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Crytek boss believes graphics are '60% of the game'

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Posted by: Matt Liebl

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, but Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli has defended graphics as the most important aspect of a video game. Speaking to Xbox 360 Magazine, Yerli expressed his belief that "graphics drive gameplay."

“People say that graphics don’t matter,” Yerli started, “but play Crysis and tell me they don’t matter. It’s always been about graphics driving gameplay.”

“In Crysis 3 it’s the grass and the vegetation, the way the physics runs the grass interact and sways them in the wind. You can read when an AI enemy is running towards you just by observing the way the grass blades," he added. “Graphics, whether it’s lighting or shadows, puts you in a different emotional context and drives the immersion.”

Needless to say, I disagree. While I agree graphics are important, I think it's gameplay and story that keeps a player engaged. Pretty visuals are nice, but there's only so much fun you can have looking at the grass and vegetation. I'm not going to play a game for hours just to look at the scenery, especially if gameplay is generic and the story is boring.

Yerli did raise an interesting point in that "immersion is effectively the number one thing we can use to help you buy into the world." Yes, a realistic environment is important to immersion, but as BioShock Infinite proved, you can achieve immersion without top-tier graphics. BioShock Infinite may have looked stellar on PC, but on Xbox 360, it's graphics were subpar. Nevertheless, the game was still amazing, which could pose argument to Yerli's next statement.

“The better the graphics, the better the physics, the better the sound design, the better the technical assets and production values are – paired with the art direction, making things look spectacular and stylistic is 60 percent of the game.”

And what about Richard Garriott and his Ultima series? Garriott managed to create a believable world during a time when games or machines weren't capable of producing the graphics we have today. Regardless of the graphics, fans were immersed in the worlds Garriott created with his RPGs. Why? Because he created a believable world that offered plenty for the player to do.

How about this for a solution to the gameplay vs graphics debate: rather than focus on one or the other, find a way to make gameplay and graphics mesh into one smooth game experience. Put equal emphasis on both.

Tags: Crytek, Crysis 3

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