18 Best Game Engines of Next-Gen

This gameplayer articles examines the decline in the popularity of Unreal Engine 3 and runs through the alternative engines out there that are really beginning to make their mark on this generation of gaming.

"Perhaps Unreal Engine 3 isn't the middleware to power the next-generation after all? With so much new IP on the roster, much of which requires new engines to be built from scratch, there is suddenly a lot more choice out there for developers seeking alternative middleware solutions. So while we're sure Unreal Engine 3 will be fixed, fine-tuned, patched and thus remain a major player in this generation, the door is open for something else to pounce. We thought we would take a look at what else is out there: what other engines are driving this generation forward and promoting themselves as viable alternatives to the struggling Unreal Engine 3? Let's take a look at the candidates…"

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ape0073779d ago (Edited 3779d ago )

call of duty 4 engine

awesome graphics,amazing lightning and partical effects,great geometry(remeber any loading screen in any cod 4 level?) varied enviroment




coolfool3779d ago (Edited 3779d ago )

I know the characters can look more cartoony and a little plasticy but they look fantastic and detailed and I think more cartoony appearance adds to the design when creating another world setting. Call of Duty seems to better at creating a real world setting and real world effects.

Just my impressions.

DavidMacDougall3779d ago

Yeah loved the physics of the MGs4 Engine

COD4 engine is good looking but its all scripted at the end of the match everybody moves the same like for example checking there gun or looking around and they do it all at the same time , they sacrificed physics for looks

ape0073779d ago

I respect your opinion and yes unreal engine is a great one indeed

characters in gears of war,unreal or bioshock is just amazing


other developers(turok,blacksite,oth ers)need to use it well instead of giving it a bad reputation

DA_SHREDDER3779d ago

Even though COD4 wasnt 720p native, it still looked better then any other game out there besides Eternal Sonata on the 360, and Uncharted, Ratchet, Heavenly sword, and Metal Gears Solid 4 on the ps3. I know I know, I just named a bunch of games that dont use the COD4, but You really can almost compare it to them games listed above. Also,, the gameplay mechanics on the COD4 engine are top notch. You cant find a better playing game. Its seamless. Very accessible to noobs yet has alot of depth for us hardcore to enjoy.

One more thing. If you wanna compare any game to the COD4 engine's graphics just look at Quantum Solace. The screen shots alone look as good as any AAA game on any console, period. Also,, I think COD world at War and Quantum Solace are gonna be the games to have by the end of the year. People can talk all the crap they want about these two games,, but we will see how many people are playing these games by the end of the year. Mark my words, COD 5 and Quantum Solace will be the most played games on xbox live and the psn network.

Shroomy3779d ago

It's a solid engine but it's far from the best, Infinity Ward had to cut corners and reduce the res just to get it at a solid 60fps. Ever look at a texture up close? very drab detail.

The HDR looks so dull running outside, and god the pop-in as you came closer to objects was pretty damn bad.

Kleptic3779d ago (Edited 3779d ago )

what do you mean do we remember any loading screens in CoD 4?...yeah...between every loaded during each cutscene...I agree its a great looking engine, arguably the best 3rd party middleware out right now...but it was far from perfect...

I am one of the few that despises UE3 for the most part...Ue3 does a few things very supports excellent 'hero shots', in which the focus of the image is pretty detail (i.e. the gun in UT3, or the back of marcus in Gears)...but if you pay attention to detail, it falls apart really quickly...

especially has some dynamic shadows sort of (of which are blurred on purpose for the art style I guess)...but the character lighting has always been awkard...moving from one source of lighting to another allways causes very noticable shadow 'snapping' in each Ue3 game I have the games particle effects have always been pretty poor...gears got holes to work pretty well...but explosions and smoke effects are always extremely contrasted to the environment...they don't 'fit' if that makes any sense...and what is with the muzzle flashes?..seriously its like they pulled it out of Quake fire a weapon and they just turn the brightness up in a 5ft dia. circle around you, or whoever is shooting a dynamic shadows (Killzone 2, Uncharted, etc.) are created by the lighting...the character lighting from the weapon is now more pronounced...but again...that is stuff that was in other games around the same would now be unacceptable for that not to be in there...

I also do not prefer the wet look to every texture in the games...the fact that they are streamed high res textures is great...but they always seem wet for no apperant reason...broad daylight in downtown Vegas and concrete is soaking wet and shiny?...the wetness worked in a lot of Gears areas, and mostly in UT3 too...but every other game it just seemed out of place (save Bioshock too)...

not to mention the draw distance problems...yeah the blurring is cool...but use it like Uncharted uses it...when the camera is panning at high speed some background blur makes sense...but when you are focusing on things in the distance, it shouldn't be blurred at that point...

