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Realism is dull as dirt to me. I always feel if you only strive for realism then your imagination is limited. Shenmue was the last time realism in a game wowed me. The worst is racing games just showing off shiny cars, like I get it the car is shiny. 360 era and early PS4 era were the worst for this. Spend 10 minutes zooming in on a car at E3 and it was boring as fuck. Then shit like TLOU exists with mediocre gameplay and a bland as hell revenge is bad storyline but THE GWAFICS! pfft. I'm more taken with art design. Sure I can point out easy ones like Astral Chain and Daemon X Machina as recent examples of games that look great. Then there is Nex Machina, Ruiner, Cuphead, The Ascent, Nier Automata even Doom Eternal. But the games I mentioned generally have great game design to boot. (I'm not a fan of Eternal but it's not bad)

Realism has its place for sure like anything but it's also shitty when people use it as the only metric for games looking and being better.

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!