First of all, i'd like to make it clear that this is just my opinion and it in no way effects the overall quality of the games game play! A few of these improvements could improve how fun the environments are to explore, or improve the visual feedback (some more than others) but i feel like i have to say that i absolutely adore this game and have been having an absolute blast with it!!!
I also have not yet played Max Damage, as i'm waiting for the PC release.
As many people have commented, the graphics in Carmageddon: Reincarnation aren't really the best... Many would just say this and leave it at that, without offering some meaningful criticism of the current visuals or going into detail about it. I'm looking to offer some actual criticism with this post while also giving my opinion on ways to improve the visuals! Now, again, this is just my opinion! Feel free to discuss this further in the replies. I'd love to see stainless improve on these things more based on community feedback in their future games or updates!
What they did right!
To kick things off, i'd like to talk about things i think were done excellently, starting with the cars. The cars in this game look awesome! The attention to detail with the inner workings of the cars and the quality of the modelling on them honestly looks awesome! To add to that, the lighting was very very nice too! Shadows seemed to all be realtime and overall looked very nice!
But, of all these, i must say the best thing here is the damage! It looks awesome, honestly and the addition of car splitting in Max Damage honestly makes it so much better in my eyes!
What they did wrong!
Well, here's the point in which i talk about the visual elements i didn't really like that much and how i personally think they can be improved.
I've spoken to a friend about this, and he agrees with me that although they are vast and they have got a lot of stuff crammed into them with a lot of hidden areas, visually the environments are a bit lacking... I don't know whether or not we're just being a pair of idiots, but for me when looking around in this game i always thought the world just seemed a bit boring... I get it, i've watched the livestreams and i understand that they want the game to look more realistic to punctuate the ridiculousness of what is taking place but to me, that doesn't really change the fact that the environments still seem a bit... meh (visually)...
I believe you can create a visually appealing environment without sacrificing the realism you're aiming for... I mean, look towards games like GTA V and Fallout 4. The environments aim to be somewhat realistic and yet have this overall look that makes them feel less... well empty i guess...
This isn't a major issue as most of the environments are fun to play around in despite their overall plainness, but it's just something i thought i'd mention. This could be improved by just making the visuals of the world far more on par with the cars. Am i the only person who thought that, while the cars looked amazing, the world which the cars were placed in looked like it was made for a completely different game? They just didn't really seem to fit together in my opinion...
The peds look like shit... Much like the environments they seem like they were created for a completely different game but this time around, that game is a ps2 game... To me, the pedestrians look like they were created to be some sort of caricature (which i'm perfectly ok with, and to be honest it works with the game) but, again, they just don't seem to fit together in my eyes...
This is honestly my main issue, and i know that it may seem extremely small and insignificant to many many others but to me, the effects really add to the games visual feedback and currently... they dont look great.
I'm gonna go into more detail on this one as seeing that weird orange puffy explosion and the badly billboarded rocket flame effects over and over again is honestly what drove me to create this post!
The blood effects in this game seem really really flat. I'm talking about the particles here, because the splatters actually look great, although there really doesn't seem to be enough splatter compared to the amount of blood particles flying everywhere!
I feel like something to aim for when creating blood particles is something like Gears of War for example
The blood particles here look like they have a lot more shine to them and as a result fit in a lot better with the game world and look more 3 dimensional. Currently the particles have great animations, but are just flat and red... A little shine goes a long way in my opinion.
The particle effects on dismembered limbs dont look great in my opinion... i think they can be improved by making the particles act more like liquid with more dripping and inconsistencies. You can keep the over exagerrated anime blood splurt, but these improvements i suggested could really help make it look a lot better in my opinion.
Last but not least, i honestly love the sheer amount of blood that peds bleed out everywhere when hit by a car, however the amount of splatter that appears on the environment doesnt really match up with the size of the particles. This improvement is simple, more splatter please!
Fire and explosions:
This is my biggest issue with the games visuals at the moment!!! The explosion when destroying your opponents just seems pathetic... I mean, you drive full speed into an opponent, ruining their car, sending pieces everywhere as nobby shouts "Wrecked 'em" but all you see is a pathetic orange phut and a ps2 era fire effect...
It honestly doesn't seem like a very good payoff...
I mean, compare this:
Defeating the opponent should be a spectacle! Have killing them create a massive boom! Maybe even add a shockwave! Give us that payoff for slamming that fucker into the wall!
Imagine that explosion clearing to reveal their flaming wreck slowly dribbling oil onto the ground below it... It'll be awesome!!!
Anyway... That's all i have to say really. This is just my opinion and i am no expert on game design or anything... These are just some visual improvements i'd love to see implemented into carmageddon because the game is awesome!!!
To those who've read this... thanks, and feel free to respond with your opinions on graphical improvements.