BioShock Infinite: ‘photorealism isn’t our goal’, says Irrational Games

Monday, 4 March 2013 15:38 GMT By Dave Cook

BioShock: Infinite developer Irrational Games has shed light on the game’s distinct art style and why it leaned away from the photorealism many developers strive for today.

Speaking with CVG, BioShock: Infinite’s director of design Bill Gardner suggested that there is perhaps a misconception among the development community that all gamers want photorealism from their experience.

Gardner continued, “And to some degree it’s true: you get the latest drivers and the latest video cards and you really want to show what your beast can do. So what better way to do that than to say “hey this is New York City!” and to show the latest greatest game with all the settings cranked up. Realism sells that, I think.

“You look at Elizabeth, and she’s by no means super ultra photorealistic. That’s not our goal, it’s about making her relatable and believable and lovable. I think there’s plenty here [in Infinite] that would make you want to crank up the graphics card all the way and crank up all the options, but I think as an industry it’s the misconception [that gamers want realism] mixed with taking the easy road.

“It’s by no means easy trying to create photorealistic graphics, but if you’re trying to strive for that goal and to also mix in a crazy aesthetic that may be the exact juxtaposition to photorealistic? Yeah, I can see how that would be a hurdle for you. Certainly it’s an interesting quest to try to get photorealism, but it’s just not something that we’re interested in.”

Are you fond of BioShock: Infinite’s art style? Would you prefer it to be more realistic? Let us know what you think below.