Epic Games Reveals Next-Gen Unreal Engine 4 Demo Screens
Written Thursday, May 17, 2012 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
With rumours flying left right and centre surrounding the inevitable next-generation of console hardware, Wired has published a feature examining the future of video game visuals, which boasts a gallery of screenshots taken from Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4. And with Epic lending its Unreal Engine 3 to almost every action game around, including the likes of Batman: Arkham City, Asura's Wrath and numerous others, it's highly likely that we'll be seeing a lot of UE4 in our next-gen games too.
And based on the strength of these Unreal Engine 4 screens taken from a privately shown demo reel, we're in for some pretty cutting edge, jaw-dropping graphics. But they'll have a lot to live up to, according to Epic's Cliff Bleszinski. "There is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of our engine team and our studio to drag this industry into the next generation," Bleszinski told Wired. "It is up to Epic, and [tech boss] Tim Sweeney in particular, to motivate Sony and Microsoft not to phone in what these next consoles are going to be. It needs to be a quantum leap. They need to damn near render Avatar in real time, because I want it and gamers want it - even if they don't know they want it."
What makes the Unreal Engine 4 so special then? There's incredibly fancy particle effects for one, that allow for the rendering of numerous particles without affecting a game's performance. "Mark my words, those particles are going to be whored by developers," enthused Bleszinski.
Unreal Engine 4 will also ship with something called the Kismet 2 tool, which enables developers to script levels using simple visual terms, making designing games a more straightforward process, allowing designers to experiment more with various scenarios without programmers having to tinker with the underlying code. This means the level designer is king when utilising UE4.
"There were people who weren't programmers but who still wanted to create and script things," explained Senior Engine Programmer, James Golding. "When we got them a visual system, they just went completely bananas with it. We're turning our level designers into godlike creatures who can walk into a world and create with a swipe of their hand."
Check out a selection of the images taken from the Unreal Engine 4 demo reel below, including the wireframe workings going on underneath the stunning dark knight loveliness. Check out the particles, lighting effects and textural detail. And look at that snowy mountain range. It looks real!
[Via OXM | Thanks, Mix]