Halo Graphics Evolution : Anniversary vs. Original
Apparently graphics have gotten slightly better over the last decade !
It’s funny. I’ve seen this post a bunch of times, always accompanied with some kind of amazement at how far we’ve come, but it does not make me feel that way at all. Every time I see it, I just think how good the original still looks, and how pointless the “upgrade” seems. And it’s not just Halo; I think this about most older games. If the composition was good to begin with (decent art direction, colors, animations, etc.), the graphical fidelity just doesn’t matter to me. The grainy pixels and flat faces of Metal Gear Solid still look good to me. If you let it, your imagination fills in the gaps of fuzzy textures and early 3D lighting. The closer and closer we get to photorealism, the less we seem to be able to appreciate the abstract, whether the purposeful abstraction like Proteus or the abstract-by-necessity of Silent Hill.
I’m not the nostalgic old man, decrying the shiny just because it’s not what I grew up with. There is no doubt a place for and a value to stunningly photorealistic games. I just don’t understand the mindset where we have to paper over our past because photorealism is the only thing that will suffice anymore. I’m not saying this kind of re-release shouldn’t exist because clearly a lot of people care about polygons and anti-aliasing and such (plus, with the rapid erosion of backwards compatibility, there may be no other way for people to play the games), but they also sometimes feel like a waste of time and effort to me. I just think of what could be made if all that money and all those hours could have been put towards making something genuinely new, instead of just painting over something that’s been around for years.