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2D vs. 3D

posted by Anonymous on - last edited - Viewed by 2.3K users
Who around here agrees with me that the old school 2D adventure games had a better atmosphere than most of the new 3D adventure games?? Sam and Max looks really good so far and is one of the few adventure games I can say of that it feels like the 2D adventure games, but the 4th monkey island game was ruined by the 3D style (probably because the 3d graphics weren't very advanced back then) and while I loved Grim Fandango I didn't like the 3D much. The controlls were kinda hard. I love how telltale uses the point a click style in 3D.

I guess it takes a much longer time to make a 2D adventure game than a 3D modelled one, cause in 3D you can reuse items and models etc.. The game a runaway is fully in 2D and I think that captures the atmosphere the best. It really gives you the feeling you're playing a cartoon and not a 3D shooter.. The 3D style makes a lot of adventure games look dull.. Take the demo of broken sword 4 as example.. It just doesn't feel right. The game Ankh had a good atmosphere though and felt more old-school. Still if I had a choise I would say 2D adventure games for the win..
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  • I personally quite like Adventures in 3D. But many games just don't seem to get the whole 3D control system down right. BS4 being a prime example. George's pathfinding is abysmal. On the other hand, Bone has worked really well with 3D so far. As for Runaway, I thought it was okay, but it's quite overrated. Sure, old skool 2.5D adventure games are great and all, but having some decent characters in there is usually a great help. The heroine was a *censored* and the hero started off as a really unusually muscley dork and ended up giving up on all his hopes and dreams just so he could go off and have his stupid "cool" short shorts and his slightly more unkempt hair and live with the random swindler he'd met only days ago. All the other characters were more novelty than well written.
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    I'm not talking about the game itself.. I'm talking about the look.. I prefer a 2D game look over a 3D game look if it's an adventure comic game.

    I mean how can you not prefer graphics like this:


    over this:

  • Who around here agrees with me that the old school 2D adventure games had a better atmosphere than most of the new 3D adventure games??
    I do.
    It's not that I don't like the look of, for example, S&M Episode 1.
    I just don't get this "it must be 3D" philosophy.
    Furtherly, I always thought that videogames are a form of art so I don't understand why companies always seem to research for morbid, obsessive realism.
    Think of painters: centuries ago they could be perfect and incredibly realistic, but then someone invented styles like impressionism, where they didn't try to be realistic and couldn't care less about reality.
    Perhaps someone will do the same with pc games once, leaving this reality obsession and venting other types of expression.
  • I don't think those two screenshots are a very fair comparison. Broken Sword 4 isn't going for a cartoony look. (And I personally think the facial expressions on BS4's characters are awesome.)

    Cassius Pearl is one game that seems to be pulling off a crazy cartoon world in 3D quite well.


    As far as the "it must be 3D" philosophy, Telltale has a lot of reasons for doing graphics in 3D (and I'm sure many other developers have the same reasons) - it's faster and cheaper (allowing smaller companies to make games for less money, with fewer resources), it's much easier to edit camera angles and animations on the fly (which allows for a shorter development cycle), and it's a must for a downloadable game. It would be impossible to keep the file size so small with 2D graphics.

    I personally don't mind 3D graphics at all, and I don't really get why people are so passionate about them. I like 2D or 2.5D (which is what the Runaway screenshot above is - those may be prerendered backgrounds, but the models are 3D) but I like 3D just as much if it's done well. And keep in mind that 2D graphics can be ugly and poorly done, too!
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    wow.. the last screenshot you posted is awesome.. gonna check out that game..

    Anyway, like you said it's cheaper and faster to go 3D. I really like the look of Sam and Max, but I was talking about adventure games in general. Sometimes the adventure games just look too empty if they're in 3D. 2D or 2.5D games just have this certain charm around them that can't really be done with 3D games.. A lot of emotion gets lost in 3D games. If you look at 3d models, they have a fixed pattern. If you look at games like Call of Duty, you see the same boxes of wood all over the place. A lot of the 3D stuff is reused too often.

    One action comic game that I thought had a great art style was Psychonauts.. It looked great and the art style fit the game perfectly. I guess I just like games wide a wide colour pattern and not with dull environments..

    A lot of people thought syberia was a great game, I just couldn't get into it because first it wasn't funny and secondly it just looked a bit dull..
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    I vote 3D! - Or actually, whichever seems most relevant to the project...

    2D graphics can definitely add a storybook atmosphere, but I can never get over the impression it's just some 2D graphics with a load of bounding boxes thrown on the screen... PacMan with a storyline :D

    Whereas with 3D the character is genuinely moving around & interacting with their environment (abet in a mathematical sense).
  • Cassius Pearl.... thanks for the info, I'll be checking it VERY often :D Looks great!
  • Sometimes the adventure games just look too empty if they're in 3D. 2D or 2.5D games just have this certain charm around them that can't really be done with 3D games.. A lot of emotion gets lost in 3D games.
    I think this depends a lot more on the art direction than whether the graphics are 2D or 3D.

    If you look at a game like Syberia... a lot of people think those are gorgeous graphics. To me, they're very blah and drab, and it's not helped by the fact that there's practically nothing to interact with.
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    Personally I think that 3D really helps to improve the visual narration, because it allows to change shots without the additional work Emily was talking about. Looking at the comparison between the BS4 shot and the Runaway 2 shot the first thing I think is that in BS4 I will be able to watch the characters from every angle. The only chance I'll have to do that in Runaway 2 will be during the cutscenes. ;)
    When I play old-school graphic adventures I feel like I'm watching a play, with the characters acting on a stage. It may be more detailed, but it's static. I'm not a rookie, I've been playing adventure games for more than 15 years, but I really think that a good solid 3D is the way to go for the future.
    That said, I don't mind a good 2D adventure game like Runaway once in a while.
  • More info on Cassius Pearl (incl. link to trailer) here on the Adventuregamers forums.
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