ORIGINAL: Oleg Mastruko
UFO: ET graphics are bad, and sounds and animations are simply terrible - on those two counts alone, it's fair for any reviewer to take down 20% from the starting score.
Completely subjective, Oleg. I think the graphics are passable, even nice-looking in a spartan, gritty way. And to take 20% off of a game for graphics alone!?! That is crazy. What you are suggesting would mean that a great game like, say, Take Command: Second Mannassas would never be able to get higher than an 80% simply due to its use of 2d sprites and and old style textures. It is this very attitude that kills indie developers, who have big ideas but small budgets to use up on art development.
Take for instance, Dominions 2 and 3. These are some of the finest, turn based, fantasy empire building games out there (I like them better than the main competition, Age of Magic). Lots of gameplay choices and customability. Terrible graphics (make UFO:ET look like Doom 3).
Graphics are great, and are really critical to first person games that are trying to build immersion, like Oblivion, any FPS, or an MMORPG (although Ultima Online still has the coolest system of any MMORPG, when you fact all of the things you can do, collect, mine, craft, wear, and fish). But in other genres, graphics can be less important, or sometime downright distracting. I like Europa Universalis 3, but the graphical 3d update was not needed and causes more problems than it fixed. In some cases 3D can really mar the game, Titan Quest stutters and sputters on many systems for no apparent reason. Don't even get me started on the monstrosity that is Supreme Commander, supposed to be the "next big thing in RTS" and due to poor graphic programming and coding it went from $49.99 to $29.99 in a month or two after release. UFO:Afterlight, which I own, is another account of where poorly done 3D can mar a game. It is overly cartoony, while still attractive, makes me think I am playing World of UFO-craft instead of presenting a dark, scary, tense, and gritty fight against aliens.
This is just one man's opinion, and you are the game reviewer, but I really wish graphics would take a back-seat in reviewers mind, at least initially. Blame it on me growing up in the Atari and Nintendo age, but back then, gameplay was all one had. Now I know UFO:ET isn't exactly novel gameplay, it is a tried and true method that many love. Do I expect it to be a seminal gaming moment like X-COM:UFO Defense, no. Do I think it is a nostaligic, entertaining, and fun, yes.
< Message edited by Son_of_Montfort -- 5/14/2007 1:31:18 AM >
"Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet!"
(Kill them all. God will know his own.)
-- Arnaud-Armaury, the Albigensian Crusade