I gotta go with blackhole here. Most Unreal products look faintly, well, unreal. Plasticky. There have been a few that got past that barrier, though.Isn't that more a function of art assets and/or lighting settings than the underlying engine, though?
Only if you actually change the stupid lighting shaders
. Guess how many people bother doing that? Also, graphics engines impose a given look and feel on all the games that they render based on how they do things. Unreal is powerful, but its still based around a whole bunch of largely fixed-function ideas, like skyboxes. You simply cannot get a game built in Unreal to have skyboxes like Freelancer, because freelancer's graphics engine was built using modular skyspheres, and Unreal's actual graphics pipeline is not as modular as one would think (at least, in terms of efficient modularization. You can hack anything you want to any engine, but doing so often incurs enormous penalties). This is caused by the mindset of "Why would someone not want to use skyboxes?!" etc.
People don't seem to realize that a very tiny and very fast open-source graphics engine called irrlicht
can run on any platform you throw at it, using directX, openGL, or its own software renderer. It even runs on a phone
. It's not that impressive to look at, but its core functionality is rock solid, and it's FAST
. You do not need to be a huge software company to write reliable software.