So Different, So Alike

As I said earlier inSaleen S7 -case, as long as there is a certain budget for geometry, every object has to be designed for the context of use. In Saleen S7 comparison, the car models played practically the same role in each game, so the year of release was the most relevant variable in that equation. In my following F-15(C) –comparison, the situation is a little more complex, as we see later. The games are Eagle Dynamic’s Lock-On: Modern Air Combat (2003), Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 (2009) and Ubisoft Romania’s Tom Clancy’s HAWX. (2009).

So, what makes this particular comparison interesting is, that the models are taken from such different places: first is from a 7-year-old hardcore simulation, second is just a background piece in a first-person shooter and third is from a modern arcade simulation. And still, the polycount is strikingly similar so let’s contemplate that a little.

If we look at Lock-On, the polycount of its F-15 was actually fairly high, considering the year of release. Lock-On is a hardcore simulation, so the focus is on the plane itself and especially on its uncompromised interior (which is a whole another model).

In HAWX the focus is definitely on the amazing terrain, so majority of the polygons have been obviously poured on there. So, even though Lock-On and HAWX are games 6 years apart, the polycount of the planes are similar because of the different focuses: one is focused on the plane and the other one is on the environment. Confusing?

Respectively in MW 2, the F-15s are just set pieces, visiting player briefly on the screen, so focus is not entirely on them but on the scenery at large. Still, what amazes me is the level of treatment they nevertheless have had in the development process: those F-15s look pretty damn spectacular when they glide slowly by your helicopter you’re sitting on.

Interestingly, when comparing the models to the actual F-15, the geometry found in HAWX’s plane was the most inaccurate. What makes the situation funny is that HAWX is a game about jet fighters, in contrast to MW 2 which is definitely not. Furthermore, HAWX is ironically the only game officially endorsed by F-15’s manufacturer, Boeing. Okay, MW 2 fighter’s blocky air intakesare little weird but overall it’s surprisingly accurate, and so is (less surprisingly) Lock-On’s model.