The Future Of Unreal Engine

As well as developing their own titles (Gears of War) and publishing other people’s (Bulletstorm), Epic Games are also behind the Unreal Engine technology which, in its UE3 iteration, powers all sorts of titles on current-gen platforms, from BioShock and Borderlands to Arkham Asylum and Enslaved. Last week during GDC, Epic unveiled a demo of what can potentially be done with the latest release of the engine, in combination with DirectX 11, and have today released that video online.

There’s all kind of fancy terminology being flung around (“sub-surface scattering” is probably my favourite, but I’m a sucker for a bit of alliteration), but basically what you’re looking at is what can be done when even a now relatively dated engine is pushed using the latest graphics technology. Warning though: you may find yourself browsing high-end PC graphics cards online for some time afterwards.


Source: IGN



  1. Why do the concepts for tech demos always look way cooler than games? I guess probably because you don’t have to flesh it out beyond a few minutes of awesome.

    Anyway, looking very cool for an old engine. I know UE4 isn’t scheduled for release till the next console gen, but really wondering just what that’ll look like, if this is what happens with UE3 being pushed.

  2. You shouldn’t be showing that video on National no Smoking Day, full of lengthy lighting up scenes.

    Seriously though, very nice effects but as halbpro mentioned, shame we never see full games look as impressive.

    • Good job its not “shoot someone in the head and watch their brains fly out” day. Now that can seriously harm your health.

  3. I really don’t know why people slate the Unreal engine so much. Games like Bulletstorm show that it’s possible to have a lovely looking game running on Unreal technology.

    Having said that, I’m quite excited to see what the CryEngine 3 can do!

    • I think it’s because lots of people use it to make games the look like Gears, partly because they take the engine as a whole package. Shadow Complex showed how different you can make stuff look, but Chair had to build their own lighting to set it apart from ‘typical’ Unreal style graphics.

  4. It’s entirely possible to get a game looking that impressive within a few years. The demo was running on a Tri-sli machine, so extremely high end, and Dec time for a game like this would be long, but that’s the whole point of introducing extended tesselation in DX11, to try and bring high end visuals without long modelling times.

    I’m more excited about Apex integration to be honest,imagine Hydrophobias fluids on steroids and you’re imagining a little of Apex’s potential.

  5. Looks rather good.

  6. That’s not an alliteration ;)

  7. That’s an impressive step up for the Unreal Engine. Really shows the beauty of DX11. I’m wondering if this demo will be actually turned into a game or if it will become a benchmark tool for high end cards, much like Futuremark and the Heaven Benchmark. Still it will be very interesting to see how this upgraded Unreal Engine gets on and what high end hardware will be needed to get it running smoothly. I’m thinking two HD 6990s in Crossfire would get it maxed out no problem.

    • two 6990’s? so thats 4 GPU’s crikey. They would net over 10k Points per day in [email protected]!

    • 3 580’s seem to run it pretty well so I’d guess a 6990 would be able to pull 25+fps easily.

      Hell if anyone’s got a 6990 and good with UDK; download the March update and make the benchmark yourself! :P

  8. Nathan Drake has let himself go…

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