>>540172>I know modern vidya can have over 40k quads on a character, but I find most of that a waste.
Yeah, since you cant use them ...>You can easily compensate with good texture work and normal-maps.
No you cant
Everything has a limit, and while you can get away with a lot on simple characters, the more complex they get they more the illusion breaks apart.
Clothing, strong folds, good looking hair, close ups of the face, shit like this just requires a lot of polies.
Your picture is a perfect example of what happens when you try to bake in strongly offset geometry on flat planes.
The folds look like shit, and i dont mean the bad high poly work here, i mean you just look wrong, flat and lack any depth to them.
Normal maps work best on small frequency detail, fabric patterns, skin pores and wrinkles,smaller muscle groups, not to establish larger forms.
Otherwise you are ending up with 2003, doom 3 quality models.