Mate, I feel the same thing is happening to games that's happening to movies. It's all becoming all special effects and no storyline. Yeah, so the graphics might be great, and the explosions really fiery, and the rending of limbs gory, but if it doesn't have a good storyline, if it doesn't have good characters, if you can't sympathise with it all, then it's shit.
Let's look at AvP2. By now the graphics are so ancient it's not funny, and same for the effects. But it is still a damned good game, even when facing next-gen stuff. I still play Avp2 more than I play Gears of War (which is still a pretty good game).
It doesn't need to be the prettiest thing ever. AvpR had special effects galore. IT WAS STILL SHIT! Aliens had no special effects, really. IT WAS FUCKIN AMAZING! Same goes for games. If it doesn't have amazing graphics or awesome animation, I won't decry it. Because there's more to a game than that. Much, much more.
If they can make the story believable, make the characters seem real, make you care about what happens...Well, that's enough for me.