Oh Yes: That Next-Gen Unreal Footage

By Alec Meer on March 9th, 2011 at 7:50 am.

I AM MAN I AM PIXEL MAN

Quintin posted about the latest posing from the Unreal engine last week, but lamented the lack of a video with which to demonstrate this new-era graphical clout. Now we can do that. Behold – the worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrld of tomorrow!

Update: New, shinier one!

HD version here, if you like.

(Old, shakycam version:)

This comes via VentureBeat, which also busts out superlatives such as “jaw-dropping” in regard to the engine here.

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104 Comments »

  1. RAY16 says:

    There’s a direct feed version of this up on GameTrailers.

    http://www.gametrailers.com/video/debut-trailer-samaritan/711467

  2. konrad_ha says:

    That didn’t look real at all!

  3. DeepSleeper says:

    The adventures of Baterminator MacBladerunna, the rudest man in the world.

    Seriously, stop hitting people with cigarettes. That’s just filthy littering.

  4. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Very nice, but I do wonder if the tech is(really) up for it..

  5. Tei says:

    I don’t see destructible buildings in this video. Or anything like that bridge collapsing in Half-Life 2.
    This looks like a highpoly version of old engines, with more shaders. These ATI and NVidia engineers are very cool people.
    I could see this could help make even more pretty corridor shooters, if thats what we really need.
    But… maybe is the point, so when people is trying to decide between God of War 4 and Battlefield 5, choose GoW4 because looks no-worse.
    Also, the Unreal way to have destructible terrain is to put it on cutscenes or quicktimeevents.

    • MDevonB says:

      “Also, the Unreal way to have destructible terrain is to put it on cutscenes or quicktimeevents.”

      Wut?
      (I figure I’m the only person in existence to remember this.)

    • Tei says:

      @MDevonB The broken glass are particles that only happens to have broken glass aparence. Malice did that in 1997 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malice_(video_game_mod)). A tornado that moves around crates != destroying architecture.
      I don’t imply that UDK can’t do that. I am commenting a video posted in a website.
      (Ignore the last line, I never written than one.)

    • MDevonB says:

      Ah, thought you were saying that the Unreal engine as a whole didn’t support destruction. I apologize then.

    • SuperNashwan says:

      “I don’t see destructible buildings in this video. Or anything like that bridge collapsing in Half-Life 2.”

      Why would you? Large scale physics is pre-rendered (including that bridge collapse and the buildings collapsing in Crysis 2) and this is a demonstration of realtime rendering power. More geometry, lighting and shader quality is exactly what you’d expect.

  6. Spacewalk says:

    It’s a very impressive hard boiled rendered but I think I prefer trees and car ads to curb stomps and head shots.

  7. qrter says:

    I seriously have no idea what that clip is supposed to tell me.

  8. The Hammer says:

    Wow, colour me impressed. In terms of graphical fidelity, that was ace. Epic even seem to have made an improvement in the facial department. Characters don’t look entirely plastic any more!

    I thought the lighting and specular effects were top-notch, and wh-

    Oh fuck it why am I even bothering to talk about the engine when the main thing the video has done is make me want a new Blade Runner game. Ugh. Careful what you wish for an’ all that.

    • Baboonanza says:

      Actually, you may get one. I was reading that there has been a deal recently between the rights holders and another company (I forget which, they’ve done other franchise re-inventions) for cross media Blade Runner rights for sequels/prequels/games in the same universe.

      I would be surprised if they weren’t even considering it, though clearly it won’t be anything like the original.

    • Baboonanza says:

      In fact it’s bound to be an abomination.

    • omicron1 says:

      Aye, subsurface scattering may have given the Unreal Engine new life (pun intended). But it’s likely to be overused, in the same way bloom filters were, as soon as it becomes viable in real-time. And then we’ll see accusations of jello-face instead of plasticity. Might not be that much of an improvement.

  9. Rond says:

    You just wait for id Tech 5.

    • Zarx says:

      I think you mean Id tech 6, mega textures are cool but they have nothing on Ray traced sparse voxel octrees

    • Rond says:

      i mean, what’s so new about this UE 3.98-whatever? Yeah, it looks somewhat better than UE 3.5 (or whatever the last iteration is numbered), especially in terms of lighting&shadowing and animation. BUT. I’m pretty sure even id Tech 4 (7 years old, that is) can do similar lighting&shadowing tricks, and pretty much any modern engine worth mentioning handles animation on par with the new UE. Especially when it comes to prerendered scripted movies. So I don’t see anything particularly new here.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      And Goodbye mod support.

