TURNING PRETTY GAMES UGLY AGAIN.
July 9, 2017 12:58 PM   Subscribe

 
Some of them look a lot more 1996 than 1998.
posted by lmfsilva at 1:31 PM on July 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


Half Life was released in 1998, if you want a benchmark to compare these against.
posted by schmod at 1:38 PM on July 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


So ... not all that different, really?
posted by kyrademon at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2017 [5 favorites]


CD jewel cases seem so quaint now.
posted by Fizz at 1:49 PM on July 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


Also 1998: the first Metal Gear Solid as well as Baldur's Gate.

Which brings up a point: would so many of them have necessarily been this kind of free camera 3d? I feel like maybe not. The original GTA from '97 had a locked top-down camera which its sequel in '99 retained. A number of games from that era would use a locked camera and 3d characters against a prerendered backdrop.
posted by juv3nal at 2:03 PM on July 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


This makes me want to go play Jedi Knight.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 2:10 PM on July 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


Fun concept, but lots of 3D games in that era were still relying on sprites (and later, voxels [to a degree]) to reduce polygon count. Most small, non-interactive objects (such as the Nuka Cola bottles in Fallout 4) would have looked more convincing and offered better performance as sprites rather than chunky 3D objects.

That being said, Quake came out in '96 and it was virtually sprite free, so there are certainly exceptions. I'd just like to see more sprites in these videos for maximum nostalgia.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 2:24 PM on July 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


Juv3nal has a good point. Fallout 1 came out in 1997, and it was about as different as you can imagine from the vision depicted here. A 3D graphical Fallout would've been theoretically possible in 1997, but it wouldn't have ended up being the game that Fallout was. These videos would be more interesting if they were more than just low-poly low-resolution de-makes and instead actually thought about how you'd achieve the gameplay and goals of these modern games with the graphics and resources available to game makers in 1998.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:27 PM on July 9, 2017 [15 favorites]


I did actually purposefully leave out mention of the 2d fallouts, because this would presumably be Bethesda's take on fallout, which, Daggerfall (googles...'96) was a thing and used sprites plus 3d environment.
posted by juv3nal at 2:31 PM on July 9, 2017


If Prey was made in 1999.
posted by ZaphodB at 2:32 PM on July 9, 2017 [2 favorites]


For instance: Shadow Tower is what Dark Souls would've looked like in 1998, because is IS Dark Souls in 1998.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:33 PM on July 9, 2017 [5 favorites]


overeducated_alligator: "This makes me want to go play Jedi Knight."

I've been playing it for the last few days after the last retro-gaming post. It does look pretty bad on modern monitors but the gameplay is still awesome.
posted by octothorpe at 3:23 PM on July 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


this is one of the very rare cases where watching youtube in 144p actually improves the video quality

i shit you not
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:28 PM on July 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


That being said, Quake came out in '96 and it was virtually sprite free, so there are certainly exceptions. I'd just like to see more sprites in these videos for maximum nostalgia.

Yeah, I remember a few bits like bubbles being obviously 2d, but they mostly stood out where used because the rest of the game felt so thoroughly dimensional, in that chunky polygon kind of way. It's kind of hard to articulate now how much of a leap Quake felt like, tech-wise, even though it massively under-delivered on a bunch of the hyperbolic promises that had been made before its release. From what I remember, it took a long time for other engines to catch up.

I might just go play Quake for a while now.
posted by brennen at 4:26 PM on July 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


System Shock 2 was also released in 1999; glancing at the Portal clip, it looks pretty convincingly like it could have been done on the SS2 engine.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:29 PM on July 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


The Portal one looks surprisingly good. Assassin's Creed with Silent Hill fog, on the other hand, is completely different.
posted by dialMforMara at 4:49 PM on July 9, 2017


3D animation wasn't that bad in 1998. Jedi Knight came out in 1997, for example, and the lightsaber fighting was much more fluid than what is depicted for "Dark Souls".
posted by pravit at 5:47 PM on July 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


The Outlast video is pretty excellent. I could definitely convince myself I've played that version.
posted by ejs at 6:14 PM on July 9, 2017


If Prey was made in 1999.

If Prey was made in 1998.
posted by theclaw at 6:15 PM on July 9, 2017 [3 favorites]


*hums the Marathon theme to self* 1998, eh?
posted by Earthtopus at 9:17 PM on July 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


Huh. That's actually what Portal looks like in my head when I try to remember it. Somehow, I lump it in with System Shock 2 in terms of style as opposed to Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (I have never played either Half-Life, so can't compare on those grounds.)
posted by frimble at 2:03 AM on July 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


Some of these would probably have been FMV
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:09 AM on July 10, 2017


If Halo was made in 1981
posted by Rhaomi at 1:47 AM on July 22, 2017


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