Blotched Blogger, what it comes down to is that the game looks great and you can't recognize that because you equate technical graphics enhancement with good art. I loved the visuals for the game, and just because geeky tech effects didn't contribute to why they looked good doesn't change anything. Would I have taken them? Sure. Does their absence hurt the game? Not at all.
What I imagine most people look for in a CSI game is crime scenes that are artistically pleasing, atmospheric, and reasonably detailed - Hard Evidence has that. Time that could have been spent giving the engine all of kinds of slight graphical enhancements that would have done the game no good were instead used toward the storytelling aspect, which makes sense when you consider what kind of game this is and what kind it isn't.
The people who are going to buy and enjoy CSI aren't going to give a damn about normal mapping, polygon count, texture resolution and the use of dynamic shadows - they're probably happy not having a clue as to what those things are (aka they aren't snobs). The previous games looked as good or worse than Hard Evidence from a technical perspective, and yet enough people have bought them that this is the 5th CSI game Ubisoft has published. So it's obvious that even a game this terrible has an audience, it just doesn't include you.
You think the graphics are dated and disappointing; fair enough. But your assumptions about the work ethic and intelligence of Ubisoft, Telltale, and whatever other companies might be involved is pretty stupid, as are your apparent expectations for what the game was going to look like, especially considering that you loved 3 Dimensions of Murder which had the same or worse graphics capabilities as this one. (It also wasn't released for Xbox - which version did you play?) Also a good way to encourage civil discussion is to insinuate that people who like a certain company's games are a yes person to that company, so good job on that.
Originally Posted by Blotched Blogger
this game will be unfortunately swept underneath all the other AAA titles being released this year, like the awesome Halo 3, just a very bad release time.
That remains to be seen, and I think that the audiences for Halo 3 and CSI are so different that they're not going to affect each other. You might want to note though that the "very bad release time" that Ubisoft selected for this game is, completely coincidentally I'm sure, the same as the premiere of CSI Season 8.