I don't agree. See, this can be done on the current gen just fine. The problem is creating all the assests for them. For example all the textures needed for all the levels. Nowadays that's so much more work, you need a lot more people, time and money to create all the levels. So sure, GTA 5 had a good team behind, but more importantly it had a large team behind it and GTA 5 was one of the most expensive games ever made. Why can a game like Minecraft where you basically create your own world be created by one person? Look at the default graphics of the game and you'll understand why. An even better example: Mass Effect. The original game actually had you explore a lot of different planets, it was doing exactly what you described and it was doing it five years ago. Visiting those planets and looking at the different skyboxes with planets and stars in the background was a sight to behold, even today. But people complained how the buildings on those planets all looked alike. Mass Effect 3? Only a few planets to visit, and the levels are all very linear. And it's only going to get worse on next-gen systems, as there'll be even more demand for higher-resolution textures and more detailed levels.
That's at least one reason why BG&E 2's more realistic look might be a mistake. In fact I think it IS a mistake. The original BG&E still looks good today in high-res, and that's simply because of the artstyle of the game. So why change that? Honestly I don't know what they're doing, and I doubt they know either. I do agree with the rest of your post by the way. There's a problem with Ubisoft not committing to development of the game, but I feel like it's partly on the creative side as well.
Mass Effect, did achieve this, and also the Ratchet and Clank series. Mass effect's gameplay is non-linear(for the planet travel), which is achievable on any generation, but it's level design is linear I.e. Theres only one route that can be taken. What Ancel is trying to achieve is non linear gameplay with an Open world. I.e. Travelling to planet's where cities can be freely roamed. Judging from what he's said, he wants to use real time travel between planets, where each planet is not loaded via a, "Loading screen", just one massive environment like GTA 4.
A good example of what he is trying to achieve is in the game Spore:
Ancel mentions the gameplay, parkour focused, being quite similar to Assassin's Creed. This was demonstrated in the leaked trailer, Jade will be climbing buildings in open environments. As much as a brilliant game AC is, it isn't one without it's problems. I.e. Framerate dips. With BG&E2 potentially being a similar game, this maybe the reason it's become a next gen title as current gen hardware is too limited.
BG&E's art style was good. The game looks gorgeous even today. Games generally with that kind of art style run better in terms of framerate, because of the minimal graphic size. The new realistic look is for showing it as if it were a new IP, they have to make sacrifices to make the game sell better. In fairness, the game still needed to do some growing up, if not visually, the story could be expanded upon on, with some clever twists.
Last edited by Soulid_Snake; 08-19-2012 at 05:27 PM.