Shaders are cool. They make Minecraft look nicer, but not everybody has a monster PC able to run shaders and even then they can be buggy. Wedhro, creator of the Pixel Reality pack must have thought of this when making his pack because besides the regular texture stuff, it also includes some cool shader-like effects that can run on pretty much any machine. Read on for the details.
I'll start the review off in regular texture pack showcase fashion and get to the special lighting effects later on. Click here to go straight to the shader alternative part (which works with any texture pack, including default).
Now, onto the Pixel Reality pack itself. This 16x pack may not have too much detail due to the low resolution, but despite that lack of detail it has a realistic feel to it. For a regular old 16x pack it manages to create a realistic portrayal of a blocky landscape so well you might think it's a 64x. The terrain is nice and smooth, though a bit dark, which might but some people off, but it's really a staple of the pack rather than a problem, since all of the elements are darker than usual. The only gripe I might have with it is that the colors can be a bit dull which results in biomes not looking as unique as they could.
In interiors the pack once again does a good job, but doesn't really stick out in any way. It's realistic, it looks good, it just doesn't have a specific style that would make it memorable. Underground the special lighting comes into play, making the mines dark and the torches warm red instead of the usual white. This makes for good ambiance, but the biggest problem with this pack is a side effect - the ores. With such a darker look, it would only be logical to have easy to spot ores, instead the creator opts to use a very realistic, but extremely difficult to make out style for ores, making them barely distinguishable even with a torch right next to them.
The mobs have distinct and detailed textures, with some cool features like the creeper having a leaf-like texture with transparency. The zombie texture is a bit strange, but you get used to it. Friendly animals, like in most packs, are well textured, but not unique or original. The items mostly stick to the original Minecraft theme with some slight changes that you'll get used to quickly. Tools and swords are great, while certain miscellaneous items can look a bit strange.
Nether-wise the pack is even darker, with a very grim feel and some pretty good ghast and zombie pigman textures. Definitely gives the Nether a creepier coat of dark red paint, which may be good or bad depending on your own preferences.
Now, onto the lighting. This pack includes a shader-alternative that improves lighting, tweaks color a bit and even makes shadows better. You'll notice regular Minecraft shadows (from trees and such) being much more visible and clear, and shaded sections like cliffs will look way more realistic. There's also a color tweak that makes the colors a bit warmer and adds to the realism. Torches will glow red, the sun will be more yellow while moonlight will be a clearer white, making for a more realistic portrayal of lighting.
While this pack itself might not appeal to everyone, the special lighting will, so the creator released the lighting as a standalone pack called Pixel Reality - Luminance which you can add to the texture pack of your choice or just use it with default (it looks great!). Here are two comparisons between vanilla Minecraft and Minecraft with Luminance:
I recommend you check one of these out. You can get the pack here:
Click here to download the whole Pixel Reality (16x) texture/resource pack!
And you can get the lighting here:
Click here to download the Pixel Reality - Luminance (standalone shader-like lighting) pack!
Both packs require MCPatcher or Optifine to work, despite the pack being 16x, so keep that in mind!
Like always, feel free to let us know how you liked the pack in the comment section below.