Gaming Effects Versus Hollywood, Part II

Monsters

Monsters can be ticked off the list pretty quickly. On the PC there is often very little in terms of the fear factor (Ed: Unless you could the little girl from F.E.A.R., which scared me). Monsters are just tougher opponents that can handle a few extra hits from the weapons. Hollywood does this better, despite the fact that their light-fearing zombie creatures and huge monsters are more often than not also created on the computer. Despite many more years of experience, game designers appear to have no digital advantage here. It is difficult to say whether it is the lighting, the graphics quality, or the audio support that makes Hollywood movie monsters appear more threatening.

Comparison of PC monsters and Hollywood monsters.

PC games cope well with animals, people, and spiders, but the increased details are missing. Things like slime, shine, blood, brains, and fur. In this area, Blacksite Area 51 sets a new standard: the tentacle creature on the bridge could easily live up to a movie monster, and you needed to circle it numerous times with the helicopter before it finally dies in a flurry of bullets. Dark Messiah surprised with intricate main opponents like giant spiders or dragons. In Stalker, you are not entirely sure whether to be frightened of the graphics, or whether the monsters are made frightening by the graphics themselves.

 Cyclops, dragon and giant worm from Dark Messiah.

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  • It can only get better :)
    2
  • Wasser -1, Wasser -3, -5, Wasserfall, Bewegungsunscharfe*.....

    German Tab names for the pics... Very Nice guys!
    *movementSharpness!?!?
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  • Part 1 had german names for the images too. I don't see how that is of any importance though as the titles for the respective pages were translated. Some of the games were in german too in case you missed it btw (bioshock amongst others)

    Anyway. I read the article and can't help to somehow be disappointed. Sure it's well written and explained, but somehow there's something missing! it seems to be more of the first part and not enough hollywood somehow. There are like 85% gaming screenshots, 8% reallife and the remaining 7% are hollywood. Also the article only covers stuff hollywood uses and games do too - nothing mentioned of stuff that pc's cant do yet other than visual enhancements that aren't treated as manipulatable objects - but then hollywood doesn't really supply that either, as all their stuff is static each time it's displayed.

    In short : not enough hollywood, and too much pc tech.
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  • roynaldiWasser -1, Wasser -3, -5, Wasserfall, Bewegungsunscharfe*..... German Tab names for the pics... Very Nice guys!*movementSharpness!?!?

    Bewegungsunscharfe
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  • Crap sorry about the double post. Bewegungsunscharfe = Motion blur.
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  • Why are there no examples of the Source engine in these articles? The physics is unparalleled in a lot of ways. The new cinematic physics engine? Hello? What they do with characters alone (mostly in animation/facial animation) is amazing. I also don't notice any Gears/UT3 examples, which is just weird.
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  • Tis a shame you mention water graphics and have no references to Uncharted.

    @Anony-Guy the first example was UT3 engine (stranglehold. I must admit though gears 2 had better water graphics.
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  • I remember a cool water effect in Giants. If you ran through a body of water, the water would appear to react to your legs, and waves of water would rush up against the them. Of course, this wasn't really the water reacting, it was just a secondary effect being drawn at the point where the legs met the water. It still looked cool for a game from 8 years ago.

    I'm surprised there were no examples of water from Serious Sam. SS had transparent water, shadows cast underneath by the ripples on the water surface, etc..., and again, all back in 2000/2001. The Serious Engine was so impressive when it came out, far better than Quake III and UT, the other options at that time.
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  • Where is the Playboy Mansion PC vs Real life comparison????
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  • What they need is better ripple effects now. When you walk through water, your character needs to slow and teeter more. Each stride should make noise, not just a general noise of sploshing. When you drop a gun in water, it needs come out dripping wet. When you swim, you need to do it in lunges, not smoothly. When the tide rolls in, the sand needs to change a bit over time. Your footprints need to disappear with each wave, etc. These little things aren't that hard to implement, and should not be taking up much system resources. I think it's just laziness on the part of most developers. There's always this "time limit" and "budget" that interfere as well...but then you have a monster giant corporation like EA who is spending money on stupid things like SecuRom instead of producing great games that will make sales.
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  • BTW just want to mention, I enjoy many of the listed effects when used properly. However, HDR, Motion Blur and Depth of Field are overused. Motion Blur and Depth of field basically work natuarlly when playing video games, no need to spend CPU cycles on it, or break the realism when I try to see the facial expression of someone not in the games specified focus. HDR is also over used. Rocks don't shine. You shouldn't see god rays if there are no particles in the air etc.
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  • This article missing something. Splinter Cell Chaos theory came out years ago, and it has rain that bounces when it hits surfaces, makes things wet, puts out fires, on and on.

