If you use your assets properly, you can remove the tiling look on landscape. 8192 textures are heavy, difficult for artists to make, and totally not necessary. And UE4’s lighting is really good for what it’s trying to do. I wish it had sharp caustic reflections and more effective transperancy modulation built-in, but for a game it’s seriously awesome. Just build good shaders, use good techniques for texturing assets, design your spaces wisely with the assets you have, use all the tools you’re given, and make something awesome. I find it so sad that people still plug a texture to diffuse in the material and call it “done.” Then they look at the finished product and complain why it doesn’t look as good as CGI. It can take me hours to work on one shader and get it just right.
SSR reflections are actually very good in UE4. The problem is the reflections are SCREENspace, so if your object is trying to reflect something that’s not visible on the screen, the reflection value returned is 0. This is why you use skylights with generic cubemap reflections to fill in reflection data that might be missing. With that implemented, everything in the scene will have an appropriate reflection. This is a limitation with the SSR method in general, NOT UE4’s implementation.
Lightmass is a general solution for GI. It’s not ever going to be perfect. When you combine that with SSAO and SSR and area lights, you can get an incredibly pleasing result. I’m not sure what you mean by lights being “2D textures.” Lights are not 2D, pointlights are calculated in all directions within a 3D space. You can turn on volumetric effects if that’s what you want. Maybe next generation when SVOGI is actually implemented we’ll get awesome, awesome perfect dynamic GI, but in the meantime, LPV works well for outdoor environments.
If one person made all that in UE4, imagine how good the game will look with 1000 professionals working on it for 5 years. That’s basically the development cycle for GTA: V. There’s a lot of awesome stuff in UE4 that people are just ignoring. You won’t get instant gratification in game development: everything good takes time for every engine. It’s not UE4’s fault that there are so many “doors” to take care of.