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Which game do you think has the best water and why?

There are 7 Replies

I'll choose a historical example: Super Mario Sunshine. It was absolutely stunning at the time of release. What made this water great was how stupidly stripped-down it was, focusing intensely on getting an appealing result for cheap, and combined with some of the hardest-hitting effects of the era: translucency, and realtime reflections. All of SMS' water is translucent, meaning it is rendered on top of the surface beneath it. And in some areas (the lake in Bianco Hills), realtime reflections are used to add a dramatic flair.

But NONE of the water is lit! The specular highlights that appear in the surface are just a texture, and most of the magic is in the mipmaps: the lowest LOD is pure black. The sparkles appear in the higher LODs, and the texture darkens at the highest again. This keeps the sparkles at a certain distance from the player, making it appear to reflect the sun without actually calculating the surface normals. Displacement in the waves and carefully vertex painting objects beneath the surface also helps to add to the illusion that the water is real. But in reality, it is no more difficult to render than any other translucent object in the game.

Posted April 1st by mariomguy

Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire.

There's quite a bit of the old H2O.

Edited April 2nd by Arch

Super Mario Odyssey. My friend Layla was gifted it for her birthday and she was in the middle of it when I came over and I joined in the midst of a lake level, and that water was so well done it's not even funny.

Posted April 2nd by Black Yoshi

I think Mario 64 has some of the best swimming and water gameplay.

For graphics and realism Sea of Theives probably has the most realistic looking water. Assassins Creed Black Flag is pretty good at water physics also.

Posted April 2nd by Q


Posted April 3rd by Red Leaf


Posted April 3rd by S.o.h.

For most graphically water-like water I'd say Assassin's Creed (probably IV).

For most visually enjoyable water I'd say Wind Waker for sure.

Posted April 4th by Fox Forever
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