The best graphics in a technical showcase are less about the art and more about pushing shaders and GPUs. Usually the best technical game is a masterclass example of a brand new graphics technology or just a game that can define a generation even.
Metro Exodus is a gorgeous game, but what really pushes it above the others is the use of Nvidia’s new ray tracing technology to bring lighting to life. It’s one of the few games that does it well and is only available on the latest RTX GPUs from Nvidia.
Graphics aren’t everything in a game, but they can still make or break it. Artistically, it can set a game apart from the rest or make one stand out over all the others. It’s not just cartoony, but a game with a unique art style and sense of identity is what you see here.
Disco Elysium’s art style is something that makes you stop and look when scrolling through a store page. It’s an art style you won’t forget and keep you entranced during your entire playthrough. The muddy, gritty, and dirty look of Elysium is just spectacular and every background oozes with detail.
God of War is not only one of the best looking games of all time, but the art direction is on another planet with a beautiful recreation of Norse mythology and an atmosphere that really brings you into the world and makes you feel like you’re really there. From every texture to leaf and creature, God of War is a piece of moving art.
Best technical graphics is all about games that push their system to the limits. Shaders, ambient occlusion, shadow maps, tesselation, anti-aliasing, deferred lighting, and every other piece of tech that makes games look as good as real life.
Usually, console games get beaten out by PC exclusives in the graphics department, but the last five years have really closed the gap. The benefit of console exclusives is that it allows a developer to hone their skills on one piece of hardware, get it to know it, and push it to its limits and learn all its programming tricks. God of War is probably one of the best looking games ever made, period. The amount of detail and stunning beauty of the game is out of this world, and on a PS4 Pro and a 4K TV, this is where it’s apparent. This is a serious treatment that you only get once in a console generation and this is it.
Technical graphics aren’t so much the art style, but what’s under the hood. Usually, games that introduce new engine or technology tend to be the best. This year was huge for DirectX 11 games on PC which can not be down on consoles. State of the art graphics cards are needed and a few games really showed this off this year. Usually, high-resolution textures, great modeling, lighting, water effects, weather, and other elements make up a good-looking game.
Were you surprised? Battlefield 3 was the only game to truly use DirectX 11 exclusively and completely left out DirectX 9 and 10. While the PC version only got this treatment the console versions looked pretty close. Battlefield 3 sported some amazing lighting effects as well as water and the textures looked real. Nothing really pushed graphics cards harder this year than Battlefield 3 so it takes the cake.
Graphics aren’t the most important part of a game, but they are essential in helping deliver every aspect. A lot of games try to push consoles to their limits with higher resolutions, more detailed textures, better lighting, physics, and even just about every other thing that games need to do to look pretty.
What sets God of War apart from other games besides its gruesome violence, and epic boss fights? Its graphics. It pushes shaders, memory, and makes processors sweat with its luscious huge vistas, multi-screened bosses, and stunning detail in every character. In 1080p on an HDTV, nothing can hold a candle to anything graphics wise.