As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, I’m not a really big gamer. I use my original xbox as a media center and use it to play NES, SNES, and other old console games. Ignoring my status as a non-gamer, I decided to get an Xbox 360 elite when it came out. Microsoft finally decided to include an HDMI port and I think that’s what really set me over the edge.
Man am I glad I got it. The graphics are absolutely amazing. Before getting one I really didn’t think of the next-gen consoles (Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360) as a revolutionary change in the gaming industry like other consoles generations have been. I knew the technical specs sounded great on paper, but I didn’t think the graphics held up to my standards. After playing Lost Planet for a few hours, I can say the graphics / visuals are definitely revolutionary.
The amount of “jaggies” on the screen has been reduced incredibly, the lighting technologies are amazing, and the character interaction/movement is amazing. I am really disappointed every time I play an Xbox 1 game and jagged edges on object are sticking out like a sore thumb. This is really annoying on games like Need For Speed, where you always have a car on screen and it has jagged edges all over the curves. The same holds true for one of my recent favorites Star Wars: KoTOR (Knights of the Old Republic) – the clothing and robes have a lot of jagged edges and really detracted from the overall graphical ambience of the game.
Regarding lighting technologies, it seems like the console can really produce much more realistic lighting. I’m not sure if it has to do with the processing power of the multi-core “brain” of the unit, the graphics card, or some other aspect, but it looks great. Lighting has always been one of those things that is hard to capture and reproduce – this was even a large topic in the painting class I took in college. However they do it, the 360 brings us one step closer to reality.
I don’t think I’ve noticed a single CG scene that is a simple movie playback. All the plot scenes look like they are all done with game objects on the fly. In older games, like Final Fantasy on the PSX, you would play with your normal game characters with jagged edges and all their imperfections throughout all the game play. Basic plot-scenes with interaction between characters were sometimes done with in-game characters, but large / action plot scenes were pre-recorded CG being played back. In Lost Planet, all the scenes are done with in-game characters. The graphics still look just as amazing and have a better effect in my opinion. Instead of feeling like there was this abrupt change in styling, the whole game just flows together much better. I assume it also takes less disc space to record an action sequence with in-game characters than it does to save a CG video.