Fancy That: Unreal 4 Engine Trailer Is Spectacular

The purpose of Unreal 4’s increasingly elaborate vignette story trailers eludes me, since they are basically devoid of any game context, and might as well be rendered or something. However, I can’t deny that the latest – a leak spotted by the Big K – is an extraordinary sight. Go take a look, below.


  1. rockman29 says:

    That was movie production quality stuff imo… nicely animated and everything. It’s not the same fidelity, but we’ve reached the point where you can give the equivalent impression… great times for graphics in games…

    • Wreckdum says:

      I need to exchange my pants! REASON: Boner hole!

      • sgt. grumbles says:

        A lovely tale, but how exactly does this help him repair his boner hole?

      • hanyhany114 says:

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    • Core says:

      Everything still looks like they are made of plastic.

      • innociv says:


        So much dark and shininess.

        Most things in real life are very matte. Making everything so glossy kills the realism.

        If there was more light, and less gloss, it’d look a lot better.

      • gshauger says:

        To me this is equivalent to Godwin’s rule. You just can’t talk about game engines without someone stating that it looks like plastic. I’ve literally heard this since the 90s. It doesn’t matter how much the lighting engine gets better…rest assured someone will compare it to plastic.

        Graphics looked stunning to me…the only things that looked like plastic…were the things made of plastic

        • dE says:

          Doom 3 was the 90s? Cool, didn’t know that. Because that’s when it started.
          It’s an issue with glossiness, in that it is really damn hard to get right. Some engines can’t do it properly (Id Tech 4), others come with rubbish defaults (UE3). UE3 gets licensed a lot, thus you see a lot of bad gloss, thus you read a lot of plastic comments.
          The plastic comments here might have something to do with how the trailer shows a particularly bland scene. Yay, some guy shooting other guys in an almost entirely desaturated environment. If the point was to show off what their engine can do, they should have shown more of that city view and much, MUCH less of shooty shooty bang bang idiotmarine brownblue country.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      I like graphics too. Sadly graphics are now the excuse to not engage the user’s imagination or ingenuity.

      I’ve never been a great reader but I prefer a good read now, where my brain is engaged. As opposed to the majority of AAA games that are just ‘implement the next directed but beautifully rendered moment’.

      Shit it is (from an old and bitter disenfranchised gamer)

  2. pakoito says:

    More graphics, bigger teams, more investment, safer gameplay. Nah.

    • heker_88 says:

      I think its fine as long as Indi devs develop what the new “safe” gameplay is.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      One of the main goals of Unreal 4 is to open the technology up to smaller teams. You don’t have to sit around waiting for lighting to bake, it’s all done in real time.

      • subedii says:

        Whilst having that kind of processing done real-time is nice, there’s still a point there.

        For that kind of level of production value (from concept art, through to character models, environments, effects, animations, textures, custom shaders and a whole load of other things I’m forgetting) you are drastically ramping up the costs in terms of manpower and resources. These things tend not to scale linearly, but exponentially.

        This gen is notable in that major AAA titles that are pushing the boundries in terms of production values have teams in the hundreds to thousands, and require sales of several million just to break even. Pushing production values higher could work for an exceptional few titles, but that chasing of SUPER HIGH BUDGET titles with the expectations of sales to match has already helped sink more than a couple of major players this time around.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          And in the long term that’s fine, let them sink (it sucks in the short term for those employees, of course).

          Gaming is having a bit of an identity crisis at the moment, and lower budgets and therefore smaller teams are going to become a reality one way or another — be it due to more streamlined technology like this, or massive restructuring caused by high profile flops. But I do think it’s coming.

          Not that mega-budget games will go away completely, just that we can’t keep up the current pace. No way, no how.

          • Bhazor says:

            Agree with this.

            The dinosaurs of the industry are looking at each other trying to work out how to survive into the next generation. Truth is they won’t. Not unless they dramatically cut costs.

          • Lemming says:

            It’d be good to see bigger budget games become collaborative efforts.

          • subedii says:

            It still ties into what pakoito was saying though. Bigger teams, more investment, and that’s probably going to lead to safer gameplay, the bigger the studio is.

            I don’t doubt that smaller sized studios are going to fair better as long as they’re intelligent about things, but they aren’t the ones that will be making the most of UE4, and they almost certainly won’t be pushing out visuals like that.

        • ulix says:

          Ofg course tools and libraries are getting better and better, making it easier to produce high quality content. That offsets the rising costs of development somewhat.

        • Cleave says:

          That’s true but at least the UE4 engineers have put in several things to speed up iteration on art and game play. Not only the real time rendering environment but the Kismet scripting engines should significantly increase productivity for game play and level designers.

