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Game graphics continue to improve drastically every year. As the most immediately noticeable element in any game, graphics remain and always will be extremely important to players' experiences. Besides the artists who design the actual look of each game, programmers are charged with the highly competitive responsibility of creating increasingly impressive 3D graphics engines to bring their games to life. Here is the winner of Best Graphics (Technical) of 2001:

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Gray Matter
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Return to Castle Wolfenstein proves just how much growing room id Software's Quake III engine has and shows how great technology and artistry can come together for graphics that meet or raise the bar in every way. Just to start, Wolfenstein pushes the engine to new levels with extremely detailed textures and character models and truly benefits from the dramatic yet fast lighting system. Other technical strong points are great simply because of the content they enable. A system for varying the clothing and appearance of opponents helps keep enemies looking newer than they would otherwise. Also, those familiar with the cramped levels of last year's Quake III-based games will be surprised by some of the game's remarkably expansive environments. Finally, the game's particle system makes possible perhaps the most impressive weapon effect ever seen in a shooter: Wolfenstein's now-famous flamethrower.

Other Nominees:

Black & White
Max Payne
Serious Sam

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