misleading” the public. Nice graphics and HD visuals are great, but those are aspects I care about the least when I am discerning which games to purchase.
The subject of the greatest and sharpest visuals is becoming a tired, overblown argument among fans and critics alike. It is starting to become a rather tepid gimmick. I enjoy high-quality visuals in gaming as much as the next person, but I have seen plenty of games with incredible graphics that could not deliver in terms of actual gameplay.
Case in point: While I believe EA Sports UFC has the absolute best graphics and animation than ever before in a UFC game, in terms of overall gameplay and content, it does not surpass UFC Undisputed 3. For years, I would see writers post side-by-side photos of a promotional image of Booker T from the TNA Impact! game, next to another image of Booker T in a WWE game, like it actually means something. First of all, does any big time wrestling or gaming fan really remember or care about the graphics from the failure that was the TNA Impact! game? The game was an utter disappointment, and no one pays homage to its so-called excellent visuals from 2009 that still surpass recent WWE game releases.
When you shell out $60 or more for a new game, it is not unreasonable to want the best graphical and visual presentation possible. However, what if you do not even have the best home theater or TV setup to take advantage of it? I have a decent 32″ HD, flat screen TV. It has 1080p resolution; at least that’s what the box said. I do not have an elaborate speaker setup either. I have TV in widescreen HD, and I think it looks pretty good. However, I will go into Best Buy or the Sony Store and see another TV that, in comparison makes the picture quality of my current flat-screen look substandard.
What I really look for in a new game is simply the best, most well-rounded value possible. Is this a game I can still play and enjoy a year or two years from now? Does the game have strong replay value? More than that, I want a glitch-free game that is not broken. As long as the frame rate does not deteriorate or butt out, I am pretty good with the visuals. Gameplay is way more important than negligible lines of resolution; a TV might not even be able to get the best out of the resolution anyway.