        • Apocalypse says:

          You are mistaken here console optimization with all the fun tools advanced engines give you.
          Instead of baking all the stuff you just tell the engine to do something. Less efficient in the performance sector? Yeah!
          But it does safe you a lot of money in the development area and in some areas it does even give you better results, as example lighting can be amazing good if the engine just handles it with a good lighting model. Expensive performance wise, but dirt cheap in development and optimization gets outsources to the engine developer.

          And in this regard unreal engine 4 is especially because it seem to run very well on ps4 and most likely on xbox720, not with the same amount of details compared to high end pcs, but still in the same way that hand optimizations seems way less required than it used to be.

        • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

          People manage to churn out impressive art on a budget consistently with every new generation. A lot of devs used this as an excuse to not release mod tools these last five years, but go take a look at the Skyrim steam workshop. Sure, there are plenty of duds, but there are at least as many mods that are impressively well-crafted, with assets at least as good as the ones that shipped with the game. If modders can still make high-quality content at a reasonable pace with no budget, it should be feasible for devs too.

  3. darylicked says:

    Looks really awesome, why isn’t this a game (yet)?

    • Ultra Superior says:

      It’s game porn. A fantasy.

      It has little to do with actual gaming.

      • Dowr says:

        “It has little to do with actual gaming.” Besides the fact that technological improvements will give developers more freedom to do what they want and result in their “vision” not being hamstrung by hardware.

        • Turkey says:

          – Said every game dev since 1999

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            BOSH! Right in the smacker, all movie art, NO game, SAD!

        • ukpanik says:


        • Shuck says:

          Except that, as pointed out, it will cost exponentially more to develop games that look like this (not so freeing for developers), and a demo like this uses hand-crafted, pre-baked animations that don’t translate into game animations (which won’t look nearly as nice). So it’ll make for very nice looking cut-scenes, but that’s about it.

          • WoundedBum says:

            I remember when UE4 was announced that they said one of the key factors was making it easier to make games, allowing developers to tweak stuff on the fly. So if it all worked out as planned it would be easier to create better games, and so less expensive.

        • Zenicetus says:

          Giving developers ” technological improvements and freedom to do what they want” isn’t always a good thing. It can easily encourage developers to add more cutscenes, or turn a game into a series of QTE sequences where the player is just along for the ride (I’m looking at you, Tomb Raider!).

          If that demo was an actual game, you would never see those actions and camera perspectives unless the game was heavily scripted, linear, and full of QTE’s.

          I think it’s great that games can provide this kind of cinematic look now, but it really requires some restraint by the developers. They need to stop being movie directors and give full control to the player.

          • Dowr says:

            If you give an individual £1 billion, they can either give it to charity or spend it on luxury items – whether the individual goes for the latter over the former is their own judgement; not the money. The money is just a commodity used to get things done and £1 billion can get quite a bit done in comparison to, say, £1 Million.

          • roryok says:

            I don’t quite understand the comment. Are you saying games should have budgets of £1 Billion?

  4. engion3 says:

    how bullets go through they metal suits

  5. devland says:

    When shooting bad guys always miss.

    • 00000 says:

      Rather when UAVs don’t have a basic aimbot installed

      • devland says:

        They do, but it’s the free bullets-stay-behind-enemy-heels version.

    • Brun says:

      See also: Stormtrooper Effect.

    • Gap Gen says:

      “Wanted: Evil Goon. Must be unable to hit a target at 10m (approx.) Must make decision to sabotage own facility when infiltrator fails to do so.”

      • Shadowcat says:

        I think that “Shut it down!” and its ensuing consequences must rank among the stupidest things I’ve seen in gaming (which is really saying something). I got the impression those buttons were just scattered all over the facility. Obviously from the same designer as the Larson aeroplane with its “Wings stay on / Wings fall off” switches :)

    • Reapy says:

      I was thinking as I watched this they need a version when hero steps out in the corridors he gets mowed down by a tight 3 round burst from one of the bad guys. ‘Nice shot Bob’. Roll credits.

      • adam.jutzi says:


        Make it just as pretty, make me laugh. I’ll remember that.
        The whole demo was impressive, but I just didn’t care. It’s was technically impressive, nothing really stood out though.

      • 11temporal says:

        Exactly my thoughts when I watched it.

        Graphics is good but the story is shit.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          2013: When tech demos were required to have stories.

  6. Ateius says:

    And that’s all rendered in real-time, is it? My poor GPU is going to melt into a little puddle.