    Furthermore, this article is just plain wrong about monsters. In the monsters category, they go on and on about how monsters aren't scary and how no video game has achieved this yet. Hello? Way back when, resident evil had people peeing in their pants. But since this is a graphics comparison, think of dead space. Dead space pulls "The Thing" off but ten times better. And it has a fear factor that is, well, it sets a new standard. This article is missing so much!
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  • How do I get the indirect lighting on in Far Cry 2? Mine looks all washed out. :(
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  • These articles while interesting, have a major problem with terminology. These articles are about "visual effects" or "visual FX", not "special effects" which these days refers to on-set, mechanical and in-camera effects. Visual effects are CGI, post, digital processing, 3D etc.
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  • Interesting, but not enough on what to expect in the future. What about ray tracing? When GPUs for consumer PCs are able to use ray tracing, won't it bring dramatic improvements to rendering? Everything has a shine to it now in computer graphics on PCs and consoles. It's hard to convey matte surfaces.

    Also, no mention of Fallout 3? I know it is new, but I am very impressed with the look of the environment as it changes from night to day and vice versa. It's very believable. And, finally, what about Uncharted? Drake's clothes get wet and the dry out. It, too, was very convincing.
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  • JonnyDoughThese little things aren't that hard to implement, and should not be taking up much system resources. I think it's just laziness on the part of most developers. There's always this "time limit" and "budget" that interfere as well...but then you have a monster giant corporation like EA who is spending money on stupid things like SecuRom instead of producing great games that will make sales.


    That stuff sounds hard and CPU\GPU expensive if you ask me. I totally agree about the "it's all about profit, who give a **** about the customer" mentality of EA, but I think the sand kind of stuff you're talking about is still a ways off due to hardware/software limitations.
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  • I thought the article was well written explaining and compairing alot of special afects
    I think it is easer for Holleywood they only have to project the afect up onto a flat screen wjhere as in a game you have to be able to walk,fly or swim ,throuh over or around
    amd like the old graghic days where more wall paper was used now days they are trying to render computer games with more realizm
    In other articles on tomshardware you have stated that we have the hardware and now we have the soft whare but its the developers that are holding us back with more life like seans and proper mosion movement and reaction phisics in games
    Although I think it is big buisness and large big brother componies holding back and manipulating the progress that we are getting in our games you only have to look at the debarcle with Open GL and DirectX
    and ofcorse all the take overs of class phisics componies to have manopoies over others that has held back our games to be more true to real life
    DirectX 10 and microsoft is anouther example to get sales to go to Vista
    ware as nvidia didnt have it in there cards opting to wait for the next verion to superseed it
    I am all for eye candy and real life gameing experieces I just wish that all the big brother and systers controling these events can get there act together so as to supply the developers and programes with the funds and resorses to produce these great games and acevts
    Gazza
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  • "For example, Oblivion was produced for the Xbox, and thus the developers assumed a TV screen would be used. As TV screens very often have a low resolution, and the writing needs to remain readable, the menus were designed for use with a lower number of pixels."

    Oblivion was designed for the PC as well as for the Xbox 360 which ran the game at 720p
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  • where is DirectX 11?
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  • chzipOblivion was designed for the PC as well as for the Xbox 360 which ran the game at 720p

    Only on a HDTV. If you stick it on a SD CRT TV you're probably running 640x480 or something, and while SDTVs may not be the target market, you can't ignore them.

    zodiacfmlwhere is DirectX 11?

    A bit hard to test what doesn't exist yet.
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