Originally Posted by gordon151
I'd swear those were Doom3 shots if you hadn't told me.
I *think* that one of the great misconceptions about technology, especially regarding graphics, is that it's revolutionary rather than evolutionary. Remember how people complained about Thief3's and DX:IW's performance? How they performed worse than they looked? I think the *only* difference between those engines and Doom3's is that Doom3 uses specular light maps on everything, whereas those other two don't. Meaning that if you turn off specular in Doom3, you end up with a game that looks the same as the other two, with similar performance.
And when you compare earlier screenshots of DX:IW (while it still looked good) with the released game, you'll notice that the main reason it looked so much better was due to the fact that specular lighting attenuated the bump and normal maps in the game way better than the simple lighting that was used in the released game. The bump/normal maps are still there, but without specular you hardly notice them.