    • Flappybat says:

      Eurogamer have said this was running on a PC utilising a Core i7 CPU matched with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 and 16GB of DDR3 RAM.

  7. Njordsk says:

    More colors please next time.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Two years from now we’ll be looking at our games, 24 million finely graded hues from “night black” to “night blue” with the occasional nuclear-white flare, and talking nostalgically about when we used to see brown in games.

      • golem09 says:

        I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome Bioshock Infinite looks.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I dunno… the bright Crayola color palette in Infinite is making my eyes bleed. There are times I wish that game had a slider for color saturation in the Options menu. It’s pretty intense.

          Also the faces, buildings and objects have a very flat, matte texture in Infinite. It’s like a colored chalk drawing. The overall design and vintage weirdness is what makes it work, I think, not the overblown (over-bloomed) and colorful palette.

          • Wut The Melon says:

            To me (not having played the game), Bioshock Infinite looks like a great example of a game with great art design held back by a bad engine and perhaps also to keep the game playable on consoles.

            Unreal engine has produced so many mediocre-looking games that ran like crap on PC’s… here’s hoping UE4 will do better in that aspect, at least.

          • Iamerror says:

            @ Wut The Melon

            An engine is much, much more than the end result – it’s about how easy to iterate with [and code for] the tools are…Bioshock clearly went through a massive amount of iteration; the sort of thing that likely would not have been viable had they not used an engine as refined and easy to use as Unreal.

            Likewise engines rarely, if ever, are the true cause of a games graphical fidelity. Just look at some of the games that use the engine – just compare Dungeon Defenders to Bioshock Infinite to Mirror’s Edge. All use Unreal, all are widely different in terms of graphical aesthetics and quality. Blame consoles for mediocre assets quality rather than the engine.

  8. Davie says:

    Well, it’s nice to know we’ll be able to see EVERY PARTICLE EVER.

    It’s a cool effect, but the amount of dust and smoke and sparks I’ve seen in these U4 demos suggests that everyone should be coughing their lungs out.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      And the “lens” flare effect makes it seem like everything is viewed through a really oily smudged glass.

      Or a used iPad.

      When you gaze into the smudgy iPad, smudgy iPad gazes back at you.

      • engion3 says:

        not if you’re a vampire

        • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          It is something of a conundrum for vampires. They don’t want to walk around carrying a reflective surface making their nonreflective vampiric nature obvious to all and sundry, yet they’re total Apple fanbois.

          What is a vampire to do?

          • Ultra Superior says:

            Being a vampire definitely… sucks.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            You earn your name every single day, don’t you?

          • dE says:

            You know, the whole mirror deal – makes me wonder if Vampires aren’t in for a lot of trouble – or at the very least need to learn how to socialize apart from the century old and trusted method of hissing at damsels.
            Much of their appeal comes from their good looks and charm.
            Today, much of that good look and charm is derived from little cheat-me-ups, also known as lipsticks, eyeliner, glossy skin (*sparkle, sparkle*), self tan, artificial haircolor. Men too. In that regard, Vampires are all about equality, everyone has got to sparkle, gone are the days of gloom and doom. Anyway, ask anyone that has ever tried to apply those things without a mirror and you’ll get the answer: Don’t. Just don’t.

            This puts vampires in a peculiar spot: They can’t do it themselves. Unless they use possessed animals to take a good look at themselves. But those have a different spectrum and what might look super swag in the lower spectrum, bears (!) resemblance to mister piggy in human vision.
            Thus they either need someone else to apply their makeup, gosh, good folks are hard to come by and you need to find new ones every 50 years or so, that’s like too damn often. Or they don’t use makeup. In which case their hissing doesn’t make them look like sexy predators in high definition swag but instead like that weirdo from the Music Shop down the street. No not him, the one that deals with storage and delivery. Yeah. That one.

            So what do they do? Do they create a vampire out of an makeup-artist just so they have someone to apply makeup? What happens when two uber powerful teenagers are left in a room? No, not the E.L. James Version. The more realistic one. Alright, screw that… no don’t screw that, it’s corpses for crying out loud. What happens if you put two power hungry idiots in a room together and tell them to deal with it for… like forever.

            The options:
            No makeup
            Temp Makeup-Artist (good for about 50 years)
            Vampire Makeup-Artist (might turn into a lifelong nemesis after about 100 years)

            What’s a vampire gonna do?
            In the next episode: How do you wash without using water. How do you cross the street in a town with running sewage pipes under every goddamn street.

  9. Metalfish says:

    Looks like a lot of graphics. Not entirely sure about the persistent “put huge guns on things, give precisely zero-target prediction programming/training” logic. And while I’m being a bit negative, bad-ass special-forces-ninja fatigue set in a long time ago (should such a thing matter for this sort of thing).

