I doubt it, for one simple reason: reality has clutter. Lots and lots and *lots *of clutter. Also uniqueness, for lack of a better word - look at, I don’t know, a tiled bathroom closely and you’ll see that no two of these tiles are exactly alike. But in a video game, they will be because it saves computing power. And unless they pay level designers to go over every inch of a level to add bird shit, and dead ants, and a discarded shoe, random cigarette butts, make unique textures for every square inch etc… no computer-generated environment is ever coming close to the clutter and “asymmetry” of a real one.
The Crysis still shot is a very apt demonstration of this: look at that shack. Look how it’s all straight lines, clean & crisp textures, edges and flat surfaces when the real thing is all beat to shit, covered in rust and mold and water marks and whatever that white gunk is on the chicken wire fence.
And that’s just the man-made stuff. I have yet to see even a single believable tree in a video game. Not one.
Look at the grass in the Crysis shot - see how every tuft is exactly the same as the one next to it ? They’re forced to do this (or something close to it - Skyrim for example has multiple variants of each bit of primary flora, but not enough that you won’t notice you’re always seeing the same 3 bushes all the time) because otherwise the engine would have to load inordinate amount of resources just to display the fucken ground, even if artists could find the time and motivation to model hundreds of different tufts of grass. And even rendering, lighting, shading that one piece of *Crysis *grass in real time over and over puts most computers on their knees past a certain point.
I won’t say what we’ve got now is the best we’ll ever have, because we’re still seeing tremendous progress in all fields. But I honestly doubt we’ll have even a close approximation of reality - something a casual observer might mistake for a movie - any time soon.