graphics are so impressive these days meme explained

What Is The 'Graphics Are So Impressive These Days' Meme? A Gaming Parody Explained

For much of video gaming history, the industry has generally pushed toward making graphics as close to matching the outside world as possible (remember all those 'Mario' But In Unreal videos?).

Nowadays, the PlayStation 5, Series X and some PCs have basically realized that dream (and maybe Nintendo will too, someday), but the price of all the money poured into graphics has, in some gamers' eyes, come at the expense of quality. Thus we have a meme like "Graphics are so impressive these days," which, perhaps unintentionally, celebrates excellent games that don't exactly look 1-to-1 true to life.

@PainkillerQ8 Painkillers HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST HELLBLADE II illerQ& SENUAS SAGA CHOW COUNTRY THE LAST OF US PARTI

What Is The 'Graphics Are So Impressive These Days' Meme?

In late May, Twitter user PainkillerQ8 took a moment to appreciate the incredible fidelity of modern graphics by showing closeups of recent video game protagonists Aloy, Senua, Kratos and Ellie from the Horizon, Hellblade, God of War and The Last of Us franchises.

@Painkillers @PainkillerQ8 @PainkillerQ8 HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST HELLBLADE I SENUAS SAGA @PainkillerQ8 GODOWAR THE LAST OF US RAGNAROK PARTI


The image is genuinely impressive, as it seems each wrinkle and hair follicle has been intricately modeled on all the characters. Of course, putting anything with four panels on the internet is a recipe to get it memed, and sure enough, memers were soon swapping out Kratos for punchlines.

@PainkillerQ8 Painkillers HELLBLADE II SENUAS SAGA HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST iller Q& Bloodborne THE LAST OF US PARTI

How Has The Meme Developed?

While there are examples of the meme where the joke seems to be placing something gross alongside the eyes of Senua, Aloy and Ellie, the meme has also become a forum for indie game developers to celebrate their low-poly titles next to the big-budget titles featured in the original image. At first, a developer for the throwback indie horror game Crow County posted their take on the meme, and other studios followed suit, such as the developers for A Space for the Unbound and Vampire Survivors.

@PainkillerQ8 Painkillers HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST HELLBLADE I SENUAS SAGA iller.Q8 A Space for the Unbound THE LAST OF US PARTI @PainkillerQ8 Painkillers HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST HELLBLADE I illerQ8 SENUAS SAGA VAMPIRE SURVIVORS THE LAST OF US PARTI

Though the meme may have been a way for these developers to advertise their games with a bit of self-deprecating humor, it also serves as a reminder of how games with so-called "lesser" graphics can still be extremely popular. Celeste, for example, got in on the meme, and while no one would argue that Celeste is a benchmark in graphical fidelity, it's also one of the most widely beloved games of the past decade.

In essence, the meme has unintentionally become a reminder that graphics, while often championed as the most important thing by some higher-ups in the gaming industry, aren't everything when it comes to making a good game.


For the full history of "Graphics are so impressive these days," be sure to check out GotFunnyPictures's encyclopedia entry for more information.



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