Assassins Creed Black Flag has hit me really big, and now I've discovered Black flag I just ordered the first two. What attracted me to Black Flag was what attracted me to Unreal and UT in the first place. Technical innovations that are creatively used for game play. Black Flag ...
1. Has one of the most advanced real time IK systems (I remember when you could only do this in expensive NON-REAL TIME 3D applications), hence "characters foot bending side ways while on angled roof, this is real time IK ! ... and in all the climbing, these are not pre-rendered animations !
2. The Ocean simulation is a massive advance if you ask me, and it all runs with reasonable resources and is included IN THE GAME PLAY, ie. large waves block cannon shots, etc, etc. No one has managed a real time Ocean simulation before on the scale they do it here, at least all the one's before have been physics simulations where here, in Black Flag, the coders and artists are obviously faking a lot of it, but who can tell, it just looks great !
So I can appreciate the genius of the coding/digital art advancements going on in the background while the dumb go "meh, ocean" and move on
Also, Battlefield Hardline which looks good even though I've only seen the opening scene (I'm waiting for a memory upgrade as many of these more recent games require at least 8 gigs of memory). The non-DICE developer appear to be applying all the tropes from the CSI and other crime series. A breath of fresh air after DICE managed to mess up both BF3 and 4 (at least very badly on the Campaign side of things).