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Epic Touts Success Of Unreal Engine 3

The Unreal Engine 3 has certainly made the rounds this generation, and designer Epic Games isn't afraid to let everyone know it.

During a demonstration at GDC 2012, Epic vice-president Mark Rein showed off a bunch of titles that have successfully used the UE3 engine thus far (catch the full list of current and upcoming games at RipTen). He also made the following statement:

"Unreal is the engine of success… people who choose to use other technology for the price don’t know what they’re doing."

He may not be far off base. Some of the most critically acclaimed titles of the generation have used UE3, including all the Gears of War and Mass Effect installments, both Batman games by Rocksteady, Borderlands, the Mortal Kombat and Medal of Honor reboots, Mirror's Edge, Shadows of the Damned, Lost Odyssey, Singularity, and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Future UE3-powered titles include Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2, DMC, DUST 514, and even Mortal Kombat for the PlayStation Vita.

Yeah, developers have used this engine with great success. Remember, the team using an engine has a lot to do with how it will perform in the long run.

Tags: unreal engine, unreal engine 3, ue3, epic games, unreal engine games

3/19/2012 10:09:35 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (31 posts)

coverton341
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 10:26:22 AM
Reply

There have been some great games that have come out using this engine, but even in those games there is a weird plastic sheen to objects. Almost like things are oily or moist.

I don't know, maybe that's just the style of most of the games I have played using the UE3 and not so much the engine itself.

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BTNwarrior
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 9:20:35 PM

Yeah I know exactly what you are talking about, though the Mass Effect series seems to be lacking of this aspect. Same with Borderlands, and Enslaved. So I think it is more of a thing that Epic and others liked and some devs didn't. Though just about every Unreal engine game does have that oilyness to it

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berserk
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 7:15:08 AM

Thx man , so happy that i m not the only one who think so . It s something that really bother me .

I m really not a fan of games with engines that have that effect on textures .Must be why i like the mgs 4 engine so much ( best looking game on ps3/360 for me ) .

Last edited by berserk on 3/20/2012 7:16:47 AM

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Qubex
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 9:08:53 PM

You are absolutely right.. I do not like that effect on textures at all and it is something that the Unreal Engine has always suffered from.

Anyway, the Unreal Engine 3 incarnation I think does a better job, but I would prefer Guerrillas engine if I had a choice...

I am surprised Dust514 doesn't use a proprietorial Sony engine!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 10:29:14 AM
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yay, woot, be still my beating heart. *The* engine that brought a million horribly be-muscled space marines to the world is being celebrated.

:/

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Beamboom
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:15:17 PM

So it's the *engine* that makes the muscles?
Phew... Thank the makers that Alice dodged the biceps'o'matic then, since her arms are thin and vein like straw... Just like they should be.

;)

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/19/2012 1:15:47 PM

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Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:26:17 PM

I don't know, you tell me why it is that 90+% of games that use this engine feature the same type of character...

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Beamboom
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:48:57 PM

Well, isn't a be-muscled soldier with giant chest and huge arms what you find in pretty much all games with a male soldier character? Sad enough...
Maybe *that's* why I prefer a female character in my games? To avoid being constantly reminded of all the hours in the health studio I *didn't* spend? Who knows! :D

I guess the blame has to be put on stereotypes and unimaginative designers. One thing is for sure though: A 3D render engine doesn't really have any preferences on upper arm measurements. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/19/2012 2:52:17 PM

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CrusaderForever
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 11:17:13 AM
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I don't think so, they should feel lucky. These games would have been better on a different engine.

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Temjin001
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:07:55 PM

...but what engine? Are other multiplat engines consistently better?
The engine that powers Bethseda's games are usually worse off on PS3, are they not?
What about the CoD engine? I don't really have to go there, do I?
Was anyone blown away by the tech powering Kingdoms of Amular?
Yes, fighting games look pretty, usually better detailed than most games, but there's a good reason for that which I don't think I have to explain why.
The CryEngine 3 is great, no doubt. But it came way late this gen with many studios already having grown accustomed to the UDK.

Really, I don't like crappy performing games just as much as anyone else here does, and possibly more, but it's hard to level a sound argument about UE3 when so many multiplats aren't standing head and shoulders higher. Outside of the Castlevania engine and BF3... I just don't think there's much of an argument here.

I'm going to have to say the quality of games we get this gen have a lot more to do with the skill of the dev than it does the engine. Because it's hard to imagine as many game engines that are as refined as the UE3 is when so many devs have worked with Epic to get the most out of the tech.

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Beamboom
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:11:08 PM

Good post, Temjin.
Far, far too many misguidedly blame the engine and not the developers and designers. It's like blaming Photoshop for poor web designs.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/19/2012 1:12:49 PM

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Jawknee
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:13:40 PM

Platinums engine is another good one. Kojima's FOX engine looks neat. I like Rockstars multiplat engine more than Unreal too.

Last edited by Jawknee on 3/19/2012 1:14:16 PM

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Beamboom
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:17:53 PM

Rockstars engine is really good indeed, but is that engine available for licenced usage?

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Jawknee
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 11:48:40 AM
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Most overrated engine ever.

