BioWare's been talking up a storm on Dragon Age 2's graphical enhancements. A post over on the BioWare blog offers a bit more insight into the technical wizardry responsible for summoning up these new visuals: the Lycium engine, an upgraded version of the Eclipse engine that powered Dragon Age: Origins. The lighting and environments hog the spotlight in this first of a promised series of posts dealing with the sequel's tech.
The image above showcases the new lighting, which employs global illumination to help "scatter light around the level for a more clean and realistic lighting overall." The new tech benefits not only cave environments, as BioWare points out that the sequel's sporting some new sky editing tools and water rendering technology which will illuminate and reflect the new lighting to hopefully create more dynamic, realistic scenes.
The lighting does look really nice. It's quite hard to make good looking and effective lighting, and global illuminating is harder.