    But, as I say look at all those graphics!

  10. TreuloseTomate says:

    Technically impressive but ultimately boring.

    • Caiman says:

      It is, isn’t it? I was impressed with the first 5-10 seconds, but then I realised I may as well have been watching a pre-rendered movie and there wasn’t an ounce of original thought in that entire showcase. I actually got bored halfway through, and only struggled on to the finish to see whether they tacked anything interesting into the final section (they didn’t).

      Of course, applying this level of graphical fidelity to an actual good game with some original concepts is exciting, but this isn’t a very good demo.

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        Graphics are the least interesting thing about an engine. It can render that in real time, marvellous. Can it make characters move as convincingly as that during gameplay? How is it modelling the ballistics? Can I play that multiplayer?

        I don’t really care about how well or quickly it can render a cutscene.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        What were you expecting? A Pixar short? It’s meant to show off textures, light and sparkles. Not win an oscar…

        • dE says:

          And in that it did a really poor job. Want to awe people with the power of your engine? Create something beautiful. That wasn’t beautiful, it was a dull factory shootout with a trailer kept entirely in blue tones. I don’t care about script or anything, but the scenery – that where a new engine could score the most – was utterly bland, dull and uninteresting. All the potential new effects were overbeared by the use of blue as the new brown.

  11. Shantara says:

    Mark Rein (Epic Games CEO) says on Twitter that this demo ran on a single GTX 680. Quite impressive.

    • Panda Powered says:

      I’ll add that it was an answer to a question for the real-time rendering specs.

    • Stochastic says:

      What’s bizarre is how the UE4 demo shown at the PS4 reveal event was clearly a neutered version of that shown last year, so I wonder whether next-gen consoles will be up to snuff to produce visuals on par with this.

      Ooo, midway through writing my comment I found this: link to I suppose I should read it now.

      • kalirion says:

        Of course console graphics won’t be able to compete with this – PS4 GPU is far below a 680.

  12. Paul says:

    That was boring as hell. But unmistakenly Epic, only they can produce such a fine grey color. God knows how much training they had with Gears of War.

    • subedii says:

      Enough training that it ended up affecting UT3, I’ll say that much.

    • WoundedBum says:

      Have you played Gears of War 2/3/Judgement? They’re all pretty colourful.

  13. FriendlyFire says:

    The technology is really spectacular. My biggest concern at this point is that creating the assets to reach such a high quality is probably prohibitively expensive. So many details.

    I hope the engine comes with some pretty darn powerful toolkit or we won’t be seeing that level of fidelity for a while yet.

    • elgonzo says:

      Whether a game studio will produce such real-time fantasies will depend on a combination of some, if not all of these factors: Production costs, production time/efforts, marketability.

      If the target audience for a game demands technical prowess, the studio will be inclined to deliver it (that means, people would not buy a game unless it has RT cinematics). Otherwise, it will solely depend on cost/time factors and organizational structure of the studio.

    • D3xter says:

      They showed off functions of the Toolkit at the last E3 already: link to

    • Cleave says:

      Most of the current gen AAA games use extremely high poly models anyway for normal maps and then scale them right back for the in game model. The new tech is basically doing the same thing but with tessellation and displacement maps instead (and slightly higher poly base models as well) so I wouldn’t have thought there’d be that much difference.

      Added to that the new scripting, lighting and particle tools that will massively increase productivity and visual fidelity and I would think that a talented medium sized team will be able to produce something on a similar level of quality.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        But the high poly models aren’t textured or rigged. Both of those steps take a lot of time, and will take even more time as texture resolution and expected animation quality rise, as should be the case when everything else is this detailed. This will cost more.

        Also, while yes the new tools will streamline the process somewhat, I’d merely point out that while they let you make really detailed particle effects easily, that doesn’t mean it won’t be more work since before that you wouldn’t make really detailed particle effects in the first place. Most particle effects these days are very simple.

  14. Viper50BMG says:

    Serious shades of Grant Kirkhope’s Kingdoms of Amalur score at 3:08. It’s practically identical.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      On a related note: didn’t Epic hire devs who worked on that?

  15. Buemba says:

    That’s the prettiest a bunch of dudes in boring grey armor running and shooting in a generic grey industrial environment have ever looked. Can’t wait to see what studios with great art directors like Irrational can make with it.

  16. Dowr says:

    What a rubbish infiltrator; he needs to play more Thief.

  17. Rao Dao Zao says:

    The agent guy looks a bit Necris to me, I hope they’re teasing UT4 with this.

