E3 2012: Best Graphics Of The Show
Gameplay is for wimps and lefty liberals. What we want is graphics and we want lots of them. Strike that, we want all of them. But what games at this year’s E3 had them? Check our list to find out.
So, without further ado and in reverse order…
Black Ops 2
What, a Call Of Duty on our best graphics list? Yes. This year’s COD has a brand new engine, and Treyarch has used it well. The level demoed at the Microsoft press conference brilliantly evoked a city under attack. The building falling over looked great, but not as good as the dusty aftermath. The icing on the cake though was the seamless switch from on-the-ground shooting to in-the-air jet fighting over the skyscrapers of downtown L.A.
Beyond: Two Souls
Quantic Dreams’ new adventure does faces and people about as well as faces and people can be done in this generation. It’s one of the few games that it’s worth getting an actress like Ellen Page to play a part in; you’ll get your money’s worth.
Assassin’s Creed 3
The impressive thing about Assassin’s Creed 3 is that not only does it look a lot better than its predecessors but that it takes place in a much more open world. The achievement here is graphical fidelity and the scale and scope of the world it depicts. Top marks, Ubisoft.
Medal Of Honor: Warfighter
The Frostbite engine has already proven its worth with the astonishingly-good-looking-on-a-PC Battlefield 3. Warfighter looks just as good. Maybe better in a different kind of way.
Far Cry 3
We assumed, like many of this year’s best-looking games, Far Cry 3 was running on a PC. Not so. The Ubisoft demo and the co-op demo shown at the Sony conference were running on a humble, 5-year-old PS3. The foliage, especially, looked great and is certainly a level up from that seen in Far Cry 2. Plus, those boobies look pretty good, too.
The Last Of Us
Naughty Dog’s newest game has that Uncharted look to it but rather than being brash and colourful, The Last Of Us is subtle and lush. The detail is fantastic, as is the lighting and there’s a bit when Ellie walks ankle-deep in some water and it just gets the lower part of her jeans wet… It’s a subtle effect, but oh-so impressive.
Another high-end PC demo but a good one. A really, really good one. There’s nothing like trying to create a living, breathing, open-world city to test out your graphics engine, a test that Watch Dogs passes with ease. The night time setting may hide some faults (hey, it might have some) but there’s no getting away from the fact that this looks like the graphics equivalent of Children Of Men.
Star Wars 1313
The only format confirmed for Star Wars 1313 is PC. When asked about consoles, LucasArts just said ‘watch for announcements next year’. So, basically Star Wars 1313 is next-gen. To be fair, though, it looks amazing. Especially in the lighting and animation department. We’re certain that a scaled down version will come to current gen consoles but it will no where near as good as this.
Out best-looking game of E3? Well, it just had to be Crysis 3. Aside from all the lush vegetation, the spectacular lighting and photo-sharp textures, the scene where the dam breaks and that torrent of water pours through? Consider our jaws well and truly dropped. See, it’s not just about the fidelity of graphics but how you use them.
And now, a glimpse of the future…
Okay, so while Crysis 3 and Star Wars 1313 are nearly what games on next-gen consoles will look like, the following two tech demos are definitely what they’ll look like.
Unreal Engine 4
The sequel to the most widely-used game engine on current gen, Unreal Engine 4 is a powerhouse when it comes to lighting effects. Just check this tech video out. IT’S IN REAL TIME. [Actually, the embargo for this tech demo is Friday at 2pm, so please check back then to see it. In the mean time, here’s a grab from the video.]
Luminous Engine (Final Fantasy Tech Demo)
The absolute best thing we’ve seen at this year’s E3 was this tech demo from Square Enix, designed to show off what a future Final Fantasy game might look like. The cool thing here is that, effectively, objects have a built-in mass, which will automatically alter the animation of characters. Oh, and it looks amazing. Again, check it, THIS IS REAL TIME.