    • Navagon says:

      @ Tiki

      Exactly. Fuck Tech 5. With any luck Cryengine 3 and Epic’s latest will bury it when it comes to third party adoption.

  10. liqourish says:

    It’s like he doesn’t even care about wasting cigarettes!

  11. TooNu says:

    Well that was very very good. It looks like some awesome graphic machine of awesome.

  12. RaytraceRat says:

    There is a man, with a gun (and a torch welder)!

  13. Muzman says:

    Well the Cry boys certainly have these fellas beat.
    Why is there a wall at the end of the street with the capitol building spraypainted onto it?
    And just how heavy are this guy’s cigarettes supposed to be?

    Bitchiness aside, it’s kinda fascinating how it seems to always be 1991 in Epic’s heart, with the choice of scenery and lately advertising music. I swear that exact scenario played out in one of the Cyberpunk 2020 modules I played back in the day.

  14. MrEvilGuy says:

    That’s the best inner-city atmosphere I’ve ever seen in a game… at least in the first 15 seconds or so.
    absolutely unreal! BAHAAHHAAHAAH

  15. Po0py says:

    Does anyone know if this is also footage of some kind of new game from Epic?

  16. Jacques says:

    What’s more impressive is that apparently, those videos aren’t pre-rendered, they’re running directly in the engine.

    • Baboonanza says:

      It would kind of defeat the point if they weren’t, though producing this sort of video in a completely pre-scripted, canned manner is entirely different from doing something similar in-game.

      Maybe that will be the next generation of Unreal games. Just a pretty video of twats smoking and punching each other, the pointless requirement of user interaction confined to Quick-Time events but with spectacular (if dreary) graphics.

  17. hamster says:

    JESUS THAT LOOKS too good. 3 580′s to run this in real time, huh? So we could be seeing this in like a year or two? Oh maaan.

    P.S: See what i mean when i say graphics sell??

    • omicron1 says:

      3 580s cost $1500 right now. To make it to market, a 10-20% improvement per year means we’ll see it running on 2 top-of-the-line cards in 4 to 5 years. It could be sold in 6 or 7.

      Yeah, I’m not holding my breath for this one.

  18. Baboonanza says:

    In the future all out games are going to look like Topy Story! Mark my words!

  19. Milky1985 says:

    So when will Epic make an engine that DOESN’T have every single person in it with a shiny reflective face?

    Hell currently hte only engine i ahve seen that doesn’t do the reflective face thing is source engine but its starting to head that way a bit :/

    • Zwebbie says:

      Milky1985: that doesn’t really have as much to do with the engine as it does with the artists making the content. Every engine for at least the last half decade has had specular and gloss map support, and if you paint them too bright, your stuff becomes too shiny. It’s just that Valve’s artists are a bit more restrained. Whether that’s a good thing depends on your needs; you may want objects to have extra contrast and to be extra shiny so that you can more easily recognise them from afar and in the heat of the moment.

      Of course, you’ve also got to remember that skin is a crazy thing. It’s several different layers of semi-translucent stuff with tiny holes in it, and that’s going to do some crazy things with how it reacts to light.

    • Milky1985 says:

      I’m sorry i don’t agree when that its more to do with the artists when Unreal 3 engine games in particular are guilty of this, Nearly every single U3 engine game i have played has had either shiny faces or shiny clothes (for some reason). Does this mean that the artists are all making them shiny or that the engine is forcing this for some reason. About the only non shiny game was borderlands (I believe that was unreal 3 but modified) but thats because it didn’t really have ANY shinyness and reflectyness.

      The soruce engine is seemingly not a very reflective engine, so the faces look more relistic i would say because of that. Not sure if the improvements are making it more reflective tho.

      Its not just epic however, even crysis 2 is looking a bit too “shiny”, for some reason to look good it has to be shiny in the current state of the industry :/

    • omicron1 says:

      And that is what subsurface scattering is for.

    • Benny says:

      Zwebbie is pretty much right. But it also tends to be the lighting shaders that affect the ‘look’ of the game, and unless you rewrite them totally (ala Mirror’s Edge, which is running under U3 if my memory’s right) then you’re gona end up with generally similar results on the same engine.

      As for that vid, i believe the shinyness is due to it being a wet rainy day, and keeps in with the overall style they’re looking for.

