I said realism because I like having a real physics model for fps type games. Being able to toss a grenade and knowing it can bounce down a stairwell instead of sticking to the first place it hits. I think the texture mapping and lighting adds something to Unreat Tournament/Quake type games.
Well you dont have to upgrade your video card every 6 months when the next generation comes out to play games, but you probably will (or have to) by the 3rd or 4th generation. I think the card makers are going to run out of new features that will be used in the next couple of years and product cycles will slow down just like they did for soundcards after most makers went bust. Yes gaming on the PC is expensive as far as upgrades go, but like I said you dont have to get every new thing out to enjoy the games you like. I am getting tired of the games that are just all graphics thats why I am here in an EMU forum because I like alot of the older games that were 1v1 against the computer. Quake/UT without the online play against real people would have died off a long time ago because it gets boring. I love the capture the flag maps where you need a plan and teamwork to win.
As far as the PC game scene is getting cookie cutter because not too many companies want to spend millions in development on a title that has a good chance of bombing because its different. Sequels work for them because they have a known audience.
For replay value include a level/map editior in the game and see what the users come up with. That really worked for doom type games.
I stick with my opinion for online play, especially for rts type games that I like. Any game thats not a single player games will always be more fun against a human aponent then a lame computer generated one.