Over-all the resolution of video game graphics have advanced tremendously to the point that we have gone too far. I’m referring to the hyper realism that video games have adopted, and developers have been encouraged to do so in order to push the video game experience to new heights.
Try doing this: close your eyes. Do you notice the ‘snow’, that fuzzy ill defined chaff that moves around in your vision? Now open your eyes, you keep on perceiving it don’t you? I refer to this as ‘Dynamic Afterimage.’ I believe it is caused by contrasting light and dark objects being momentarily burned on your retina as you move your eyes around – sort of like seeing multiple spots after you look at the sun but more subtle. Essentially your eyes are creating texture, and it is one of the things concept artists try add to create realism. The problem is that games have been polished too much and they are looking sterile because of it – people are starting to realize this and are adding film grain to make a game look ‘gritty’ when all they have to do is turn down some of the resolution, and maybe save some memory in the process.
Or they could follow standard practice and hide it all in desaturated grey or turn the levels way down to make things dark. :)