Why do older games have better shadows?

  1. Posts : 143
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

    Why do older games have better shadows?

    Hello, I'm CrazyKilla

    Sorry but I don't know where to put this thread so I dumped it into general discussion.

    I noticed that older games such as Dawn of War and F.E.A.R. have really nice shadows, it's like a copy of the model is made transparent, dark and flat and put on the ground, but now in these newer games all shadows have a resolution, usually a very low one and anything that goes above 4k has a giant performance hit.

    What's the deal? do some companies just choose to use certain shadows, is there something wrong with the older ones?
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  2. Posts : 598
    Windows 7 Ultimate x64

    Games of today are a lot larger in size (Data) thus more processing power is needed. Not to mention they are built on different engines and have a lot more details. In your two pictures, sure the shadow looks good, but notice the detail of the wooden fence and other small details. It also depends on what kind of machine you're running these games on. The newer the game, the better your rig has to be, to be able to stand up to the needs. Also to be honest, the bottom shadow of the fence looks more realistic to me than the upper shadow of the man.
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  3. Posts : 10,455
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

    Just my opinion but the older ones are not very realistic.
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  4. Posts : 6,741
    W7 Pro x64 SP1 | W10 Pro IP x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 VM | Linux Mint VM

    kado897 said:
    Just my opinion but the older ones are not very realistic.
    Agreed, the Skyrim one looks loads better. Crysis 3 is pretty new and these shadows are miles better than that first screenshot in the OP.

    Why do older games have better shadows?-crysis-3-1.jpg

    Why do older games have better shadows?-crysis-3-3.jpg
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  5. Posts : 5,642
    Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    The difference, is most new games with shadows have dynamic shadows that adjust to the lighting of the world. In (most) older games the lighting was at a fixed (most of the time) position, the angle of shadows were also fixed. This is much easier to render then fully dynamic lighting and shadowing.

    As for Skyrim, its using the older DirectX 9 capable shadow rendering which accounts for its blocky like appearance. Where as new DirextX10+ games have Soft Shadows at there disposal.
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