02 October, 2011

Plastic and Metal

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 2 October, 2011

Computer graphics are good at certain textures. They do fairly convincing plastic and metal without too much effort, while textiles and skin are far more involved. I mention this because the games I played this week reminded me.

The Last Templar

The Last Templar is a lackluster game. The fighting is tolerable. The upgrade system hides so much that I had no idea what I was working towards. And there's a lot of dull travel. But I was mesmerized by this random background character.

I don't know where I've seen the texture of his clothes before, but I could almost feel the thick, pliant rubber in my hands as I looked at it.

I have no idea what kind of plastic his hair is made from. It looks like a Lego hairstyle that he slips over his head when he wants to differentiate himself from the other random people he portrays in the game.

Transformers: War for Cybertron

The game has a very stylized look. All the metal is supposed to look old and worn. As a result, much of the game looks drab.

Still, I enjoy being a giant robot and shooting giant robots, and the set pieces are impressive.


This being October, I try to look out for horror games, but I've played almost all the one's I've got. So I decided to revisit NecroVision. The game does rubber and metal textures in a way almost no other game does.

It's like I'm a toy soldier with a little gleaming sword, fighting rubber Nazi zombies with tin hats. It's supposed to be grim, but it's almost adorable. Even when their heads blow apart they seem to be made of Gummi candy.

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