    • rivalin says:

      @Milky; you have absolutely no engine how game engines work. Really this engine is more reflective than that engine? Just no, and yes if the artists wanted then they could absolutely lower the “shiny”; it’s a matter of lowering the brightness of the spec and reflection maps, would take a few seconds. Now to say UE3 has an inbuilt tendency towards exaggerated effects might be true, but if the artists wanted to avoid that style they could, obviously though companies choosing the Unreal Engine are doing so because they like the graphical options it affords them, if they didn’t want lots of shiny glowy bloomyness then they’d probably just use the bloody Source engine.

  20. DeliriumWartner says:

    How heavy was that cigarette meant to be?

    Also, and it’s a bit picky, but there’s a bit where water is running down his face, straight through his eyebrows. Eyebrows deflect water away from the eyes. That’s what they’re for. Silly pixel merchants.

  21. Chanter says:

    That cop running-hovering on the spot at 1:10 (beside the sign) kind of broke the illusion…

  22. Teddy Leach says:

    For god’s sake, remake Blade Runner in this engine. Do it.

  23. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    So the guy was trying to break into a building…… then kills 4 cops

    games like this cause rape

  24. Zern says:

    Why didn’t he just rip that chain apart? Certainly looked doable judging by what he later did in the video.

    Nitpicking aside, if the one thing that this video was supposed to look like was ‘cool’, it has achieved that – at least with me.

  25. Zerotime says:

    I didn’t know Lemmy was going to be in Deus Ex 3.

  26. tomeoftom says:

    God, that gratuitous headshot-display really put me off, and I absolutely revelled in Bulletstorm’s gore. Absolutely horrible. I hope trends in realistic animation run opposite to the prevalence of graphic violence.

    • Phyla says:

      Good point. I wonder where the advancement of grahpical design is going to take us in this region. Surely it would take some quite twisted developers to painstakingly copy the effect of a bullet to the head, but I’m curious when players will halt the process of making death-effects more realistic (in, let’s say, shooters) because they think it spoils the fun in some way.

    • thisguyisjoe says:

      I, for one, would welcome extremely graphic deaths like this in a game provided the killing was entirely optional. I’m feeling pretty guilty fighting the guys in Shadow Complex, and I’d be interested in a game which explored that guilt a little more fully.

    • Jacques says:

      We’ve already taken steps back from gory games.

      Look at Soldier of Fortune 1 + 2 for instance, compared to modern FPS games.

    • Urael says:

      Oh man, how much fun was cutting a dead man’s face into meaty chunks with your itsby bitsy knife in SOF2?

      LOTS OF FUN, is how much. I swear I must have deliberately targeted elbows and knees more in that one game than in all the others I’ve ever played. Hey Raven, how’d you fancy chucking out a Ghoul Engine 3.0? *evil anticipatory grin*

    • Shih Tzu says:

      I know I’m not supposed to think about this, but if the back of the cop’s head blows out so drastically, wouldn’t the force of that explosion actually knock him forward? I’m pretty sure I saw a Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! episode once where they talked about this in relation to JFK assassination conspiracy theories and demonstrated that shooting a watermelon knocks it toward the direction of the gun, not away from it.

      Now, the show (while entertaining) is pretty obviously a vehicle to present their predefined opinions and not any sort of rigorous academic investigation, so I’m wary of relying on it as a source of knowledge without independent backup… But the principle makes sense to me at first glance.

  27. WJonathan says:

    Pretty much all graphic engines look good on a rainsoaked street, at night, backlit with neon signs.

    • Nick says:

      Even life looks better like that.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty much easy mode for graphics demos. Night-and-neon and great big coronas has been done competently enough since the turn of the century.

      I’m sorry, but this is lacklustre. It completely failed to blow me away the way that, say, new 3DMark releases used to.

      Also UnrealEngine still sucks at dynamic lighting by the looks of it. Those police car siren lights illuminating the fire escape, and the torch shining over the walls, still look every bit as bad as the “lol Projectors are just like the dynamic lighting from UE1 we broke honest guv” from UT2004.

  28. mrjackspade says:

    The police cars aren’t flying…how disappointing.

  29. Kazang says:

    The most interesting part of this video is that it is an Unreal techdemo.

    Cast your minds back to all past releases and techdemos of new versions of Unreal. The original Unreal3 techdemo was an early version of Gears of War.
    Epic do not waste time doing fancy tech demos that will never be incorporated into a game. If they make an asset, it’s going to be in a game at some stage.

