Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor
2) Graphics that Matter
If you’re a game developer and you’ve spent 90% of your budget on making the game look photo-realistic, then you’ve wasted time and money. The age of “graphics first, story second” is long over. Some of the highest grossing games around have graphics worse than my old Gameboy. While the visuals in a game are important, they are by no means the only factor in a successful IP.
Bethesda realized this years ago, which is why they had been so adamant about staying with an aging engine rather than rebuilding from the ground up. They put more emphasis on gameplay and story, and all to great success.
No one is going to sit here and say that Skyrim or New Vegas weren’t pretty games. Their graphics did an excellent job of building a believable, livable universe. You felt that you were walking through a real world, not just set dressing. Sure, the character models were dated, and the gore effects a little over-the-top, but players remained immersed in the realm. When you make a 300+ hour experience, and people actually stick around for every one of those hours, then you must be doing something right.