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StingingVelvet: Give me some criticism that doesn't revolve around it not being like GTA and I will be happy to debate it. :)
I hate GTA games xD Mafia 1 is one of my fav pc games and the sequel was a big disappointment to me and to most Mafia 1 fans judging from what I've read on forums.
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Red_Avatar: When it comes to improving how a game feels, there's three areas where a LOT more work can be done:

- sound: there's too much stock sounds and not enough ambient noise in games. Sound and music is what really drags you into a game - our ears play a vital part in the experience. A gorgeous game with poor sounds and noises is not going to feel right. At least 95% of all games made screw up massively in this area and the reason why, is because marketing folks should get slapped in the face - they're the reason. They can't market sound so they pump all the money into better graphics.

- physics: we have great graphics but it all falls to pieces the moment physics become involved. Rag dolls still look ridiculous, nothing in game worlds reacts correctly, When you consider how important physics are to create a believable world ... . Even such things as wind and flowers, plants, trees require decent physics.

- animation: as far as animation has come, it's still not perfect - especially when you consider the animation of non-human elements like animals, equipment, etc.

- AI. Seriously, AI hasn't improved one iota in 10 years. In fact, it has gotten worse for most AAA games. Even in big budget games like GTA IV, you see tons of very poor AI - and in racing games, AI is worse than what it was in the 90's!

Seriously, graphics have progressed far but they cost a lot to make and there's other elements that can be improved that would contribute to a much richer experience.
Racing games have gotten worse? Play the racing missions in Grand Theft Auto 3 and Jak II.
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lettmon: I hate GTA games xD Mafia 1 is one of my fav pc games and the sequel was a big disappointment to me and to most Mafia 1 fans judging from what I've read on forums.
Pretty much every complaint against Mafia 2 is something Mafia did, so I would be curious to hear specifics.
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Red_Avatar: - sound: there's too much stock sounds and not enough ambient noise in games. Sound and music is what really drags you into a game - our ears play a vital part in the experience. A gorgeous game with poor sounds and noises is not going to feel right. At least 95% of all games made screw up massively in this area and the reason why, is because marketing folks should get slapped in the face - they're the reason. They can't market sound so they pump all the money into better graphics.
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Fenixp: This! Definitely this! Games NEED better sound. Even today, even tho they're kinda trying, most games are incredibly shallow as far as they're sound goes and once you turn away from the pretty graphics and start to actually 'listen', very few deliver.
Yeah, many of us gamers got expensive speakers or headphones and what we get are stock gun sounds, very generic background noises and that's it. There's soooo much room for improvement it's not funny anymore. Even an amateur could do better!

Take a game like STALKER: that game had brilliant ambient noises and all very original and different. Heck, even there there was tons of room for improvement but they picked very good sounds for what was there. Bioshock did it well as well (even though I didn't like the game itself) but these are scarce examples. Actually, TW2 did it really well, too.

Seriously, when you have 100 items in the world that should have a distinct sound but don't, something is wrong. A blinking light usually makes a buzzing sound for example.
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Red_Avatar: When it comes to improving how a game feels, there's three areas where a LOT more work can be done:

- sound: there's too much stock sounds and not enough ambient noise in games. Sound and music is what really drags you into a game - our ears play a vital part in the experience. A gorgeous game with poor sounds and noises is not going to feel right. At least 95% of all games made screw up massively in this area and the reason why, is because marketing folks should get slapped in the face - they're the reason. They can't market sound so they pump all the money into better graphics.

- physics: we have great graphics but it all falls to pieces the moment physics become involved. Rag dolls still look ridiculous, nothing in game worlds reacts correctly, When you consider how important physics are to create a believable world ... . Even such things as wind and flowers, plants, trees require decent physics.

- animation: as far as animation has come, it's still not perfect - especially when you consider the animation of non-human elements like animals, equipment, etc.

- AI. Seriously, AI hasn't improved one iota in 10 years. In fact, it has gotten worse for most AAA games. Even in big budget games like GTA IV, you see tons of very poor AI - and in racing games, AI is worse than what it was in the 90's!
Seriously, graphics have progressed far but they cost a lot to make and there's other elements that can be improved that would contribute to a much richer experience.
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Elmofongo: Racing games have gotten worse? Play the racing missions in Grand Theft Auto 3 and Jak II.
In the 90's you had proper simulations where AI would behave correctly - these days, racing games have loads of rubber banding - look at the Need For Speed games. If you look at the AI, they constantly crash whenever they're in your view - when you can't see them, they drive correctly. Now take Grand Prix 3: the AI would behave realistically even when at the other side of the track. You'd get crash notifcations and so on even when they weren't in sight. Now look at the latest F1 game and there was a huge scandal about its AI being flaky.
Post edited January 20, 2013 by Red_Avatar
Blur Studios animation is probably the closest thing I've seen to the "real life" look. In-game video game graphics, on the other hand, has a ways to go.
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StingingVelvet: Pretty much every complaint against Mafia 2 is something Mafia did, so I would be curious to hear specifics.
Uh where to start. Most important - the story, Mafia 2 has forgettable story and characters, no character development. While in Mafia 1 there was intense story with twists going on practically non stop.

I still can't believe Mafia 2 made me drive around the city and collect some fuel checks or something in timed mode when the game was in midway. Then at one point if I remember right it made me hand out smoke packs to random ppl and I had to make sure they were blue or red depending on buyers needs, exciting stuff.

