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Old Aug 31, 2013, 04:26 AM   #1
imacken
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Bioshock Infinite Graphics

This is purely an observation of the graphics in BI, nothing to do with the gameplay.
I don't know what it is with the graphics here, but they just feel totally flat. People are well detailed, but there is something non-immersive about the whole experience.
Look at bushes, for example, made up of poorly swaying - in a non-existent breeze - set of 2D shapes.
Walking through water gives no realistic impression at all. Wade your way through, and there is no sign whatsoever of ripples or splashing - nothing. In fact, movement in general has a totally unreal feel to it. It's like you are floating on a cushion of air through the environment - maybe you are! - rather than walking or running.
Look at the crates of fruit and veg (or anything else) in the market stalls. They are like a flat graphic, no impression of individual objects at all.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but compared to other games, e.g. Deus Ex, Witcher 2, Arkham City, etc., these graphics are very disappointing. Strange because I seem to recall - and it's been a few years since I last played them - that the first 2 Bioshocks had excellent graphics.
I have settings on max, BTW.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 05:22 AM   #2
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I was too busy playing the game to stand around and stare at the foliage. I didn't even notice anything about what you said, but it sounds like you've got a lovely case of "why doesn't this computer game perfectly recreate real life?" syndrome.

Perhaps you need to get out more. I'm told the real world has some pretty crazy graphics, and if you want to stare at bushes then there's plenty of detail to stare at. It's got some pretty radical physics simulations too!

-SC
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 05:34 AM   #3
imacken
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Useful reply.
Sadly, real life isn't as exciting as computer games, or so I'm told. Maybe I'll give it a try one day though.
In the mean time, I'll continue to comment on game quality in computer game forums!
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 07:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imacken View Post
Useful reply.
Sadly, real life isn't as exciting as computer games, or so I'm told. Maybe I'll give it a try one day though.
In the mean time, I'll continue to comment on game quality in computer game forums!
Bioshock Infinite is not what you'd call a realistic game. It doesn't try to be photorealistic, or gritty, etc.

It's the call of the art department and ultimately, the call of Ken Levine.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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Yes, of course it is, and a great game it is, but some of the graphics are basically just poor. That's not a design thing.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 09:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by imacken View Post
Yes, of course it is, and a great game it is, but some of the graphics are basically just poor. That's not a design thing.
Maybe it's your system? Can you post a screenshot of what you're seeing as a problem? It's hard for us to help you if we can't see it.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 10:41 AM   #7
imacken
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Maybe it's your system? Can you post a screenshot of what you're seeing as a problem? It's hard for us to help you if we can't see it.
I'm not having a problem! I am simply saying that the graphics in this game at times are poor, and feel like a game from years ago - and I'm not talking about design concepts.
2 screen grabs below show to an extent what I mean, and the 3rd shows how the quality is good with characters.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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The flatness might have something to do with the absence of tessellation in OS X 10.8. Mavericks will give it more depth if Aspyr implements openGL 4 features.
But they are obvious design decisions here. The flowers and fruits look like impressionist paintings, and it's not due to tow texture resolution.

EDIT: it seems that the game doesn't support tessellation, so no improvement to expect here.

Last edited by jeanlain; Aug 31, 2013 at 12:03 PM.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 04:21 PM   #9
ScottishCaptain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imacken View Post
Useful reply.
Sadly, real life isn't as exciting as computer games, or so I'm told. Maybe I'll give it a try one day though.
In the mean time, I'll continue to comment on game quality in computer game forums!
Might I suggest you take up something fun as a hobby then. Skydiving, paintball, or bungee jumping perhaps? There is a lot more to life then commenting on "game quality in computer game forums."

Quote:
Originally Posted by imacken View Post
I'm not having a problem! I am simply saying that the graphics in this game at times are poor, and feel like a game from years ago - and I'm not talking about design concepts.
2 screen grabs below show to an extent what I mean, and the 3rd shows how the quality is good with characters.
You're seriously complaining about that, but not the rock hard edges on the player model polygons? Since when have you ever seen someone with a faceted stomach before?

Bioshock Infinite uses the Unreal 3 engine. I'm not sure what UE3 games you've been playing, but they basically all look the same. You get close to anything, and it looks like crap. That's just a combination of the game engine being somewhat older (~4 years), and their graphical assets more then likely targeting consoles and low to medium end computers rather then high end rigs that can handle higher resolution textures.

If you want pretty foliage and vegetables, then I recommend a new computer and a copy of Crysis 3. The game is unbelievably bad, but the foliage is top notch and if there are any buckets of vegetables in it I'm sure they look stellar too.

Honestly, I'm not sure if you're trolling or what. If you spent as much time playing games as you give the impression of, then you should be generally aware of what game engines are out there and what the capabilities are of each. Unless you literally just crawl around the 'net commenting on how crappy filler assets are in various video games that aren't meant to be looked at close up.

