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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Brings Back The Yellow Paint Discourse

As games get more graphically impressive each year, it becomes hard to differentiate something that’s part of the background and something that you can interact with. And now, we are in an era of gaming where graphics look so realistic, you can post a screenshot of Horizon Forbidden West and say you’re off adventuring the world, and people will believe you.

But with amazing, lifelike graphics now at our disposal, we also have to deal with trying to find out how do we progress or what can we touch that can give us loot. The answer for most triple AAA developers? Yellow paint.

When Resident Evil 4 Remake’s demo came out, people were eager to jump onto the game to try out to see how the game plays and what is new. The demo, while short, was a blast to play and many were happy with the changes to the core gameplay. But something stood out that made a lot of people annoyed: yellow paint.

Twitter user FPSthetics posted a tweet with an image that shows yellow paint smeared all over barrels, boxes, and windows (technically yellow tape, but you get the point). This sparked the infamous “yellow paint” discourse, which many believe to be just a nitpick. After all, it is a visual indicator that helps gamers differentiate what can be interacted with and what cannot be interacted with.

Soon after the tweet was posted, many have voiced their opinions that it is nothing to be annoyed about and it’s just there to help players see what is interactable, and they are right. Most players will look past these boxes if they weren’t marked with yellow paint, as the graphics are so good that you might mistake them for objects that are part of the background.

But fast forward to a year later, we get a resurgence to the yellow paint discourse, thanks to Final Fantasy VII Rebirth painting their climbable ledges as yellow.

Twitter user DaveOshry posted a screenshot on Twitter that shows Cloud climbing up a wall by using the rock ledges that are painted yellow. This revived the discourse once again, just weeks before the release of the game on February 29.

Personally, it’s nothing to be annoyed about. But I can understand that seeing only specific ledges covered in yellow paint can break the immersion of the game. But when you’re playing a game that has a talking red dog, a man who looks like he weighs 140 pounds and carries a big metal sword, and a man with a machine gun for an arm, immersion can be broken a little.

Twitter user Starts_With_S responds to the previous tweet by posting a screenshot of their tweet of FPSthetics tweet from last year, saying that focus group playtesters for the original Dead Space only aimed for the head, despite being told to cut off the limbs (an effective way to kill Necromorphs), so they had to put “CUT OFF THEIR LIMBS” on every hallway from the first few hallways to get their point across.

Either way, some gamers need visual indicators like this to know where to go. Is it necessary? For some, yes. Would an option to toggle these visual indicators off be nice? Definitely.

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