    … I can dream. ;_;

    • Gap Gen says:

      Personall I can’t wait for a sequel to Unreal 2.


    • Bhazor says:

      After how badly Unreal Tournament 3 turned out I’ll wait for a sequel to Unreal Tournament 2004.

      Sadly the series was probably buried with the corpse of Midway.

  18. Flappybat says:

    I imagine the point they are making with a tech video is to show they can make Blizzard quality cinematics in real time, no small achievement! Hopefully this one demands slightly less hardware than Samaritan did, which was run on a computer that cost about three grand.

    We really need the info slides to make it clear exactly what technology is on display, they did it last GDC,
    link to

    • Brun says:

      I wouldn’t call this quite on-par with prerendered cinematics, but it comes close. In the freeze-frame of the Youtube Video (what you see before you click it to play) you can see that his suit texture is still pretty low-res and the grooves/plates on his forearm look fuzzy and indistinct on the edges. Also the pouch on his shoulder is kind of blocky and looks out of place.

    • elgonzo says:

      Given today’s GPU capabilities, this demo does not seem that much of an achivment if you compare it to the Kara demo which runs on an old and rusty PS3.

      Seriously, i even don’t know how much of the look of this and similar demos is thanks to technological advances, and how much of it is due to careful, tedious crafting/baking of textures and scene setup…

      The more interesting question is whether such cinematic sequences can be authored in UE4 with same or even lesser efforts compared to prerendered sequences.

      From a game design standpoint, this demo clip seems to indicate that Infiltrator AI is superior to guard/soldier AI, and that infiltrators are not given much time to groom their hair (as for example the latest Lara Croft, which obviously was not made in UE4)…

  19. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:


    Why can’t these tech demos ever be bright, colourfull and fantastical instead of dreary, grey and bombastic.
    I know, I’m a person being negative on the internet, but still.

    • Pray For Death says:

      Take a look at Agni’s Philosophy. It is bright, colorful, and fantastical.

      • Premium User Badge

        Earl-Grey says:

        Well that’s more like it. They couldn’t stop themselves from adding men with dreary, old assault rifles, though.
        But what I can’t understand is why the companies that make these tech showcases always want to make scenes look as realistic as possible.
        More detailed human skin, more detailed people, more wood splintering in a more realistic way, more realistic dragons, and so forth.
        Personally I would find something altogether more impressionistic more enticing, I have quite enough realism in my mirror.
        But then again tech demos aren’t really about feelings or moods, so maybe I’m just talking out of my arse.

        • Brun says:

          I think the focus on realism (or at least a basis in reality) in tech demos is that it provides a “measuring stick” of sorts by which the audience can gauge the prowess of the technology. Your mind has an intuitive understanding of how “real things” should look – so by sticking to real or realistic imagery the audience can see just how close you’re getting to “real.” By rendering something totally unreal, you risk the audience asking themselves if what they’re seeing really is that impressive, because they don’t know what it’s “supposed” to look like.

          • Premium User Badge

            Earl-Grey says:

            I see what you mean, and it makes perfect sense.
            I suppose it is better to leave the creative vision with the artists and the engines with the engineers.

          • Brun says:

            Everyone missed the pun? Sadface.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            The pun’s ‘focus’, isn’t it? ;)

    • Flappybat says:

      Nvidia and Ungine tech demos are like that!

  20. bitbot says:

    They could remake Toy Story in that and it would look twice as good. Why bother with time consuming ray-tracing based rendering when these game engines now look almost the same, but in real-time!.

    • Stochastic says:

      *I think the advantage of ray tracing isn’t so much that it looks better as it is that you no longer have to worry about developing complicated tricks to get light to appear to behave as it does in real life. I remember John Carmack saying something to the effect of how it’s kind of ridiculous that currently you have to read tomes on the subject of arcane things like shadow rendering, while as if you used ray tracing everything would be simulated correctly and so you wouldn’t have to bother with all that additional complexity. But obviously performance is the big tradeoff.

      * I am not a programmer and don’t know much about graphics rendering, so this information may be incorrect.

      EDIT: Ok so here’s Carmack on raytracing. I won’t lie, I only understand maybe 25% of what he’s saying, but it’s interesting nevertheless: link to

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Ray tracing not requiring a lot of hacks? Ha.

        Ray tracing is no more perfect than rasterization. It’s birthed a lot of different techniques, all with their advantages and disadvantages, that try to achieve realism but don’t quite get there. It can do a lot of things better than rasterization can, but that comes at the cost of being offline instead of realtime. Meanwhile, rasterization systems have improved a lot and can give out some really great results while still being in realtime.

