8 Big Budget Video Games RUINED By Terrible Graphics

Despite all the money thrown at them, some developers just can't even model a convincing face.

la noire graphics
Rockstar Games

While graphics aren't everything, console and game developers often pride themselves on shifting units based on their visual tech being the best in the business.

They may not be everything, but graphics do account for a great deal - espeically as a first impression. Players will experience a game's visuals before they get to the gameplay, both through trailers long before release and through opening cutscenes, once they finally sit down to play the finished product.

Why then, have so many AAA titles over the years managed to make such a mess of this aspect of development?

Whether through cynical downgrades of what has been shown off to excite crowds, an imbalance between certain visual aspects or just that the developers did a rubbish job with the money at their disposal, sometimes poor presentation can tank an otherwise good game.

Unless of course, it was never a good game to begin with, and the graphics are simply another strike against the whole experience.

No matter their overall quality, good or bad, the following titles may have had everything going for them, but they look pretty damn janky.

8. Shenmue III

la noire graphics
Deep Silver

Shenmue III is not a "big budget" title compared to the Rockstars or Naughty Dogs of this world, but as a crowdfunding milestone, it should totally be singled out.

Raising over $7 million on Kickstarter, the game was the highest-funded video game in Kickstarter history. This neatly mirrored the original Shenmue's status as the most expensive video game ever developed at release. Acquiring further funding from Sony and Deep Silver, Shenmue III was finally released 18 years after its predecessor.

The finished product was sadly underwhelming. The game's clunky controls and laughably dated animation - plus a total lack of lip-syncing - were at odds with an unsuccessful attempt at modern graphics tech.

Shenmue III sits awkwardly between the old and the new, and not being quite as good as either makes for a less-than-enjoyable experience. A much wiser idea would have been to develop the game much more in line with its predecessors, capitalising on making a game that looked deliberately retro rather than failing to make a game that looked modern.

After all, pixel art and even low-poly 3D is all the rage in indie circles, so why not run with it?

In this post: 
LA Noire
First Posted On: 

Neo-noir enjoyer, lover of the 1990s Lucasarts adventure games and detractor of just about everything else. An insufferable, over-opinionated pillock.