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bigrailer19
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:15:25 PM

Agreed, it took this long for developers to say they got it figured out, so they can use it as they are now.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/19/2012 12:17:03 PM

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Beamboom
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:09:34 PM

Does that mean you think the PS3 is overrated too, Big? The nerve! ;)

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/19/2012 1:10:03 PM

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Ludicrous_Liam
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:13:46 PM
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If you're a 'top-tier' developer, there's only one engine you're gunna use...

Your own.

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Beamboom
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:27:00 PM

So many say stuff like that. But do any of you have ANY idea what kind of resources it requires to make such an engine?

It's like if you want to edit a photo you did, only you have to write the photo editing software first.

If it wasn't for engines like these I can guarantee you there would be a LOT of great games that'd never seen the light of day, and many of the current games that run on Unreal would have played a LOT worse.

The idea that it would be better if every developer sat in each their offices spending years on coding their own set of libraries to do essentially the same... It's madness! Uneconomical, inefficient, and would hold back the entire industry like concrete shoes. And you could pretty much say bye-bye to all independent developers and niche games.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/19/2012 1:30:14 PM

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Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:27:03 PM

That was, once upon a time, the truth.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:49:18 PM

@Beamboom: I know, I know. I'm just saying. Look at all the top-tier games - Uncharted 3, Killzone 3, MGS4, GTA4, LBP, GT5, Infamous, Rage, COD (yeah I said that), Battlefield, Skate, Heavy Rain, & y'know, the rest of em - what do they all have in common (or is it not in common? eh...uh...ARGH...who cares, lol)? They're all made with custom engines.

Okay - if you're not under some big publisher like Sony or activision, then licensing a pre-existing engine is probably the only viable option, both realisticly & finacially. But what I'm saying is that, if you're planning to make a AAA title, well, a custom engine is the way to go if those games are any indication.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 5:00:09 AM

Actually, I wasn't impressed by the SKATE engine at all. I love the games, totally adore them, but never got impressed by the engine.

You are right in your reasoning there, but like you yourself also say; most of the titles you mention have one thing in common: They are either backed by the hardware manufacturer (and let's face it - that puts them in another realm, budgetwise) or are backed by one of the absolute GIANTS of the game dev world. Those guys can afford it because they can (re)use their inhouse engines across several productions, thus spread the cost/risk.

it's like in the movie world, where the biggest productions can afford to actually (re)write the software who renders the scenes, to make the scenes *exactly* like the director wants.

So yeah, to get the absolute best out of your games, nothing beat custom code and enough time and skill to make the game *if* you got a big enough budget and skilled enough staff to actually make it work.

And that makes it a sound option only for the few. For the rest it's a much, much better solution to build your game on a platform that can give you a head start, thus giving you a chance to spend your budget on artistry, narrative, polish and tweaks instead.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/20/2012 5:11:18 AM

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Beamboom
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:49:24 PM
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... So I'll crawl out of the closet and admit it to the world: I DIG UNREAL!

Yup! I do. I have to!
Many of my best games ever has been built on that engine. Everything from the historic Bioshock to the wonderful Dragon Age, from the silly fun little Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars to the classy, artistic Mirrors Edge, not to mention my favourite franchise EVER, the wonderful space opera of Mass Effect!

Thank you UNREAL - thank you for a LOT of gaming hours I'd never want to be without. Cheers mate!

:)

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/19/2012 2:04:21 PM

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tlpn99
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:33:32 PM
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Isn't the Frostbite engine just as good ? Or is this an old engine too ?

I'd love to see a new COD engine but while they are still churning them out they wont say were not making a new COD this year while we work on the new engine.

I don't suppose it would be possible to work on a new engine and do a game at the same time. It would mean losing half the workforce on one project and the other half on another unless this is probably not do able. Not being a programmer I can't say how it works.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:43:25 PM
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Well it's about bloody time isn't it? Batman and Bioshock made Unreal work, and I suppose Gears since that's Epic's game but so many others couldn't grasp this thing. I hope U4 is more accessible.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/19/2012 3:48:42 PM

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Jawknee
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:37:48 PM

What's funny is Gears has screen tearing and massce texture pop in while Batman and Bioshock do not.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:57:27 PM

oh yeah? That's why I said "I suppose" since I haven't played them but they keep scoring well.

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BikerSaint
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 9:46:25 PM
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I'm no techie, but I thought that Crysis 2 on the newest Crytek engine was looking pretty good, myself.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 4:44:03 AM

I *loved* the look of Crysis 2.
I hope we will see that engine being used in other titles too. It's obviously able to produce better visuals than Unreal - but at what cost? Maybe poorer development tools, maybe bigger restrictions on map design, maybe other limitations. Everything has a cost. But yeah, I'd love to see what other devs can make out of the Crytek engine.

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___________
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 4:50:19 AM
Reply

meh.
sorry epic but there are FAR better engines out there!
its so sad almost every game is using this crap where amazing engines like CE3 are left in the dark.
:(
no justice in the gaming industry, none at all!!!!!!!!!!!

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Nagi
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 11:50:26 AM
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Hey...the engine brought me the greatness that is Unreal Tournament III, so it has my respect. :P

Its not the most cutting edge, and like beamboom already pointed out, not everybody has the luxury of making and using their own engine. Outsourcing saves developers time and money.

The engine gets the job done, not the best there is, but it is very versatile and practical for developers, can't deny that.

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SS4
Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 7:04:54 PM
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Its a great engine but its slowly aging. Although im sure UE4 will be even better when it comes out :P

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