        Ray tracing is getting faster and we may see realtime ray tracing soon (see for instance this paper on realtime photon mapping on the GPU: link to, but rasterization is still much more efficient for producing “good enough” (ie. believable but not physically accurate) results.

        Plus, if you want the “full” deal, you either need path tracing, not ray tracing, which is exponentially more computationally expensive than ray tracing, or you need a bunch of additional algorithms to compute the effects ray tracing cannot do directly.

  21. karthink says:

    Looks snazzy, but why hide the pretties behind terrible smudge effects?

  22. DickSocrates says:

    Not joking when I say I had to skip to the end after 50 seconds as I was getting very bored. My attention span is fine by the way, I read book and everything.

    I’m sure it can do a billion poly-shader-jisms per half second, but so what when all it’s sued for is a world that looks so bland it could be Doom 3?

    They have the tech, time they started hiring some actual bloody artists who have ideas.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I don’t think there’s any reason to have artists making a graphics engine. Of course the artitsts need to use it, but at this point it’s just a tech demo. I’m sure they hired artists to make the ad, but they probably guided their hand.

  23. roryok says:

    I’m going to deviate from the polar opinions here of “looks amazing!” and “looks boring and grey, boo”.

    To me, this doesn’t look amazing. I just went back and watched the 3 year old Samartian Demo. Three Years Old! This doesn’t add anything to that, apart from the fact that we know it will run on a GFX card which is available to buy in the shops for the price of a small moon.

    To rejoin opinionland, I’ll also add that I too find these tech demos are always a blanket of lies. No game ever, ever looks like this during gameplay, and never will. Cinematics in between, oh sure. But not gameplay. I’m far more impressed by that WatchDogs trailer that showed the seamless blending of cinematic to gameplay.

    • Stevostin says:

      2 years old actually. And I can see many subtle improvements. But agreed, we haven’t seen game in the last 2 years looking even remotely like this previous demo which tells a lot what to expect.

      • roryok says:

        The video I linked to was dated March 8, 2011.

        Edit: So yes, you’re right. I can’t count.

    • D3xter says:

      That would be because of consoles with hardware from 2004 standing in as the lowest common denominator for development.
      You will see games that will look closer to that once the new ones launch, provided there isn’t another big ol’ industry crash caused by them.

    • Stochastic says:

      I think the PS4 Samaritan demo gives you an idea of what to expect 1-2 years down the road. But yes, this new Infiltrator demo almost certainly looks better than anything we’ll see on next-gen machines. Maybe in five years or so midrange to highend PCs will be capable of rendering comparable visuals, however. So it’s a glimpse into the future.

      • roryok says:

        Do you think Infiltrator looks better and Samaritan though? I thought Samaritan was far more impressive. Maybe I just preferred the bladerunner-esque setting

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Just from a casual observation of the two clips:
          -Depth of field is much better in Infiltrator. You can sometimes see blockiness in the Samaritan trailer. It’s also a lot closer to what you’d see in a movie than Samaritan, which is less flexible.
          -There are many, many more lights in Infiltrator than in Samaritan. Samaritan has large static elements casting light in broad ways, which can easily be approximated using few lights. Infiltrator has a lot of smaller point lights which need to be rendered separately.
          -The lens flare are more believable and react more realistically to occlusion.
          -There are a lot more particle effects on screen and they generally feel a lot more volumetric. The best example is the explosion midway through, which is a hard thing to do without merely prerendering a bunch of sprites. Gun muzzles are also more detailed and feel less like sprites.
          -Physics. Infiltrator has rather accurate modelling of rigid bodies, including dismantlement of multi-part elements. Samaritan often uses small pieces that go off frame before hitting anything in the scene, which require fewer calculations. You can also see realtime deformation of terrain and cover in Infiltrator, whereas Samaritan mostly uses broken glass, which shatters into pieces instead of bending (again, much easier to simulate). Samaritan features terrain destruction, such as the crater made by the man’s jump, but the actual collision is carefully hidden behind a body so that the deformation itself does not need to be rendered.
          -The camera angles and darkness of the Samaritan scene mean that the scene can stay fairly small. The few times where far-off background can be seen, it’s blurry enough that it likely is just a matte painting. Meanwhile, the city scene in Infiltrator shows different angles and a lot of activity, which makes me believe it’s largely modelled (the far away mountains may be painted, but the parallax effect of the city is too prominent in certain shots to be easily faked).

          I’m not saying Samaritan is bad, but Infiltrator is most certainly an improvement. Detailed analysis also appears to hint that Samaritan needs a lot more work to hide the possible deficiencies, whereas Infiltrator looks to be a much more straightforward process, hinting that UE4 may have sufficient performance to not require “cheats”.

