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Unreal Engine 4 Video From GDC Is Very Impressive, Very "Unreal"


Unreal Engine is incredibly popular. It powers so many of our favourite games, from Epic’s own Gears of War series to Rocksteady’s Arkham games, BioShock Infinite, Dishonored, even PlayStation Move’s Sorcery and download-only games like Shadow Complex.

So the next iteration is kind of a big deal. It’s possible that Unreal Engine 4 will be what powers many of the third party games on the next generation of consoles. In fact, it’s already been announced as the engine for one of the first titles for PlayStation 4 – Primal Carnage: Genesis.

While these engine demonstrations don’t really indicate what gameplay will look like, they do give a good indication of what might be possible. Unreal Engine 4 doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor’s reputation for grungy tones and high-sheen but it shows off much more articulation in the character models and it seems like particle effects and atmospherics will be a big part of what developers can do with the engine.

This is worth watching, even if just for the action!


Source: YouTube, thanks Zak

  1. ashw92
    Since: Aug 2010

    Looks pretty damn good.
    But I want to take this opportunity to ask what may seem like a stupid question. As someone who has little understanding of what goes into making a game, what role does the engine actually play? As in how much of a game is what engine the dev team choose to use and how much is their work on graphics, animation etc. Cheers anyone who can/does answer me

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 15:54.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      I’m no expert but as far as I understand it, basically, the engine powers everything from lighting, shading and texturing techniques to animations and character models as well as physics (like the Havok physics you see everywhere – that plugs in to many different engines, I think).

      So a developer will basically create their own art assets (skins, textures, etc.) and they’ll build models and geometry in wireframe within the engine then kind of hang their assets on them. But it’s the engine that provides the tools for building it all and then tells it all how to interact with each other.

      Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 16:03.
      • ashw92
        Since: Aug 2010

        Ah ok, that makes a fair bit of sense. Thanks.

        Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 16:20.
      • teflon
        Community Team
        Since: May 2009

        Of course, the developers can take an existing game engine, strip out whole modules of it and replace them with their own code.

        The Bioshock series is a great example of this going on, where for the first entry they used a very heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 2.5. With the extra power at their disposal they threw higher quality assets at it, added in Havok physics and oodles of custom water code, particle physics, etc. etc.

        Similarly, Infinite take UE3.x and bolts on vastly overhauled systems for lighting and so on, which means it takes a very different look to UE3 games from when it was launched, and everything used the same core lighting engine and similar art styles. It’s only once people started to move away from these commonalities that we got our variety back!

        Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 19:35.
  2. bmg_123
    Since: Feb 2012

    When reading this I realised something: I’ve been hearing about the PS4 for weeks on end, each week without fail. The placement of their event in the calendar has really left the field wide open for Sony to exploit the marketing through news sources. Microsoft will have to pull out something pretty big to distract the average consumer now, perhaps.

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 15:59.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      rumours abound that Microsoft’s (rumoured… lol) Nextbox reveal event in April has now been pushed back by as much as a month too.

      Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 16:04.
  3. cam the man
    Since: May 2009

    A remake of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within using Unreal Engine 4 would be pretty damn good.

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 16:13.
    • KeRaSh
      Since: Nov 2009

      They’d probably use the Luminous engine, though. ;)

      Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 19:48.
  4. sionllj
    Since: Feb 2012

    If this is what Unreal will look like, imagine what the Naughty Dog engine will be like.

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 16:16.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      absolutely stunning shots of a dude running towards the camera?

      Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 16:38.
  5. blackredyellow
    Since: Mar 2009

    Looks like a film! Ossum.

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 16:41.
  6. Adam Garrett
    Community Manager
    Since: Feb 2009

    Well that looks….very “unreal”. The colour, the textures etc which in my opinion isnt a very good thing. Id have hoped they would have gone down a less grey, typical space marine route and would show off the type of brilliant things we have seen in games such as Bioshock Infinite in UE3. So while I’m underwhelmed with what Epic are showing, I’m looking forward to seeing what others are able to do with the engine.

    It will be interesting to see how things progress with game engines next gen too. It looks like we could be seeing more competition with game engines with more impressive first party engine like Frostbite 3 and Fox Engine + ever more popular and fast improving engines such as Unity for third parties. Hopefully this will mean less generic looking games, although not if Epic keep making things like the above :P.

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 16:45.
  7. Kennykazey
    Since: Mar 2010

    Still looks like shiny plastic, but otherwise excellent. What hardware is this on?

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 17:03.
    • SilverCider
      Since: Jan 2011

      Apparently it is running on a single GTX 680, in real time too.

      Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 17:08.
      • Kennykazey
        Since: Mar 2010

        So the same as the Agnis Philosophy demo, that scaled very well to the PS4.

        Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 23:19.
  8. JaffaMan24
    Since: Jan 2010

    Wow! That’s a heck of a video. A few years ago that quality CGI would pass as a movie you pay to see!

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 18:35.
  9. Airiaen
    Since: Aug 2009

    I wonder what it’ll look like in-game…

    Comment posted on 29/03/2013 at 19:04.
  10. KillaScorp
    Since: Jan 2009

    Gutted – video removed by user

    Comment posted on 30/03/2013 at 06:23.

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