I guess you tagged me and @AlexNiedt to make a point about the new lighting being better than it was before, because we were criticizing it.
I agree that the newer images look better, but I don’t think that implies very much about the new lighting being good.
- Where did you get those screenshots of the originals? They’re not in-game screenshots, or if they are they have really weird settings applied. The detail and the clarity are extremely low, and that has nothing to do with the new lighting. Look at the blurriness in this image. It looks tilt-shifted or something. That’s not what it looks like in-game! The newer images you posted primarily look better because they are crisper, but in a way that has nothing to do with the new lighting settings, so you’re comparing apples and oranges here.
- The new skyboxes look cool, I’ll give you that. They shouldn’t be changed, but they’re doing a lot of work in making the new shots look better.
- The new lighting settings have been fiddled with to make for dramatic, high-dynamic-range-style landscape shots… it’s a style of photography calibrated to make for impressive shots of faraway vistas, so it’s not too surprising that these screenshots look good. What the lighting settings suck at are interiors, in-gameplay transitions from dark to light, bright lights focused on nearby objects, etc. The sorts of stuff that affect how the actual game looks when you’re playing it and not using a camera tool to compose artificial comparisons.