          Obviously, YMMV but this is what I’m seeing from a simple visual comparison of both videos.

  24. strangeloup says:

    I think I’m being a bit slow today, because it took me a while to realise that this was a tech demo for Unreal Engine 4, not a trailer for a game entitled Unreal 4. (I did wonder what had happened to 3.)

    As a tech demo, it’s certainly successful; it would seem that UE4 can produce a great many graphics, possibly even all of them. I hope it’s capable of more distinction than UE3; while an undeniably competent engine, everything produced in it seemed to have the same kind of ‘feel’ to a greater or lesser extent, which made UE3 games feel a bit more generic than perhaps they deserved. Alas I don’t know the technical side to it well enough to say more precisely what caused that impression.

    I think the problem is that while it’s definitely a very impressive piece on a technical level, especially if it was indeed rendered in real-time, it’s also fundamentally uninspiring. Seeing the same kind of thing that’s been done a million times before isn’t interesting whether it’s in 640×480 with 16 bit colour or in ultra-mega high definition with more colours than the human eye can see and texture maps the size of a small country.

    It’s a point that’s been brought up before, of course, but some of my favourite games are from the end of the 90’s and early 00’s, and I feel that visual fidelity around that point was at a key level, showing enough to give you the idea of the setting while also giving you room to imagine finer details. I do wonder if the bloody-minded pursuit of realism in visuals, at least in AAA/mainstream titles, is trying to show everything at the expense of stimulating the imagination.

    • elgonzo says:

      I assume from your post, that Mass Effect looks more or less the same as Borderlands, since they are both based on the UE3 engine. Every day i learn something new ;)

      • strangeloup says:

        Well, Borderlands is definitely an exception! At a guess, I’d say it’s something to do with the default shaders of UE3, particularly noticeable on skin. Borderlands, obviously, uses a deliberately non-realistic, comic style to the graphics, and thus wouldn’t use those shaders. Good example though, and one that goes to show that a bit of creativity can make the engine look very distinctive.

        If you look at a comparison between, say, Gears of War and Mass Effect, though, there’s definitely a similar visual ‘feel’ despite the games having quite disparate takes on the sci-fi aesthetic.

        • elgonzo says:

          Umm… how about Bioshock Infinite, or how about Dishonored… etc., etc., etc…???

          • strangeloup says:

            I think at this point I will gracefully accept defeat and conclude that my generalisation was not anywhere near as general as I thought.

          • BenLeng says:

            Changing your opinion because someone presents you with differing facts? What the hell, man?!! This is the Internet! You are doing it wrong!

        • FriendlyFire says:

          The idea that UE largely creates similar games is partly caused by the fact a lot of prominent titles using UE have been developed in partnership with Epic or even entirely in-house. Games like Unreal, Gears of War, Bulletstorm, The Ball will all share similar aesthetics as Epic was fairly heavily involved in all of them.

          Further, the UDK comes with a lot of prefab examples which I’m guessing less graphically-focused teams may reuse with small modifications instead of rebuilding outright. This’ll cause further similarities, especially in areas such as post-processing.

          I wouldn’t say that Mass Effect looks like Unreal Tournament though.

  25. po says:

    HDR, bloom, lens flare, depth of field, motion blur and particle effects.

    Great ways to hide the fact that the models are low poly, and the textures are low res.

    • Stevostin says:

      Well this is the core of entertainement : illusion. Special FX are a great way to hide that there’s not actually such a thing as a flying landspeeder. And it’s fine. It’s called “craft”.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      And damn those filmmakers for only showing us one angle, thus carefully hiding the fact all those setpieces are just cardboard!

  26. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    GAH!! Can you please include the “engine” part of the name?* Or call it UE4 if you’re feeling concise? You keep getting me super-excited before I notice it’s just a sweet tech demo.

    Now, with that out of the way: I could really go for another romp on Na Pali under this engine!

    *Edit: Thanks! (Or sorry for the noise, if I just misread the title in my excitement.)

  27. terry says:

    All that technology can’t stop that raindrop looking badly animated.

  28. Artista says:

    And once again, Generico-Man outruns bullets. Looks pretty, but I wish other people did these videos because they are also incredibly boring to watch.

    I liked that little projector thing on his arm though. Could be interesting in a stealth game maybe.

  29. Archipelagos says:

    In the grim dark future there is only…manshoots.

  30. Megakoresh says:

    This is… REALTIME?!

  31. sventoby says:

    Someone infiltrated our base! Quick, destroy all of our tanks!

