As hardware and technology has gotten better, developers have spent more time chasing photorealistic looks, improved effects and highly detailed textures.
But sometimes, you can add too much to a game.
Gorgeous games being ruined by their own ambition is the focus of dunkey’s latest video, which goes into some of the problems that modern games face when they try to make everything look pretty.
You probably already know some good case studies, like when automated animations fail in games like Mass Effect: Andromeda. But there’s also a good example used with Halo and Lawbreakers, games that are visually quite pretty on the eye but too cluttered to clearly identify the information you need in the heat of the moment.
Third-person action games are a good example too:
Stylised graphics can work so well in part because of this: they allow for developers to add detail into the background, but character models, weapons and important elements get an extra level of highlighting so that they never fade into the background.
That doesn’t mean Borderlands 3, just as an example, couldn’t suffer from a dose of overdoing it. But it’s an interesting conversation to have about graphics in modern video games: what does the player need to see, versus the detail they might notice, and how well do games balance the two.