(Direct link to YouTube video) Activision's research and development team has released this video of an entirely synthetic animated character. It is rendered in real time, which means that a character could look this realistic during gameplay. Or a character could be created with entirely different geometry, such as an orc or a fish-man.
There are a few jarring artifacts, such as the flat black of the inside of the mouth. But the rest of the simulation—including depth of field, subsurface scattering, tiny skin twitches and eye movements, and skin elasticity—gives the simulation a compelling realism, a big step across the uncanny valley.