A case for why graphics do matter in video games.
By Paul Tamburro August 09, 2012
I recently purchased a 3D Television. I realise that I am late to jump on the bandwagon but, as I suspect is the case with most of you reading this, I believed it to be a waste of money -- another marketing scheme concocted by companies running out of ways to swindle us out of our wages on expensive shit we'll never use, like the Wii Fit or toothbrushes that have attachments which allow you to brush your tongue.
Of course, I had never really given 3D TV a chance. When I visit the cinema I always opt for the 3D option rather than the 2D in the vein hope that it will somehow improve my viewing experience, but unless you're watching some sub-par schlock horror movie that relies on the 3D at the end of its title to be its financial iron lung, the most enhancement your cinematic experience ever receives is that the foreground of the picture is slightly closer to your nose and, if you use a little imagination, you can pretend that you're in a room with a 20-foot Emma Stone.
But eventually my natural cynicism subsided and I found myself led into an electronics shop by my wallet, returning home with an unnecessarily large 3D LCD TV. The fat cats had won, I had succumbed and I prepared myself for disappointment... but the disappointment never came.
After a brief spell of watching the Olympics (you will never feel as inferior as you do when watching swimmers' bodies in 3D), I decided to dip into my back catalogue of PlayStation 3 games and see for myself what Sony had been bragging about. MotorStorm Apocalypse seemed as good a place as any to start, considering its focus on high-octane gameplay and, crucially, the sheer wealth of random crap that flies towards the screen.
Happily, my cynicism was confounded as I found myself giddily racing through the rubble of the game's crumbling environment, vehicles exploding around me and buildings crashing to the ground in my wake. It was one of the most joyous experiences I've ever had playing a video game and, unlike the movies, the 3D was justifiable and enhanced my experience tenfold.
Unfortunately, 3D is destined to be mentioned in the same breath as the Kinect; it's expensive and, as far as those who have never personally experienced it are concerned, it does nothing to enhance your gaming experience.
It doesn't matter that the addition of 3D had a decisive role in the enjoyment I received in playing Sonic Generations, nor does it matter that it made Uncharted 3's spectacular set-pieces even more breathtaking -- 3D is a gimmick, one which at the very least requires you to fork out £400, and Joe Public has already had enough of his money pilfered by the film industry to know that it wouldn't be worth the high asking price.
But the truth of the matter is that many of those who turn their noses up at 3D TV's have also yet to experience them. Until you've watched the ground explode beneath your tyres in MotorStorm, or escaped the sinking ship in Uncharted 3, then (at the risk of sounding like a tired meme) your opinion is invalid.
While I understand that the expense, coupled with game developers failure to support the tech, makes it quite the risky purchase, those who have the money but who are sitting on the fence as to whether or not they should invest in a 3D TV should be reminded of one thing -- I actually enjoyed playing a Sonic The Hedgehog game.