Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Game: A graphics Odyssey Part 2

In Part one we looked at some of the early 3D games that changed our perception on silicone valley ending with Halo Combat Evolved in 2001. By my count that still leaves ten years, and those ten have possibly been the most mind blowing of all.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. PC & Xbox 2002

I still remember the first time I saw the Game trailer for this one, the way I drooled over the lifelike water, the detailed world that looked so alive. Whats more amazing is when the game shipped, it was even better than expected an that's a rare thing indeed. It may not be the cream of the crop anymore (though mods have kept it somewhat updated) but after this game every game I played seemed lifeless.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. Xbox & PC 2003

 Excluding the rubbish PlayStation 2 and Gamecube versions which were almost completely different and had all the shiny stuff taken out to compensate for the slow clock speeds and dated graphics processers of those consoles, the Xbox and PC versions of this game feature the most realistic lighting system we had yet seen in a game, and whats mroe Ubisoft made it part of the gameplay. After this game pre-rendered flat lighting just wouldn't do.



The Chronicles of Riddick. Xbox 2004

This game showed just how close we were back in 2004 when a highly detailed Vin Diesel came crashing onto Xbox. check the video.



 Far Cry. Xbox & PC 2004

 Man this was an insane year, so it's been really tough to pick the games that really blew us away in terms of graphics but Far Cry is most definitely the first game to demonstrate what the next generation was going to be like,with beautiful vistas stunning scenery and an obscene amount of detail this game still holds up okay today. The video is footage from the xbox original version which was not released until 2005 but is running the same graphics engine.


Doom 3. PC & Xbox 2004

 This game both marked the end of a generation and the beginning of a new one, Doom 3 was the culmination of everything we had come to expect of id Software and set a new industry standard in game graphics. just like it's predecessor.


F.E.A.R. PC 2005

 This game may not have been revolutionary or even all that original but it did look bloody good, I remember firing it up and being absolutely overwhelmed by the particle effects and shadows and considering it was 2005 it makes the list.


Oblivion. PC 2006

 While many would not herald this game to be as good as Morrowind, it's a fifty-fifty with the other half saying it's an improvement in every way. Whatever you think one this is for sure, this games graphics sent gaming nerds the world over into their nearest PC hardware store, but alas our graphics cards and CPUs were still to weak. Fast forward to now and you fire this up on your Xbox 360 or Ps3 and it can still surprise you.


Gears of War. Xbox 360 2006

 The game that gave us a glimpse of the next five years of gaming Gears of War is not only an action masterpiece innovating third-person gaming but graphics of this caliber were completely unseen up until it's release. Every bullet, every fleck of dust, every war torn building was a site to behold, it wasn't just a technical achievement but an artistic one as well. Video courtesy of


 Uncharted: Drakes Fortune. Ps3 2007

Finally came a PS3 title to make the Xbox fans green with envy, Uncharted: Drakes Fortune was a roller coaster ride of awesomeness even outdoing the previous years Gears of War on all graphical fronts and propelling Ps3 to it's rightful place as consoles graphics king.

Crysis. PC 2007

 It may have only been a year since PC flag wavers had last upgraded but Crysis couldn't care less, in-fact Crysis couldn't care less that it wasn't till 2009 and a whole new range of CPUs and GPUs were released that it could be played properly. Crysis you are gorgeous.

There are still Four more years left but I am going to end it here, why? because although there has been a plethora of games boasting amazing graphics I don't really feel a single one has reached the realism that Crysis did, not yet anyway. having said that I finish with an Honorable mentions list.

God of War Trilogy 
Shadow of the Colossus
Metal Gear Solid 4
Killzone 2 & 3
L.A. Noire
Heavy Rain
Crysis 2
The Witcher 2: Assasins of Kings
Mass Effect 1 & 2

There are plenty more, remind me in the comments please!

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