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Synthetic Reality Super HD Photorealistic Minecraft Texture Pack (16x, 32x, 64x, 128x, 256x)

Updated on September 20, 2011
The better elements of Synthetic Reality
The better elements of Synthetic Reality

Synthetic Reality is the latest in a long line of photorealistic minecraft texture packs. With so many HD photorealistic packs already out there, what does this new beast offer? I checked it out and I am now ready to report on the upsides and downsides of Synthetic Reality.

Bonus points are awarded at the start of this review for the name 'Synthetic Reality'. I both like it, and see what the creator / namer did there. Unfortunately, the bonus points are immediately revoked because of the incredibly hideous eyesore that is the splash screen. Words cannot begin to describe. Fortunately for this texture pack, the pack itself is better than the splash screen, although you could be forgiven for uninstalling it on the spot for that sin against your eyes.

An unfortunate choice of splash screens.
An unfortunate choice of splash screens.
There's something wrong with this wood...
There's something wrong with this wood...
The grass that hurts my eyes..
The grass that hurts my eyes..

First the positives:

Sand textures are a winner. They tile seamlessly without the sort of ripply wavy effect that suggests a hoard of invisible Bhuddist monks are constantly raking your world.

Dead bushes are now small cacti growing in the desert. This is the sort of innovation I like to see in a texture pack, and it works wonderfully well for adding extra depth to your world.

I love the rustic effect that has been achieved on the ladders, very appropriate for the style of the texture pack and the style of (some of) the GUI too. And that's where we begin to run into trouble with this pack. I think it suffers from the same problem a lot of texture packs have, and that is the lack of a unifying theme. The rustic ladders are wonderful, but place them next to a window glazed with modern glass panes, and the whole thing falls down.

Unfortunately, like a lot of other photorealistic texture packs (I'm tempted to say all, but there could be an exception I'm forgetting,) the grass has too many pixels. They crawl about under your eyes whilst you're moving through the world and give one an unpleasant queasyness not unlike sea sickness. The effect is so bad whilst flying in creative mode that the world looks more like a petrie dish of tiny organisms that came alive than a nice field of grass.

Now to be fair, I played the 64x version of this pack because it's right slam bang in the middle of the accepted range and it is possible that the niggles I'm about to mention are related to the resolution of the pack, but I noticed the odd pixelation in several of the textures, including wooden blocks, which could be perhaps considered photorealistic if your camera only takes rubbish, ultra pixellated images.

It might seem like I'm being harsh here, but every texture pack that calls itself both HD and Photorealistic is competing with LB's Photorealism. That's a big act to follow. To see if I was being overly critical I went back and got the most recent version of LB's pack, and though the pixelated grass problem is just as ubiquitous in LB's version, the textures are blended slightly better overall.

There's also the problem that although this pack claims to be updated for 1.8, several of the items seem to be missing or invisible, including steak, shears, cooked chicken, enderpearls, melons, pumpkin seeds, the list goes on. This may be a glitch or a simple case of missing files.

I've given this pack rather a hard time, but all in all I think there are some very nice touches and I think with a little more dedication to theme (perhaps a desert/Western theme) it would be even better.

Download Synthetic Reality Photorealistic Minecraft Texture Pack

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