-SC
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 04:34 PM   #10
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In all the years I've been contributing to internet forums, you are the most rude contributor I have come across.
Your insults don't bother me.
Good luck with the rest of your life.
I hope you find someone else to insult that will react more in the manner you obvious would like, as clearly you must get off on it.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 05:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ScottishCaptain View Post
Might I suggest you take up something fun as a hobby then. Skydiving, paintball, or bungee jumping perhaps? There is a lot more to life then commenting on "game quality in computer game forums."
How ironical.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 05:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by imacken View Post
In all the years I've been contributing to internet forums, you are the most rude contributor I have come across.
Your insults don't bother me.
Good luck with the rest of your life.
I hope you find someone else to insult that will react more in the manner you obvious would like, as clearly you must get off on it.
I'm honoured. Unfortunately, if you consider my replies overtly rude then you definitely haven't spent nearly as much time as you claim on the internet, let alone this forum in general.

So I bid you good luck with your life too!

May you find happiness and fulfillment in your everlasting quest to stare at virtual bushes and buckets of vegetables.

-SC
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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I noticed the flat, waving bush planes right after I left the baptism scene. I also noticed the odd fruit domes in the baskets, too.

But, brushed aside those trivial moments in light of the remarkable quality that was overflowing in every other aspect of this modern testament to storytelling. I've been gaming since before the Atari 2600 was released. Any comment made against the graphics of a game of this caliber can't help but stir the following comparisons in my head:

Quote:
Look at the terrible foliage!


Quote:
Look at the unrealistic water effects!


Quote:
Look at the ridiculous fruit!
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 06:56 PM   #14
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I noticed the flat, waving bush planes right after I left the baptism scene. I also noticed the odd fruit domes in the baskets, too.

But, brushed aside those trivial moments in light of the remarkable quality that was overflowing in every other aspect of this modern testament to storytelling. I've been gaming since before the Atari 2600 was released. Any comment made against the graphics of a game of this caliber can't help but stir the following comparisons in my head
Haha! Loved the links.
Totally agree, the quality of graphics in this game doesn't spoil the experience one bit.
Fantastic storyline and great gameplay all the way so far. Loving it as much as I did the original Bioshock, and that is saying something.
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 08:36 PM   #15
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I get what your saying. Some aspects are really flat but hey.

Also, ScottishCaptain, please remove the enormous dick from your Grand Canyon ass and find someone who actually loves you. It makes no sense for you to be THAT ridiculously rude on a thread YOU chose to comment on.
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Old Sep 1, 2013, 10:58 PM   #16
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I get what your saying. Some aspects are really flat but hey.

Also, ScottishCaptain, please remove the enormous dick from your Grand Canyon ass and find someone who actually loves you. It makes no sense for you to be THAT ridiculously rude on a thread YOU chose to comment on.
I'm sorry, and I apologize profusely.

I now realize the op was correct. The graphics totally do suck. I think everyone should stop playing the game immediately, obviously there is no enjoyment to be had here.

-SC
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 04:15 AM   #17
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Come on, don't be harsh. The OP has a valid point. It's 2013, having such bad graphics on a AAA title is kind of disappointing judging from the power that the modern GPUs have. Besides, the OP never said that the game is not good or it should not be played. I would expect such lack of detail / flatness from an MMO engine, but not in a single player top notch game.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 06:20 AM   #18
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I think everyone should stop playing the game immediately, obviously there is no enjoyment to be had here.
Point out exactly where the OP said that the game is not worth playing because of the graphics.

/starts flea-powered sundial
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 01:45 PM   #19
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There is also a total failure of understanding that the tone was the problem, not the argument.
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 05:48 PM   #20
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Come on, don't be harsh. The OP has a valid point. It's 2013, having such bad graphics on a AAA title is kind of disappointing judging from the power that the modern GPUs have. Besides, the OP never said that the game is not good or it should not be played. I would expect such lack of detail / flatness from an MMO engine, but not in a single player top notch game.
They're not bad graphics.

This is what I don't understand- it's as if the op has played some mysterious game where "everything is better". I can go into any computer game and pick out bits and pieces that look rubbish. Low resolution textures on some pipes here, horribly scaled assets over there. It doesn't matter what game you're playing- if you explore enough and venture into the areas where the developer did not intend you to spend the majority of your time in-game, you will find things to complain about.

The assets in question have two issues about them:

1) The entire game targets the console as well as the PC, so of course the things that you're not supposed to be staring at are going to have lower resolution textures then everything else, and

2) These are nothing more then filler assets, they are designed to be stamped and instanced around to literally fill up space. As such, you really don't want to be flinging around hundreds (thousands?) of instances textured with a 1K or 512x512 pixel texture map

These are not a problem. Every game has stuff like that. Could they have gotten rid of these issues by targeting only the most powerful computers in the world and using gigantic textures and high-poly meshes everywhere? Sure, but again, this game needed to run on the 360 and PS3, and those are NOT powerful systems by any stretch of the imagination.

