Gameplay vs. Graphics: The most realistic video games

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There is an ongoing argument in the gaming community as to whether gameplay or graphics should take priority when it comes to rating a video game. There is something truly hypnotising about realistic animation and graphics when playing a game. Whether it’s the sweat droplets on Joel’s face in The Last of Us or the way glass reflects the sun in Death Stranding, these tiny details turn a game with average to excellent gameplay into a work of art that is certainly more enjoyable. 

There are plenty of existing games that stand out from the crowd when it comes to visuals, but that doesn’t stop studios from trying to outdo each other with graphics as close to the real thing as possible. Has Ripple Effect done just that?

Image via Unsplash

Believable Blood and Guts 

Gamers and graphic designers alike may have recently seen a very exciting job opening at the Electronics Arts Studio (formerly known as DICE LA), Ripple Effect. The company is looking for a Senior 3D Artist who will help them create a new Battlefield game that will be the most realistic and feature some mind-blowing destruction effects.

Should you be interested in relocating, the job is based in Los Angeles, CA, but remote options are available to those from Vancouver. 

Ripple Effect isn’t the only studio trying to leave its mark on Battlefield. There are numerous other studios currently fighting it out for the best and most realistic game in the Battlefield franchise. Following the launch of Battlefield 2042, it isn’t hard to see why there is such pressure to create a new feature for the industry. 

The last game in the series received criticism above the general standard amount of judgement most new games receive. The lack of mass destruction left many disappointed after playing the game. Will this issue be addressed by Ripple Effect?

The Almost Real Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is known for being one of the gaming industry’s most realistic and detailed games to date. The visual effects, as well as the mechanics of every moving part, are truly noteworthy and earned the universally acclaimed sequel a 97/100 score on Metacritic. 

From the animals that move across the map as you do to the other features of this open-world game, developers spent a lot of time perfecting this one, and it really has paid off. Due to the exciting yet slow progression of the game, players are able to explore each of the details, allowing the game to shine in all its glory. 

The Stand-Out Death Stranding

The trailer for Death Stranding had many thinking that Daryl from The Walking Dead was in another TV series. But that illusion was simply a teaser for what was to come in terms of the outstanding graphics Kojima Productions had produced. Death Stranding’s impeccable graphics earned it mutiple ‘Technical Achievement’ awards in 2020.

Norman Reedus spent hours having his face recorded as well as body movements for the games studio to produce such a lifelike replica of his actions, but the open-world landscape and architecture of the game were all expertly crafted from research to deliver the most realistic experience possible. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding truly moves the bar when it comes to realistic graphics. 

The Latest and Greatest Last Of Us 2

When it comes to realistic, heart-wrenching and emotive facial expressions, the gritty tale of revenge and retribution set in a post-apocalyptic America, The Last of Us 2, takes the cake. Storytelling was important in the first instalment, and the creators definitely made sure to continue that tradition with the sequel

The combination of the realistic environment, and the minute details when it comes to facial expressions in the game really demonstrate just how impactful graphics can be. In fact, artists at Naughty Dog travelled to Seattle, where The Last of Us 2 was set, to analyze the city’s architecture, vegetation, materials, topography, lighting and to capture photorealistic textures for the game.

From emotional rollercoaster character arcs to spine-chilling jump-scares, The Last of Us 2 ticks all the immersive gameplay boxes. The subtle storytelling adds an element that keeps the players involved and invested in the characters’ lives, their choices, and their outcomes. 


The argument of graphics vs gameplay will always be there, but we’re sure that neither would be as enjoyable without the other. From explosions that will shake you to your core in terms of their visual impact to the way a horse’s tail flicks the flies away as you trot past the dead, a small detail can go a long way when gaming. 

Image via Rockstar Games

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