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UglyStru

What's the deal with new video games and lack of color?

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I feel like almost every new game that comes out just looks dull. Yeah the graphics might look really good: no rough edges due to anti-aliasing, very realistic lighting and shadows, depth of field, cinematic motion blur, etc... but where is the color?

 

I think that's why we're so hooked on retro-style games. That's one of the biggest flaws with the new Doom is that none of the colors were explosive and in-your-face like it was in classic Doom. I even noticed that in the remastered Crash Bandicoot games, the color use is decent but it still looks kinda shitty in some areas. I'm hooked on heavy saturation, it's very appealing to my eyes. These color palettes used nowadays are so advanced but they use the dullest colors possible, probably for "realism" and "immersion". If I wanted realism, I'd go outside.

 

I think the only popular game I could think of nowadays with color is Rocket League. What is your opinion on new color palettes used by developers? Do you enjoy it or not? 

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Actually games have been getting more colour as of late- but you are right when games like COD, Gears of War etc were coming out muted colours, BLOOOOOM and gruff dark themes were all the rage!

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I won't be satisfied until everything is as chromatically fabulous as Araki art. Even Survival Horror.

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there's plenty of colorful games out there, just look at enter the gungeon and serious sam's bogus detour.

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3 minutes ago, roadworx said:

there's plenty of colorful games out there, just look at enter the gungeon and serious sam's bogus detour.

Those are both retro-style games. I'm talking about newer AAA titles like modern FPS games, RPGs, etc. 

 

I've noticed mainly just western games. A lot of JRPGs are so color-infused. Not sure what attracts western developers to shit-looking textures.

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It's the gaming industry emulating hollywood, you can thank Saving Private Ryan for the last 20 years of bland palette + shakycam everywhere

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4 minutes ago, stru said:

Those are both retro-style games. I'm talking about newer AAA titles like modern FPS games, RPGs, etc. 

 

most Nintendo games are pretty colorful. gta v is also pretty colorful.

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15 minutes ago, Swine & Roses said:

Already a decade old, still relevant:

  Hide contents

070119.jpg

 

HOLY SHIT LMAO! THIS IS GOLD. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way..

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In all honesty though, I can't say I agree at all. Here's a random selection of games, most from this E3, and a few from the last couple years:

Daily1.jpg

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Star-Wars-Battlefront-2-gameplay.jpg

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Now I could understand if this was 5-10 years ago, when trees and open sky were yellowish grey somehow. But it's not like every game put out today is MGS4 and Fallout 3 levels of gritsmear. Not even "gritty" games like Metro: Exodus look like that anymore.

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1 hour ago, Jaxxoon R said:

In all honesty though, I can't say I agree at all. Here's a random selection of games, most from this E3, and a few from the last couple years:

It's more Western games that I have the problem with. Don't get me wrong, it's not all of them. Borderlands, Dragon Age, and even Overwatch are prime examples, but even a game as pretty as Skyrim required ENB mods in order to give it a more vibrant look (and the remastered one improved on that heavily!). It's definitely getting better (the past two E3s have shown some serious improvement), but shit there are some ugly ass video games out there right now.

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If anything over the past 4 years there's been a resurgence of color after Quake made everything brown. Well dare I say Doom 2 made a lot of brown happen. Puts up shield to defend against bottles thrown at me for saying the brown city is too brown.

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what's new about this. haven't we been arguing about MOAR BROWN since at least Quake?

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There's plenty of examples in this thread of colorful modern games. But depending on what game it is dull colors can go a long way to enhance the atmosphere. Quake for example, with it's abundance of brown makes the whole game world look like a decaying and oppressive place, as it should be. The first Metal Gear Solid with it's blue-ish hues lends to the idea that you're in a high tech secret base in Alaska, etc.

 

I think the problem arises when you make your game monochrome for no reason other than trying to emulate a movie. Let's take CoD for example, as always. The dull brown/gray and bloom doesn't help to accentuate the grueling intensity of war, and it doesn't help in giving you a feeling of helplessness/depression in the face of adversity, because it is an action game that offers only that, action. Even the supposedly "emotional" moments in the campaign only serve as a stepping stone for more action packed scripted sequences. The final product is a game that looks dull and boring to look at for no reason other than to follow a trend, and try to emulate life(even though real life is not THAT dull looking, even in places like Iraq where there's a lot of sand and stuff).

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This reminds me of that thread where someone mused over how videogames dropped the violence in favor of being disgustingly family-friendly. I.e. someone lived under a rock for the last 10 years, and climbed out only to complain about the time when they last saw a videogame.

 

It's not quite as severe here, but still looks like an attempt to kick an already dying trend.

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Fighting in the dirt is realistic, so everything can look boring at times. Even the buildings look like dirt, in order to camouflage soldiers and important objectives

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It depends on the game, because not every game needs to be a rainbow. And it's hardly a new trend, DOOM 2 and Quake got blamed a lot for their overabundance of grey and brown, as did many other classic games.

 

While I didn't care for the series, I though the color meter in Serious Sam HD was a really nice addition. You could make the game as colorful or as muted as you wanted. Betrayer, another game I didn't care for, also had a color meter. The game was meant to be played in black and white, but if you wanted you could blast it with overdone color.

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I too wish more games had a saturation range adjustment. Maybe I want my ultra colorful game to have seasonal depression, or I want gritty mcritty to have the palette range of Super Mario. I mean, I get annoyed when a game like Unreal Tournament 3 has nice detail and flashiness and it looks like the universe of UT is contemplating suicide when I'm trying to have fun.

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Most of it was turned into orange and blue cinematic colour graded puke in order to allow consoles to handle medium visuals 4 years old instead of 6.

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Am torn do games have too many colors or too few? Can't people make up their mind :P?

 

It depends on the game art style you play\looked at. Darkest Dungeon is extremely dark but has every single color at the same time! Super Meat Boy looks extremely colorful at first then you get sick of 2 color palette per episode. Path of Exile has all colors but still manages to look like gritty shit from time to time. Dota 2 has too much colors. (and some say no longer has a specific art style)

 

If it makes sense for something to be brown\grey then so be it, Nothing is as stupid as rainbow sewers. 

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One thing to keep in mind is that monitors are much brighter these days, meaning that colors can appear more saturated. So, to compensate, games are slightly less colorful.

 

A 1995 game on a 250 lumen display will probably not look too different color-wise than a 2015 game on a 350 lumen display.

 

That being said, in 2005 or so it was more of a (poor) artistic decision than anything like what I described above.

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I think developers want to catch that gritty look, just like Hollywood does. Unless it's a Michael Bay film where everything is orange and explodes.

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I think we're exiting the brown/monochromatic phase. A few games still do it I'm sure, but really, that was more a mid to late 00s thing.

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On the contrary, it does seem like that brown/monochromatic phase of games these days are starting to wane. Hell, Doom 2016 was one of THE most colorful-looking games I've played in recent memory with a rather diverse color pallette, and that's based on the observation of the campaign alone. 

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