Last month, gamers were finally treated to their first glimpses of the next generation of consoles and with them the next generation of graphics engines. While PC gamers have been privy to the power of newer graphics engines, it was only recently that their console compatriots got in on the action.
With that in mind, we have two next-gen engine demos for readers — one for Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 and another shorter tease for The Division's Snowdrop Engine. Both are extremely impressive, but entirely unique.
For Unreal Engine 4, Epic has released the second part of their in-depth look at the engine, which is meant to better explain the software's complexity to potential developers. For us lay people it's a lot of tech talk, but seeing the engine in action is no less impressive.
The demo video (seen above) itself covers particle effects/collision and water effects, specifically as they pertain to the UE4 'Infiltrator' demo. Obviously, mileage will vary based on the needs of each game, but in the context of Infiltrator, Unreal Engine 4 looks stunning. Of particular note is the ease with which developers can create textured surfaces without actually altering too many values.
For Ubisoft's Snowdrop Engine, which will support the forthcoming open world title The Division, we don't have as extensive of a look, but merely a tease. The real showcase will take place on December 9, 2013, where presumably gamers will also get a closer look at the game in action.
Since E3 2013, not too much has been said about The Division, with a lot of the focus placed on Assassin's Creed 4 and the recently delayed Watch_Dogs, but that game was no less impressive when we saw it earlier this summer. The idea of a global outbreak and open world combat that doesn't feature zombies (fingers crossed) sounded intriguing, and there's no denying the Snowdrop Engine looks fantastic. Something that particularly resonated with me when seeing the game was the way glass reacted to bullets — shattering not all at once, but in bits and pieces.
Both Unreal Engine and the Snowdrop Engine will likely see greater visibility as we head deeper into the (now) current-gen. And, if these demo videos are any indication, the future looks beautiful.
What do you think of Unreal Engine 4? What about it has impressed you the most thus far? Are you looking forward to The Division?