With the eighth generation of consoles on their way, and PCs hitting a new step in evolution, there are a number of powerful engines and technologies that will be powering our upcoming favourite games.
DICE’s Frostbite engine has become a favourite among gamers for its authenticity, and Frostbite 3 is said to be an easier to work with than all the predecessors.
The conversion code from PC to consoles is said to be a lot simpler, providing some consistency across platforms.
Frostbite 3 offers dramatically increased texture details, more complicated lighting and shadowing, as well as environmental deformation.
Powered by Frostbite 3: Battlefield 4, Dragon Age 3, untitled Mass Effect game, untitled Need for Speed game
Crytek’s CryEngine is still touted as the most powerful and gorgeous graphical engine around, and the company is set to transfer their new engine to the next-gen of consoles.
CryEngine 3 is the fastest high-end renderer in the world for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 (claims Crytek), however, the engine is “next-gen ready”, which will see it carried over into the future.
The engine specialises in large near-photo-realistic indoor and outdoor environments, along with an advanced m0dular AI system.
Powered by Cryengine 3: Crysis 3
Activision facial real-time rendering engine
Activision has released a new video which showcases the tech behind the publisher’s research and development into character models, which will be used to develop for next-gen platforms.
The new tech is used for generating realistic high-quality and lifelike faces – even featuring freckles, pores, wrinkles and eye lashes.
Games that feature Activision’s tech: TBA
Unreal Engine 4
Epic Games’ Unreal Engine has been passed around like chewing gum in a school yard, and the latest iteration is heading for next-gen platforms.
Unreal Engine 4 is said to be a big step-up from Unreal Engine 3, which still looks great by the way.
Epic released a show-reel, which highlights include dynamic lighting, particle effects and physics.
The demo, which was built in less than 3 months by 14 engineers, is said to be glimpse into what into where in-game visuals are heading.
Powered by Unreal Engine 4: Primal Carnage: Genesis
Square Enix Luminous Engine
Square Enix showed off its next-gen engine at E3 2012, and reaffirmed it this year at Sony’s PS4 reveal event.
The Luminous Engine was showcased with a Final Fantasy-esque demo video, which highlighted the authentic photo-realistic character models it could produce in real-time.
Some great special effects are also shown, and Square did confirm that the engine will be used in a new Final Fantasy game, which will be announced at E3 2013.
Games it powers: Unannounced Final Fantasy title (expected)
Other next-gen engines
Ubisoft’s next-gen engine (powering: Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag)
Guerilla Games’ new engine (powering: Killzone: Shadow Fall)
Fox Engine (Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain)