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Valve: "Graphics have started to top-out"

We need more intelligent games, says Half-Life dev

Graphics are about as good as they're going to get (or need to), Valve's Doug Lombardi has told us, during a recent catch up.

Discussing PC gaming and where it's going Lombardi offered, "One thing we're already seeing now and something that's important for the future is multi-core processing.

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"CPU manufacturers don't have big sexy campaigns with a character that represents a new processor like we see on the GPU side so it's sort of gone under the radar. But for us it's a great opportunity to put more things on screen, to pull off more complicated AI routines, to have better physics simulations and whatever."

Being of the male race we know that great looks can easily turn heads (and cause accidents) but what happens when you want a little conversation under the sheets. Good looks don't count for much then.

"For a long time the GPU side has been leading the charge towards brighter, shinier games, and it usually ends up that whoever has the best looking game at shows like E3 usually gets game of the show. We've always looked at that shaking our heads thinking it's not always about the graphics. We've all seen games that looked really pretty and got all these awards but then it comes out and there's not much of a game there."

Best example? Portal. "Before it came out, Portal failed to convince all those who like nice graphics," says Lombardi. "But when it came out it had really solid gameplay and a clever story, and so it won over 30 Game of the Year awards.

"It's more about what you can do in the game. Graphics have started to top-out now. We've got really great-looking games but what we want are more intelligent, more visceral games and the multi-core processors are going to be the way that we get there on PC."

Pretty games that can hold a conversation? Sign us up now. Look out for the full interview with Valve's Doug Lombardi later this week.

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