And Mafia 2 ended abruptly - compare that to the last level of Mafia 1 and its ending..
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lettmon: Uh where to start. Most important - the story, Mafia 2 has forgettable story and characters, no character development. While in Mafia 1 there was intense story with twists going on practically non stop.
Subjective, I liked the story and characters in two. I also liked the ending, he "won" but lost what was important.

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lettmon: I still can't believe Mafia 2 made me drive around the city and collect some fuel checks or something in timed mode when the game was in midway. Then at one point if I remember right it made me hand out smoke packs to random ppl and I had to make sure they were blue or red depending on buyers needs, exciting stuff.
Both games make you do little errands and stuff to immerse you in the Mafia lifestyle.
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scampywiak: It doesn't make sense to stop. If CDPR can create one of the best looking games of all time on a paupers' budget, then there's no need to curtail progress. Mostly, I see console fanboys claiming graphics hurt the industry ( there's irony) and that we should all go play FEZ in repentance. It's nonsense.
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Faenrir: Yes it does, i don't want games with bigger budgets than movies because you need 400 or 500 graphic artists.
I don't want games that take more than 10 years to make.
Hell, i'm ok with a graphic level that's almost 10 years old now, what's the point, they're called video games not interactive movies.
TW2 took barely over 3 yrs to make. With fewer resources than Bethesda or Bioware has, and yet the game has superior art design, writing, and graphics. Oh..and they were writing the new engine while they made the game.
Post edited January 20, 2013 by scampywiak
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Kaldurenik: There are still so many areas they can improve on... Higher res textures, more draw distance, more objects on the screen at the same time, better water / weather, lights, shadows, better models,, better physics / animations.

Why would you stop?
Because time and resources aren't infinite. It costs more and more to make an AAA game nowadays and it isn't going to improve if we go on this way. Which means only a few "selling" IPs such as call of duty and fifa and less innovative games. Sure indies are there for innovation but still, some big games do innovate as well and it'd be a shame to see those disappear.

@scampywiak: by TW2, you mean the witcher 2 ? I hated the witcher games, they both have poor design to me. Gameplay is clunky at best and it doesn't compare at all to skyrim or even oblivion in terms of world depth and immersion. Dragon Age was also vastly superior to me.
And Skyrim looks much much better and feels much more real than it.
Post edited January 21, 2013 by Faenrir
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StingingVelvet: Both games make you do little errands and stuff to immerse you in the Mafia lifestyle.
Those errands in Mafia 2 felt small time for a mafia mob. If it was at the beginning of the game like in Mafia 1 then it'd have been different. Anyway I read an article about 2 that was written by one of the developers and it was like a report to publishers where he explained how difficult and long the development process was (change of staff, change of engine etc) and after reading it I almost felt forgiving lol
Meh, I'm all for the graphics envelope to keep being pushed. I like how some people tout the "gameplay > graphics" shtick, but when a developer/ series they like has amazing graphics, it falls by the wayside.
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StingingVelvet: ...Recently though it's being hammered into my skull. I've played three games recently, Far Cry 3, Max Payne 3 and Hitman: Absolution, which look AMAZING. Like, as lifelike as I think games ever need to look....
Graphics does a lot for immersion. I can imagine that they will soon introduce 3D graphics (with shutter or polarized glasses) to even increase it. And maybe "more than lifelike" effects like hollowness or crazy cuts or augmented information. I still feel that out of cutscenes the animation of people and animals doesn't look right. So the images are already good but the movements are not yet there.
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Trilarion: Graphics does a lot for immersion. I can imagine that they will soon introduce 3D graphics (with shutter or polarized glasses) to even increase it. And maybe "more than lifelike" effects like hollowness or crazy cuts or augmented information. I still feel that out of cutscenes the animation of people and animals doesn't look right. So the images are already good but the movements are not yet there.
The tech isn't the issue, I'm more saying the budgets required do not make sense considering the audience size.
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StingingVelvet: The tech isn't the issue, I'm more saying the budgets required do not make sense considering the audience size.
QFT
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Kaldurenik: There are still so many areas they can improve on... Higher res textures, more draw distance, more objects on the screen at the same time, better water / weather, lights, shadows, better models,, better physics / animations.

Why would you stop?
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Faenrir: Because time and resources aren't infinite. It costs more and more to make an AAA game nowadays and it isn't going to improve if we go on this way. Which means only a few "selling" IPs such as call of duty and fifa and less innovative games. Sure indies are there for innovation but still, some big games do innovate as well and it'd be a shame to see those disappear.

@scampywiak: by TW2, you mean the witcher 2 ? I hated the witcher games, they both have poor design to me. Gameplay is clunky at best and it doesn't compare at all to skyrim or even oblivion in terms of world depth and immersion. Dragon Age was also vastly superior to me.
And Skyrim looks much much better and feels much more real than it.
True however most of the costs come from them having expensive voice actors, high advertisment costs ( equal up to 5 times the dev cost) and a focus on the "cinematic" experience (playing around with camera / events and so on).

Maybe we will move away from it some time but right now publishers want to sell to as many people as possible and they happily buy the over advertised product. You cant blame the publisher for this. Blame the consumers for being mindless sheep.