Fancy but pointless graphical effects
We have gotten to the point where we have games that look so good that they look better than real life. Games like Far Cry 4, Metro Last Light, and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor have pushed the graphical envelope further and further. Over on the PC, the modding community has made stunning looking games like Skyrim look jaw dropping with SweetFX and ENB. So with that said, it really drives me up the wall when developers mar the graphical fidelity of their games with stupid and pointless effects like motion blur, depth of field, film grain, and my favorite, chromatic aberration.
There’s just no justifying having these effects in there; they just make the game look ugly. Chromatic aberration, for example, mimics the look of a malfunctioning camera lens, for God’s sake. I could understand it if you were playing a game through the eyes of a robot, a drone, or something similar, but having this effect in games in which you are looking through the eyes of human beings is just plain idiotic. The same goes for film grain and motion blur; I’d look into getting some serious surgery if I perceived the world as a blurry, grainy, chromatically screwed mess.
Of course, the reason why developers put these effects into their games is to make everything look more cinematic. I get it, they want their games to look like films from the 1970s. This would be perfectly understandable for a Heavy Rain-styled game set in the 60s, 70s, or the 80s, but having them in first person perspective games like Dying Light, Alien Isolation, and Far Cry, which are supposed to make players feel like they’re literally in the game world, is just wrong.
Instead of having all these imbecilic effects, developers should pour more resources into optimizing their games, sharpening textures, improving lighting, shadowing, and other effects that make things look, you know, pleasing to the eye. Having superfluous things like motion blur, depth of field and such is intrusive and, in some cases, today’s equivalent of developers covering up their game worlds in fog to mask sub par graphics.