Gears 2 had some promises with that tech demo...instilling features that simply have to be in place for it to be the visual juggernaut the original was...but so far we have seen nothing...none of those promises water effects...none of the 'chippable' evironment stuff...and that was the little stuff...single player footage has shown zero of the 'soft-body physics', of which were easily the coolest, and the only tech that no other game has yet...the hundreds of enemies on screen turned into a wash too...being that you can't engage them...they are just there running around, out of range, aimlessly...

I appreciate UE3 for more or less starting off this generation...but the fact that it has evolved so little is nothing more than frustrating...maybe Gears 2 will end up showing all this new tech, and start the standards all over again...but being that they have shown none of that so far...all bullets point to no for Ue3...

elitewh0re3778d ago (Edited 3778d ago )

"I also do not prefer the wet look to every texture in the games..."
i don't recall 'wet' textures in Lost Odyssey or Mass Effect, if anything, a lot of the texture appeared matte. I guess it depends on art style...

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ape0073779d ago (Edited 3779d ago )

and the mgs4 engine

just damn unbeleavable,I've never seen such amazing and varied enviroment in any game

the smoke,gerenade and explosion effects are second to none and the water effects(oh my),shadows are mindblowing,the lighning is just mindboggling

mgs4 is just totally awesome and a must play by anyone calls him a gamer

and the uncharted engine

everything in uncharted works like magic(massivly underrated IMO)

bumnut3779d ago

i think the uncharted engine was better, i really liked the look and style of the game.

And no loading screens really helps the game flow (that was my biggest complaint about mgs4, it just does not flow)

micro_invader3779d ago

Mgs4's engine was amazing, although I didn't get to experience it properly since I was playing on an old projector but thankfully I'll be getting a new tv soon and that means more eye candy for me :D

Also, my pick for best physics engine in a game would be euphoria.

Xi3779d ago

It's middleware is designed to provide animation for characters when affected by physics.

For example, you have a character who's being pushed by water, the water physics would be Havok Physics(or PhysX etc), however the characters interaction, behaviour, and animation would be euphoria.

BiggDaddy3113779d ago

I think there are alot of engines that we have to wait and see. The 'White' engine from Square, John Carmack's ID engine, and Polyphany digital engine. any of these could trump Unreal 3

Kleptic3779d ago

yep bumnut...I agree...MGS4 had an impressive engine no doubt...but it needed some more optimization apperantly, as the loading and installs were my only complaint about the game...

Uncharted nearly matched MGS4 in most areas (albeit totally different art direction...still beat MGS4 in water though...real time reflections are still perfect)...with zero loading except for the 30 seconds when you start the game...and no installs...

MGS4's engine though was focused on making extremely believable cutscenes too...all real time...that is probably a major reason that MGS4 has the best looking real time cutscenes of a game to date, and can seemlessly blend those into the gameplay...Uncharted's cutscenes can't hold anything to MGS4 in that regard...the detail in MGS4 is better in those areas...the animation is better...etc...

the lighting between both games was nearly perfect though...excellent muzzle flash lighting (you don't really see it other than cutscenes in MGS4, mostly because almost all of it is played in daylight)...and excellent Uncharted was the first game to have the most believable lighting from a flash light...where your flashlight made a dynamic shadow around everything, and it moved with you as your perspective changed...Siren also does that very effectively, but...its like a year later...

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ape0073779d ago

one important point guys that probably doesn't have anything to do with engine is THE ART DIRECTION

art direction is the initial soul of the game,it coats the game with its own style

just see the difference between,let's say,turok and bioshock,they'r all use the unreal engine but the unique art direction of bioshock makes it a memorable experience

Cajun Chicken3779d ago

Look at the Serious (Serious Sam) Engines, quality engines back then that threw well rendered enemy after enemy after you. Serious Engine 3 is def one to look forward to this gen.

mikeslemonade3779d ago

No one has mentioned the Resistance engine. They will be the first game to use a 3rd generation of an engine that is proprietary for that system. Not only is it quick to develop but both Resistance and Ratchet are quality games.

Cajun Chicken3779d ago

That is a pretty underrated (built upon) engine. But I don't see it being licensed by anyone else anytime soon.
After Ratchet, I seriously look forward to what Resistance 2 delivers.
Don't forget Naughty Dog's Uncharted engine, that things amazing.

m-s-8-23779d ago

Resistance was nothing special, graphically, but I have to admit R&C was a gorgeous in a very cartoony way, and I mean that in a good way.

Considering how much progress they made in a year, i cant wait to see what they do with Resistance 2.

kittoo3779d ago

CAPCOM's next gen engine used in DMC4, RE5, Lost Planet etc.....its amazingly well optimized and looks real good too....

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