We've had a few salvos along the lines of our engine looking like something from the early 2000's, such as this one:
Copyright Counter Strike (c) 2000
Personally I think we have a few things in the Reloaded engine that beats this visual, but we can take our lessons from almost any source (pardon the pun). Or something more recent, I dug out the same FPS brand 12 years later:
Copyright IGN & Counter Strike (c) 2012
Again more things to learn but not a radical departure from what we have now, minus the graphical assets which will come in time with model packs. I did notice a huge abundance of baked lighting in the scene and heavy use of bleached out backdrop spheres (the buildings in the distance are painted on the skybox). If you want a button which takes an hour or two to bake in all shadows and ambient occlusion into the static geometry, we can do that if that's what you need. I'd also argue our pistols look better than the one in the above shot (but I am bias).
I urge anyone who suspects the Reloaded engine looks like something from 2002 to send me a screenshot so I can dissect it and find out if there is any technique we can use to close the perceived gaps.
User Created Level in FPS Creator Reloaded (c) 2014
Aside from the need for more and varied assets, I don't think we're THAT far back in time, but I am willing to be taught a valuable lesson in visual fidelity of games over the last decade if you are willing and ready with shots :) I'm not saying anyone is wrong, I'm just suggesting it might not be as far back as 2002 ;)
Just finishing off some emails, this blog and maybe a fix or two and then retiring for the evening. Friday is the day I wrap everything up and do some last minute testing before we give the build to the alpha testers and competition winners to see if we caught most if not all the remaining glaring bugs for V1.008.