  32. Radiant says:

    Dark grey man fights other dark grey men in dark grey underground bunker.

    He’d have to have waited an awfully long time under that invisibility shield before that guy came.

    Why did that guy even stop?

    Did he just remember he had a rocket launcher stuffed down the back of his long johns?

    This sequence had to have been written by a moron/on the back of a napkin.

    Good job everyone.

  33. xaphoo says:

    Just like the Renaissance painters who, having mastered new techniques of color and perspective, could only paint endless variations on the Crucifixion and Madonna and Child, we are doomed, with our new tools, to depict endless variations of the Space Marine over and over again. Hundreds of years from now our descendants will wonder what our obsession is with them…

    • Brun says:

      Well they stuck to the same subjects for much the same reason – their patrons were usually the Church, and the Church only paid them to paint certain things.

  34. Moni says:

    I hope new lighting technology doesn’t mean artists are going to try and make everything darker. I find modern games dark enough as they are.

  35. Scumbag says:

    “I see something moving, better go check it out. Tell the remainder of my squad? Nah, I’m fine.”

  36. Bhazor says:

    White guys with blonde dreads. The greatest danger.

  37. Spakkenkhrist says:

    As a PC gamer I am not impressed by anything ever.

    • roryok says:

      I don’t know what we’re yelling about!

    • b3rnwa says:

      lmao :P

    • Cytrom says:

      I was pretty blown away by crysis in 2007… unfortunately neither gaming nor hardware technology really evolved much since then. CPUs became slighty faster, GPUs became bigger and bigger (while also eating more and more power), and laptops still have 1366*768 screen resolution.. while phones have 1080p, and games have slightly more effects attached on them, but with less physics and smaller playable area (with a few exceptions) and not much more complex gameplay (or in many cases even simplier).

      Its hard to impress if you don’t even attempt to do so, and just settle to entertain newborns for whom anything shiny is impressive.

    • ankh says:

      This should be the first comment. Not that it would impress me or anything..

  38. kstress71 says:

    AWESOME. Learning + Doing = FUN. Whodathunkit?

    Kudos to this good Dad and his son.

  39. RProxyOnly says:

    Yeah, fine it looks good, but we’ll never get a game that actually looks and plays like that, so I see no reason to hype it… It’s a movie engine… and will simply be used for substandard pew-pew.

  40. dmoe says:

    I thought it was pretty dull. I don’t know, I guess I’ve had my fill of these wannabe Bay-esque tech demos with mediocre character designs.

  41. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    This sounds really impressive but it’s been removed. Where can I see it?

    • Srethron says:

    • gnodab says:

      I am feeling increasingly confused as to what the purpose of a trailer really is. First they start banning TB from showing trailers to the public, now they pull a trailer from RPS? The premier PC Gaming Website on the planet!
      Isn’t this the equivalent of putting up ads with built in adblock scripts?
      Are copyright holders getting so paranoid that they decided to keep their advertisement secret?

  42. Thermal Ions says:

    Whoops, seems Epic’s found the video and gotten it pulled for copyright.

  43. Simas says:

    I liked the dialog. Two words exactly: “GET DOWN”. Pretty much sums up the future of gaming.

  44. Azazel says:

    Oh no! Someone is trying to distribute our marketing guff for us! Call the lawyers!

  45. Shadowcat says:

    Erm, there hasn’t been an Unreal 3 yet.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      There was an engine
      This is Unreal Engine 4
      It is not a game

  46. Uncompetative says:

    Nice to see a left handed stab. I can’t bear the right handed variety. How are you supposed to be holding a rifle and then knife or toss grenades with the same arm. At least this real time cinematic gets that right.

    One major flaw is the flying robotic spider thing not killing the guy outright in 0.5 seconds given its power.

  47. poohbear says:

    graphics look amazing, but for me physics and destructible environments make me more immersed, lets not forget those 2 elements!!!!!!!

  48. fish99 says:

    I’m a bit skeptical that even a 680 can manage that in real time. It’d be nice to see this released as an exe/benchmark so we can see it running ourselves. I imagine there’s a lot of loading transitions that have been cut too.

    • Rian Snuff says:

      Aye, indoor/outdoor scene, hallway kill scene..
      True, I didn’t consider that.
      Which would of gave a lot of headroom for the GPU in theory.

  49. Rian Snuff says:

    Well, that was beautiful.
    Honestly the average person wouldn’t pick that apart from CGI and I fiind myself hard pressed to.
    I love the style and I can’t wait to experience games in this fidelity.
    If that was rendered on a single 680 that’s simply staggering.
    My computer, my 3 year old computer.. Can handle it.