|Mr Puggsly said:
Mass Effect 3's underwhelming presentation might be more reflective of Bioware than the engine. Frostbite delivers great visuals but primarily just when DICE is using it for Battlefield games. Also, the Battlefield games tend to treat PC as the lead especially during the 7th gen.
I think the OG Xbox could have handled Bioshock in some form. Just look at the iOS version of Bioshock, that looks much worse than games like Doom 3, Half Life 2 and Riddick on the OG Xbox. What I was really saying is the project likely changed very much over what might have been planned for 6th gen hardware, it just kept the same engine. That's why UE is so popular though, it certainly does scale.
I think the engine in general was getting stale around Mass Effects 3's release.
I would constantly "moan" when I heard a new title was using Unreal Engine 3 at that point. Haha
Mostly it's due to the way it streams/mips in textures, it was entirely unnecessary on PC with it's abundance of memory and horsepower.
I don't doubt they could have; speaking in purely mechanical terms Bioshock 1/2 weren't highly complex games in terms of having huge levels with lots of moving parts or tons of characters on screen, all you'd need to do was massively cut back on graphical fidelity and maybe break up the levels with loading screens like in Doom 3. The original Xbox ran a port of Half-Life 2 after all.
Still, I'm glad they came to the 7th gen instead as the increased graphical power allowed for a more atmospheric experience. The beautiful, creepy, haunting visuals were a big part of what made Bioshock so incredible, as such I can't help but feel they couldn't have lived up to their proper potential on 6th gen hardware.
The water effects would have been the biggest hindrance, Bioshock was pushing some pretty cutting edge water effects back then which made efforts more difficult to "downgrade" the game.
And water was very much a big part of that games atmosphere, in-fact the entire game was built around it as a concept.
Still, it's a beautiful and charming game, it would have been capable of running on the OG Xbox with relatively minimal effort... But that is likely a testament to how powerful the Original Xbox was... But there would have been concessions with textures, lighting, shadowing and... Water effects, no doubt.