Some random rambling:
Infocom was well known for the quality of their packaging. Text adventures have no graphics, of course, but Infocom included neat props in their boxes. In a way, today’s collector’s editions of games hearken back to Infocom’s practice. You can vicariously experience them in this online gallery. As an interesting side note, the additional material also sometimes served as the copy protection for the games.
Looking at the games we have now, they somehow still don’t quite match the level of a fine Infocom adventure. Maybe the closest has been the Myst series in terms of evoking some kind of graphical atmosphere. In terms of explorable worlds, the Grand Theft Auto series and perhaps World of Warcraft are the current state of the art. In terms of scripted action, probably games like Call of Duty, Halo, and Half Life are the best we’ve seen to date. Still, games are mostly populated by props, not real characters. We’ll have a ways to go until we have the technology and process to reach Infocom-levels of suspension of disbelief.