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Less Unreal: Unreal Engine 4.5 Released

With pretty new shadows

Thank you, Epic. Finally, someone has listened to me. I've said for years that games should use automatic C++ hot reload, but everyone's just copied Gears of War's reload. Animation retargeting too, very important that for twitch aiming. And streaming video textures mean livestreams should run at 60fps even in 1080p! Unreal Engine 4.5 is the game engine we've all been waiting for.

That's all a load of old tosh, of course, except for the fact that Unreal Engine has now reached version 4.5. It brings a few handy things to speed up development, but you're probably more interested in prettiness. Don't worry, it has that too.

Out yesterday, 4.5 brought fancy graphical wizzbangs including slightly eerie subsurface scattering to make skin that looks sorta real but also sorta terrifying, a new shadowing method with sharp edges growing softer as the light spreads, and better specular occlusion. Look, go read the announcement or full changelog for all the details.

Or stick around to stand on your desk, rubbing your thighs, grunting and gurning as we watch some videos showing ray-traced distance field soft shadows:

Phwoar! And these. Get in there my son!

Isn't it nice that the engine wars are seemingly over? Even if Quake 2 did have the best movement physics known to gamekind, aren't you glad we don't see weird arguments about game engines any more, where people fling around technical terms they don't understand as if a game is made awful by its shadowing method? What a strange era that was.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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