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Old 10-16-05, 06:05 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Milan (Italy)
Posts: 2,050
Default Re: A bunch of *worrying* new Oblivion screens

I'm a long-time fan of the series\as well, having played all the past TES games, but what I've seen and heard of Oblivion (removed features and now this) is making me have some doubts on the final quality of the product.

I've written this analysis in the official forums:
Some of the screenshots appear to be decent. But then others look truly horrible. And yet there's the indisputable fact that the first screenshots ever released back in '04 looked a hell of a lot better then all of these.

This is a shot of the well know prison cell: it has soft shadows in it, virtual displacement mapping and the textures (both environment and skins) are of good resolution. I've a hard time believing this other shot is coming from the same game! Low res stretched textures, no bump mapping at all, no shadows and... segmented body meshes for crying it loud! Why such a huge difference? Even in this screenshot with the emperor still alive: the graphic quality has taken a nose dive from the first cell screenshot. Did someone at turned the graphic settings down between them ? Did Bethesda send out for preview a build of the game missing of most of the high quality assets ? (Now this would be a very DUMB move!) Or what else?
Why give to a site a highly unfinished, unpolished build for a public preview that thousands of potential customers will see ? Half of the pictures taken don't make this game looks like next gen at all, not even actual. Visuals are everything in a game played from the first person perspective and almost as important as interactivity itself. Because the camera is the eyes of the player. If the world around the player looses credibility (for various reasons, ie: poor texturing, flat lighting, poorly placed meshes, etc...) the immersion factor rapidly declines.

Some people commented that pitting the visuals of Oblivion against those of FPS is unfair because FPS don't have to recreate a whole word thus they can concetrate better on graphics. Well, these people should better give a close look to Lineage 2 (a MMORPG and with a seamless huge world, too) or EQ2 and then back at some of those new Oblivion screenshots.

As a long time TES fan, I'm still clinging to the hope that something went wrong with the preview and they either didn't have all the assets (particulary the textures) or some kind of nasty bug borched the rendering.

But look at this: ; while some of the stone surfaces look nice and even with bump mapping, others (like the stairs or the table) are a real joke with stretched, blurred and completely flat textures . Lighting (save for the omnipresent, disturbing bloom effect!) is completely absent.

While I can understand that proper lighting and shadows may be turned off in a test build of a program, there are other distrubing details (like the evident seam bewteeen to adjoining walls: or the body meshes with disproportionate hands and visible joints that make me thing that bethesda is rushing this game out of the door still in an unfinished, unpolished state.
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