Case in point: Miasmata is a game that gets a lot of forgiveness due to potential and being indie. Still not sure why it does...
Maybe because they nailed it on the environment graphics? Hmm, it goes back to graphics again... Hopefully that's not it!
About Skyward Collapse, I was actually impressed with the way the game looks, but as long as the gameplay is good who cares. That's what your games are about anyhow.
The environmental graphics are...well...suboptimal at best, pre-Half Life 2 at worst. And the fact that I'm still comparing graphics in games to HL2 really needs to stop one of these days. But I digress. You are probably right. It's something I've noticed a LOT lately that people will get blinded by "amazing graphics" to the point that they ignore the gameplay itself. Bioshock Infinite is the prime example I can pull up but I can also say Aliens: Colonial Marines, Star Trek (the game) and other movie-tie ins. People get this idea that because it has a great graphics to it, it's the best game evar
. Surprise: it isn't. And it's why I've been getting more critical about games that try and throw shiny graphics at me without providing solid gameplay. Gawds, Miasmata was the most disappointing game of this year. I actually had the creature's AI break on me and I scrapped the game shortly after that happened because it broke the immersion. I heavily criticized the developer in a review on the game later...
It's why I don't plan on buying Infinite because I've taken some really extensive looks at the gameplay and there are way too many warning bells for me to want to try it at this point. Lackluster combat, lack of exploration, fairly on-rails. Not what I want in an FPS. It's unfortunate that games seem to be heading towards movie formulas lately. Throw tons of graphics at the player, put it on rails, add a "great" story and people will buy it up. Disappointing as heck. If I wanted a movie experience, I'd go see a movie.
So to Chris, I say bring on the gameplay rich games and don't worry about shiny graphics. Because I'm fed up with shiny graphics. I want game mechanics that legitimately keep me interested for a long time. It's why I've played AI War for over 213 hours over the past four years and I'm not done with that game. It looks like the next expansion will keep me just as interested.