Unreal Engine 4 Tech demo: Graphics have hit a ceiling
With the next generation of consoles upon us some of the hot button topics are: the Wii U’s power, Unreal Engine 4 vs. Cry Engine 3, and the mystery surrounding the Xbox 720 and PS4 specs. Most of the speculation and big topics relate to raw system power. Whose console can display this, and what console can run that and how the PS4 can support 4K resolution (whatever the hell that means). Sometimes gamers lose sight of what actually makes gaming fun. Don’t get me wrong graphics are important. A lot of Wii games could have really used that HD bump like Xenoblade and the Last Story. But, as I watch this real time demo of Unreal Engine 4 and hear the guy go on about all this new stuff they can do and all of these lighting options here, I found myself saying: “graphics have hit a ceiling”.
During the Unreal Engine 4 Tech Demo I failed to see how opacity lighting was going to make my games more fun to play. I played Uncharted 2 years ago on my PS3 and the lighting looked just fine. As a matter a fact it still looks damn good today. I understand it is the beginning of a new generation and the graphics will no doubt get better, but were used to seeing huge leaps and the supposed next gen doesn’t look much better. And more importantly I fail to see where these new graphical updates will enhance my gameplay. With HD it was a huge step. A new form of visual prowess. HD was a Benchmark, that will be very difficult to top. Not to mention last gen had major bump in disk space with Blue Ray. All indications point to blue-ray or proprietary 25 GB single-layer media being the standard. I’m looking at the Last of Us and the game looks fantastic. In my eyes it looks just like the Unreal Engine 4 or damn close to it. I don’t see the huge differences that get gamers riled up arguing across message boards everywhere. I’ve even played the Witcher 2 maxed out on a decked out rig and I was not like, Holy crap I need to have these graphics. Even the “Cry Engine 3 Crysis Dynamic toad leaping” tech demo didn’t show the leap many people are claiming the next generation to have.
The one thing that I want to hear about the next gen engines is how are they going to be optimized for the PS4 and 720? Epic has went on record saying the Wii U is optimized for Unreal Engine 3 but can be scaled to run the Unreal Engine 4. Personally I want the engine that will get me the best performance. If I can run a game on the PS4 with Unreal Engine 3 and it runs at 60 FPS and 1080p no sweat then give me that. If the same game was bumped up to Unreal Engine 4 but up-scaled to 1080p and 30 FPS like most PS3 and 360 games are, then I’ll take the previous. I’ve always wanted to play Uncharted or Killzone in 60 FPS sporting the graphics the PS3 can push. I don’t need much next gen…. just a little bump, which were getting, and 60 FPS on most games.
These are my thoughts on Next gen. I understand many people are comfortable with 30 FPS and would rather have better graphics than smoother gameplay. However, if there could be a happy medium between the two then the next generation should be a treat to all gamers no matter what system you game on.