    Food for thought, certainly.

  30. Anton says:

    This tech demo might turn into a game… remembering UE3′s tech demo before, it was Gears of War. Hopefully this is also a game in development as well…. and will be released for PCs as well.

  31. Diziet Sma says:

    It’s uh very pretty and all but please remember this was running on a really high end box with THREE nvidia cards. So it’s as much a demo of the awesome tech as it is a demo of what you can achieve if you spend $1,500 on graphics cards for your new PC.

    It’s in no way representative of what you or I might experience from the same engine in the near future unless we throw similar quantities of money at the pipeline.

  32. Jezebeau says:

    I see two problems with it. The first is that the areas they didn’t choose to add detail to look so blank as to stand out, and the second is that the clothing doesn’t move right. All the high-detail textures in the world don’t matter if actroids have smoother movements than your characters.

  33. Blain says:

    It looks very good. But are the tools improved? I’m not excited about Rage because of how it looks. I’m excited about Rage, and Valve’s next editing suite, because they may give modders and the industry the tools to make better visuals without dying of sleep deprivation or breaking the bank.

  34. DevilSShadoW says:

    Can this be a real game now please? I’m pretty interested.

  35. AwesomeOwl says:

    The first 30 seconds are pretty good but then it kinda goes meh..
    The animations are just not very good at all imo.. And is it just me or are they trying to come off as serious while doing the super duper overly macho “I’m 300 pounds of pure muscle and I light my cigarettes with a blow torch”-style? That just does nothing for me at all..

  36. c-Row says:

    Now if that isn’t exactly how a Syndicate remake should look, I don’t know.

    • Urael says:

      Congrats, c-Row. You win the thread.

      Anyone who saw that video and thought ‘Bladerunner’ should hand in their “Gamer” badges on the way out.

  37. Basilicus says:

    Anyone else getting a rather creepy,

    “The server cms.gametrailers.com at cms.gametrailers.com requires a username and password.”

    Every time they connect to this page? Followed by a Windows warning about how ridiculously insecure it finds the request to be?

    • Basilicus says:

      Hmm…followed by a video that refuses to load.

      Well, there’s a reason God made IGN. I mean, outside of annoying you with the most useless top 10 lists ever created. So…two reasons, I guess.

  38. Dances to Podcasts says:

    This seems to be trying hard at winning the 100m sprint, while everyone else has moved on to polevaulting.

  39. skinlo says:

    Looking good!

  40. Barnaby says:

    Seems like there’s a lot of unnecessary negativity aimed at this video and I’m failing to see why. Some people have had valid complaints about why the engine could cause problems but some people just seem to be bitching for no reason at all.

    Generally I’m not an optimist but there was nothing in the video that made me want to sling poo, metaphorically or literally, at the developers or the video itself.

  41. Cryo says:

    Why does he keep morphing back and forth between human and terminator modes? I mean, what’s the purpose of this action?

  42. AdamT says:

    The Unreal Engine: Rendering the best purple you ever saw, since 1998!

    Prince has all their stuff, you know.

  43. BobsLawnService says:

    For about 30 seconds there I thought they were going to do something interesting with tht demo and then they pull some random super-hero schmuck. Nice pretties though.

  44. pupsikaso says:

    I dunno if they are thinking of making some kind of game out of that demo, but the setting would be really cool if they did.

    Oh wait, Epic doesn’t make games for PC anymore, nevermind.

  45. 8-bit says:

    if this guy is strong enough that he can confidently take on a giant robot with nothing but his bare fists why does he need a torch to cut the chain on that door? if he is really that strong he could just tear the chain off, I mean its not like he would care if it attracted attention because of what he does after, and he is clearly capable of taking care of himself if the cops did show up. I am sorry but it makes no sense that he wouldn’t just walk up and tear off the chain, I just cant believe in this character at all.

  46. Text_Fish says:

    Great. Can’t wait for the full movie to hit cinemas.

  47. Araxiel says:

    It’s looks like Alex Mercer had a change of heart and now helps old tramp ladies.

  48. Cael says:

    Why is this console (Epic) game up on my PC site?

  49. DragonSix says:

    I want this game.

  50. amishmonster says:

    I happened to be listening to the Inception soundtrack before watching this, so I had to double-check to make sure I had paused it. I had.

    Big booming bass sirens is the new autotune.

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