Speaking to X360 Magazine, Crytek head Cevat Yerli stated that graphics make for more than half of the videogame experience.
“People say that graphics don’t matter, but play Crysis and tell me they don’t matter,” Yerli told X360. “It’s always been about graphics driving gameplay. Graphics, whether it’s lighting or shadows, puts you in a different emotional context and drives the immersion, and immersion is effectively the number one thing we can use to help you buy into the world.”
“The better the graphics, the better the physics, the better the sound design, the better the technical assets and production values are,” he continued. “Paired with the art direction, making things look spectacular and stylistic is 60% of the game.”
Part of me—the near-30 gamer who couldn’t care less about how pretty something is, so long as it meets a relative standard—is inclined to disagree.
But another part of me buys what Yerli is selling. Not that the most visually impressive games grab my attention most, but rather games that deliver those oh-so-essential details that contribute to immersion. It is all the little touches—lighting, sound design, a game’s aesthetic, animation. It’s the cohesiveness of the visual experience combined with gameplay and smart narrative that land the hardest blows for me. Things don’t need to be photorealistic. They just need to come together on every front.
See: BioShock Infinite