2022 is a big year for gaming both in sheer volume of releases in terms of graphically mind-blowing games and the hype surrounding them but as we get further into this new generation of gaming more titles that push the limits of what’s graphically possible are on the way. Let’s take a look at 15 graphically mind-blowing titles coming up this year and what makes them stand out.
15 Graphically Mind-Blowing Games
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon hero dawn is a great looking game even by today’s standards but forbidden west looks to improve on it in every single way along with character models having more polygons and improved texture details while eloy has some more skeletal joints, there are tons of improvements to the effects, water rendering environmental details, machines, I mean the list goes on.
The PS5 version even has the advantage of using cinematic grade lighting throughout the entire experience while, its only for the cut scenes on the PS4. Couple all of this with improved cinematics and facial animation for its characters and horizon forbidden west could very well be the best looking game of the year.
God of War Ragnarok
Much like horizon improving on the perfection in God of War is tough but ragnarok seems more than capable of the same, based on the gameplay demo improved texture details and higher polygon models can be seen while environments are packed full of more detail especially when travelling to the newer cities.
Improved water details and weather effects not to mention that series is excellent animation all make for a visually rich experience. The trademark single shot camera presentation is also bag which feels like the cherry on the top.
Gran Turismo 7
Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo series has always tried to push the envelope when it comes to realistic visuals dating back to the PS1 era, that being said Gran Turismo 7 looking as good as it does seems almost unreal.
Even though, ray tracing is only used in replays and the garage, the level at which the tracks and their sky boxes have been rendered not to mention vehicle details and quality of lighting and reflection has to be seen to believed and all of this is running at 4K 60 frames per second with HDR enabled.
Pioner from GFA games is somewhat a kin to stalker, while also being a survival mmo. Its post-apocalyptic world looks fairly detailed and grungy with fine texture detail even if something like grenade throwing animations still need a bit of work.
However, it captures the dirty underground well with its lighting and shadow while also offering vibrant outdoor scenes lush with greenery, it’s worth keeping an eye on if nothing else.
From software has always been known for the quality of its art over realistic graphics but perhaps, the pressure of elden ring matching the visual quality of bluepoint’s demon’s souls was more than the developer claimed.
The lands between and its various denizens whether it’s the dragon or hulking giants pulling carriages throughout it is massive and teeming with details.
You could argue about reused animations and assets but the sheer fidelity combined with the massive draw distance affects quality and character details is still incredible.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R 2: Heart of Chernobyl
Characters with high polygon counts inverse cinematics for animations physically based material rendering ray traced lighting and reflections. There’s quite a lot to glean from the gameplay walkthrough of stalker 2 heart of chernobyl.
It almost looks too good to be true though judging from its delay to April and December. Some more time is seemingly required to have the whole game up to that level of quality. Time will tell but it’s utterly gorgeous thus far.
The latest game-play trailer for luminous productions forspoken looked a little rough when it came to the frame rate. Nevertheless, everything else from the environmental textures draw distance and character details to the animation quality and special effects looked very good.
There’s still a lot more, we need to see but square enix’s penchant for stellar cut scenes and strong art design has raised first spoken’s profile quite a bit over the past year.
The Day Before
For a survival mmo, the day before sports an insane amount of detail whether one is foraging for supplies in a countryside house or gunning down zombies in a metropolis.
The latest game-play reveal which showcased an incredibly rendered city with ray trace reflections and lighting looked very good but even the amount of foliage and vegetation while venturing through a forest was on point in terms of graphical fidelity the day before could very well be a dark horse this year.
A Plague Tale: Requiem
The first game surprised many with its visuals with photogrammetry being used to create super detailed environments with stellar ambient lighting and shadows. A plague tail requiem seems to be going in the same direction.
But also offers large environments so better water rendering and improved animations considering it uses unreal engine 5 instead of a sobos proprietary tech we can’t wait to see how the sequel leverages it to new heights.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
Developed on massive’s snowdrop engine avatar frontiers of Pandora boasts thousands of assets in one frame with detailed environments complex shaders real-time wind simulation and much more. A new volumetric cloud system has also been added along with real-time ray tracing for realistic reflections and global illumination.
The sheer wealth of animations in PCs and detail is already looking promising and should immerse players in Pandora like never before.
Before unveiling forza horizon 5 last year Microsoft presented the future of forza Motorsport titled well. Forza Motorsport turn 10 studios next big racing sim plays with ray traced lighting effects and reflections all while promising 4K 60 fps game-play.
The details on these cars looks as immaculate as ever and though the initial trailer was captured in engine. The series has always had a penchant for achieving exceptional fidelity. Hopefully, we’ll get to some real-time game-play soon.
The Lord of The Rings: Gollum
The Lord of the rings gollum presents a very interesting contrast to the other middle earth titles we’ve seen over the years, while gollum’s character model seems to require more work environments are teeming with strong lighting and shadows not to mention detailed textures to facilitate the darker moodier tone. It’s still pretty early but looks very good thus far.
Suicide squad: Kill the Justice League
Rocksteady’s reputation for stellar visuals precedes it even if it’s optimisation for batman arkham knight on PC left much to be desired. Suicide Squad kill the Justice League expands on its previous work with incredible draw distance a larger scale stellar effects and more detailed characters.
It also doesn’t hurt that the facial animations and motion capture have been significantly improved making characters look more natural in both cut scenes and game-play.
Despite initial previews of Crossfire X’s campaign being less than positive there’s no denying remedy’s talent for stellar visuals thanks to the north light engine. The sheer amount of effects objects destruction dynamic lights and shadows is fairly insane.
Throw in some atmospheric fog and wind not to mention detailed particles and it’s one of the better looking first person shooters of the year.
In terms of presentation Gotham knights feels a lot closer to the batman arkham series or yore than rocksteady’s upcoming suicide squad and while 2020’s game-play walk-through was still early in development it came off quite well with its animation quality environment design textures and effects.
Details like dynamic lighting and shadow atmospheric fog and ambient occlusion also looked good. So, it should look even better as we approach its launch this year.
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- March 26, 2022