Lunchtime Discussion: Graphics

Just before the weekend Insomniac’s Mike Acton wrote a blog posting titled “How Much Does Framerate Matter”, in it he detailed some of the internal conversations they’ve been having about the importance of framerates and the sacred cow that is 60fps (frames per second). In having these conversations they conducted some research which has uncovered the wider implications of how much the quality of a games graphics influence review scores. Below is a graph detailing part of the research which Insomniac carried out.

As you can see from their graph, the overall review score has a direct correlation with the score given for graphics and the highs and lows are pretty much exactly matched over a large range of titles. Their research also showed there was no correlation between gameplay scores and overall scores, meaning a game could play amazingly but be awarded a low score, or play terribly and still be awarded a high score.

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We’ve always heard or spoke about gameplay and even longevity being more important than graphics, but this research could suggest that if a developer focuses on graphics alone then the review score will be high even if the game plays poorly. I’m quite surprised that the graphics have such an influence on a total review score, could it be that reviewers just find graphically superior games ‘more fun’, or is that, if a games graphics are more polished than game is more likely to be better as well.

Let us know what you think, would you buy an awesome looking game which played poorly, or is gameplay still king?

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