So really, the issue boils down to this: Irrational Games used the UE3 engine because that's what everyone uses, they targeted a bunch of low performance systems and the textures were down sampled during baking accordingly, and these are nothing more then filler assets so they don't need to look good anyways (if everyone spent weeks modelling and texturing buckets of fruit, you'd never get anything else done).

Again, I think everyone is splitting hairs. Every game has its faults, and I don't understand why we are reefing on a game as good as Bioshock Infinite. Bioshock 1 and 2 were far, far worse graphically yet op "remembers" them as being better (but that's a psychological thing, not a technical issue).

-SC
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Old Sep 2, 2013, 05:56 PM   #21
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They're not bad graphics.
-SC
Yes they are, in many ways, but that doesn't stop BI from being a fantastically playable game as I have already said.
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 05:57 AM   #22
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They're not bad graphics.

This is what I don't understand- it's as if the op has played some mysterious game where "everything is better". I can go into any computer game and pick out bits and pieces that look rubbish. Low resolution textures on some pipes here, horribly scaled assets over there. It doesn't matter what game you're playing- if you explore enough and venture into the areas where the developer did not intend you to spend the majority of your time in-game, you will find things to complain about.

The assets in question have two issues about them:

1) The entire game targets the console as well as the PC, so of course the things that you're not supposed to be staring at are going to have lower resolution textures then everything else, and

2) These are nothing more then filler assets, they are designed to be stamped and instanced around to literally fill up space. As such, you really don't want to be flinging around hundreds (thousands?) of instances textured with a 1K or 512x512 pixel texture map

These are not a problem. Every game has stuff like that. Could they have gotten rid of these issues by targeting only the most powerful computers in the world and using gigantic textures and high-poly meshes everywhere? Sure, but again, this game needed to run on the 360 and PS3, and those are NOT powerful systems by any stretch of the imagination.

So really, the issue boils down to this: Irrational Games used the UE3 engine because that's what everyone uses, they targeted a bunch of low performance systems and the textures were down sampled during baking accordingly, and these are nothing more then filler assets so they don't need to look good anyways (if everyone spent weeks modelling and texturing buckets of fruit, you'd never get anything else done).

Again, I think everyone is splitting hairs. Every game has its faults, and I don't understand why we are reefing on a game as good as Bioshock Infinite. Bioshock 1 and 2 were far, far worse graphically yet op "remembers" them as being better (but that's a psychological thing, not a technical issue).

-SC
Yes, I understand that. It is not possible to fill an entire terrain from top to bottom with high-resolution textures and objects made of thousands of polygons. It would just be too heavy. The point is here, though: devs must "hide" those things in a way that you (the player) will not see them too often (unless you desperately search for them). Like objects that will always be "unreachable", or too far, so they are serving only the filler role.

UE3 engine can do what UE3 engine can do. From that point on, though, it's an issue of smart (or not so smart) design of the terrain. Having said that, I don't really know how often you meet those low flat graphics in the specific game.
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 11:13 AM   #23
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Yes they are, in many ways, but that doesn't stop BI from being a fantastically playable game as I have already said.
They certainly are not. As mentioned, Bioshock Infinite is not trying to recreate real life visuals.

My 2 years old Macbook Pro can run Bioshock Infinite perfectly and that I may "occasionally" notice some downsampled textures doesn't mean it's bad graphics. Quite the opposite, actually.
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 03:17 PM   #24
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Yes, I understand that. It is not possible to fill an entire terrain from top to bottom with high-resolution textures and objects made of thousands of polygons. It would just be too heavy. The point is here, though: devs must "hide" those things in a way that you (the player) will not see them too often (unless you desperately search for them). Like objects that will always be "unreachable", or too far, so they are serving only the filler role.

UE3 engine can do what UE3 engine can do. From that point on, though, it's an issue of smart (or not so smart) design of the terrain. Having said that, I don't really know how often you meet those low flat graphics in the specific game.
They seemed to have done a good job hiding them from my perspective. I've played the game through 4 times now (twice on 1999 mode), and I haven't noticed any of these "issues".

I'm still waiting to hear about the games op has played where there were absolutely no issues with any of the graphics.

-SC
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 03:25 PM   #25
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They certainly are not. As mentioned, Bioshock Infinite is not trying to recreate real life visuals.

My 2 years old Macbook Pro can run Bioshock Infinite perfectly and that I may "occasionally" notice some downsampled textures doesn't mean it's bad graphics. Quite the opposite, actually.
In the main, it's Ok, the cartoony nature of the graphics works well, but some are just disappointing.
The initial baptism scene environment is a good example of how, IMO, the graphics don't work so well.
But, it's all a matter of opinion really.
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