Take a look at your current selection of games. The ones with fantastic visuals, and protagonists that have enough steroids running in their veins, to be classified as early nineties WWF wrestlers, or Sylvester Stallone.
Those crisp graphics are most likely generated by the most popular gaming software in the industry, the Unreal 3 engine. Games such as the Batman Arkham series of titles, Gears of War and Splinter Cell have all made use of the magnificent tool, for several years now, resulting in interactive experiences that really do look like a million bucks.
But those are all current generation games. We’ve got to start looking towards the future already, and prepare for games that can perhaps, finally breach the Uncanny Valley effect of current graphics. Epic Games is aware of that, and they’ve been hard at work on a successor engine, which will once again, be dependent on future hardware to power itself.
Epic’s tim Sweeney recently spoke to Wired about the future of their graphical engine, and what he was hoping to see, as well as showing off some pictures of the work that the Unreal Engine 4 was currently capable of.
Epic has been championing visuals with higher definitions for quite a while now, with their latest example, Samaritan, wowing audiences back at the 2011 Game Developers Conference. “We used it as an opportunity to make a point to the developers,” Sweeney said.
We want 10 times more power; here’s what we can do with it.
Samaritan, mind you, ran on a maxed out version of the third Unreal engine. Unreal engine 4 is indeed capable of such feats, and more, but it’s going to need hardware that borders on magical in order to max it out, with Sweeney claiming that current PC hardware will need to be at least 2000 times faster.
That’s like, a whole 36 months of Moore’s Law man! I always believe that gameplay has to come first when designing a game, but it sure won’t hurt to have game that not only plays like a highly-tuned sports car, but looks like one as well.
Which means that I’ going to have start hocking my non-essential organs right now, in order to be able to afford a PC that can run one of their damn games.
Last Updated: May 18, 2012